Lamb Tacos (Barbacoa Style)

Barbacoa is a preparation of steaming and smoking meat, resulting in some very flavorful meat that stays moist during the cooking process[ until it is fork-tender and falling apart.]

Total Time:
8 hr 50 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
4 hr 20 min
Cook:
4 hr

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • 2 dried chipotle chiles
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds tied boneless lamb shoulder
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 banana leaves
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 10 to 12 flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup picked fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 cup shaved radishes
  • 1 red onion, shaved paper thin
  • Malbec, for serving
Directions
  • Rehydrate the anchos and chipotles in a bowl and cover with hot, boiling water. Soak the chiles until they are soft, about 20 minutes.

  • Add the chiles, paprika, oregano, cinnamon and garlic to a food processor. Pour in the oil and process until smooth. If the puree is too thick, add a tablespoon or 2 of the chile soaking liquid to thin to desired consistency.

  • Place the lamb in a roasting dish and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Pour the puree on top, cover and marinate in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Thaw the banana leaves (if frozen) by running them under warm water. Line a turkey roaster or braising dish with the banana leaves, slightly overlapping them on one another.

  • Remove the lamb from the marinade and place on the banana leaves. Wrap up the lamb with the banana leaves, tucking in the edges so it is completely covered. Add 1 1/2 cups water to the baking dish, then cover the entire pan with aluminum foil.

  • Bake until the meat is tender and falling apart, 4 hours. Remove the foil and open the banana leaves. Shred the lamb with a fork and season with salt and lime juice. Serve with the warm flour tortillas, cilantro leaves, queso fresco, radishes and onions and pair with the Malbec.


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