Lamb Barbacoa

 From 'Tu Casa Mi Casa' by Enrique Olvera
Lamb Barbacoa Traditionally, this recipe for would be cooked in a pit in the ground. A pot with veg, herbs and water lies at the bottom, and a rack with the meat lies on top. Its then covered with agave leaves before being completely buried! But as most of us don’t have access to a pit in the ground, this recipe is adapted for stovetop cooking.

  • For the Guajillo Adobo
    • 12 guajillo chillies, seeded
    • 3 whole cloves
    • 2 allspice berries
    • 1 tbsp dried marjoram
    • 3 tbsp dried oregano
    • 2 large white onions, roughly chopped
    • 4 plum tomatoes
    • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
    • 4 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • For the Barbacoa
    • 1 lamb shoulder (about 6lb)
    • 1 large white onion, halved
    • 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2 sprigs fresh epazote
    • 100g avocado leaves, dried
    • 1 agave leaf, charred (optional)
    • Salt
  • To Serve
  1. To make the Guajillo Adobo:
    1. In a frying pan over a high heat, toast the chillies, spices, and herbs, stirring for 1-2 minutes until fragrant; then set aside.
    2. Place the onions, tomatoes, and garlic on the pan and cook until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan, then peel the garlic.
    3. In a medium pot, heat the oil over a high heat. Add the toasted and charred ingredients and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the tomatoes get mushy.
    4. Add enough water to barely cover the ingredients and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid evaporates almost completely.
    5. Transfer to a blender and process to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. To make the Barbacoa:
    1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients but the salt. Add water to cover by at least 1-inch, then season with the salt.
    2. Simmer covered for 1½-2 hours, until the lamb is tender. Skim the top to remove impurities, adding water if necessary.
  3. To Serve:
    1. Transfer the lamb to a serving bowl. Break it up into smaller chunks and rub with half of the guajillo adobo.
    2. Strain the broth and add some to the lamb. Add the rest of the guajillo adobo to the broth.
    3. Serve in bowls with the garnishes and the tortillas to make tacos.