I first came across a recipe by Rick Bayless who is one of my favorite chefs since he specializes in foods from Mexico. I found that his recipe, although delicious, would be a bit challenging for most with all the specialized ingredients. I tried to make it a bit easier here although there are lots of ingredients. If you have a difficult time locating the chilies and chili powders you can try an International store near you or just rely on good ole’ Amazon!
Don’t let the ingredient list scare you because once you have purchased everything, you will have plenty of ingredients to make it over and over again.
3 lb. lamb shoulder
1 TBS. Avocado Oil
1 cup chicken stock or beer
Salt and pepper
1 large white onion sliced
2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into large pieces
1 tsp. Ancho Chili Powder
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 ½ cups tomato puree
1 TBS. coconut sugar
1 ½ TBS. Apple Cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp ground espresso powder
½ tsp. Smoked paprika
1 tsp. Oregano
Corn tortillas or Siete grain free tortillas
1. In a very large (12-inch) skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Pat the lamb dry with a paper towel and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Sear lamb on all sides. Make sure that each side of the lamb is deeply browned before you turn it. This is very important for flavor. This step will take you about 10 minutes.
2. As soon as lamb is nicely browned, place it in the crockpot on top of a layer of sliced onion. Deglaze hot skillet with broth or beer, getting up all the brown bits.
3. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a blender with 1 cup of water and blend to a smooth puree. Layer the top of the lamb with marinade allowing it to drizzle over the sides as well. Pour the beer or stock mixture from skillet around the lamb to coat the bottom of the crockpot (don’t drizzle the mixture on top of the lamb because we want the marinade to stay intact and flavor the meat as it cooks.)
4. Cover and turn the crockpot to low. Your barbacoa will be done in about 8 hours.
5. When you are ready to serve, coarsely shred the lamb and arrange it on a warm platter. Drizzle some of the liquid in the bottom of the crockpot over the lamb and don’t forget to scoop up those delicious onions on the bottom.
6. Check and make sure you don’t need any additional salt. Serve the barbacoa with salsa, guacamole, and some feta cheese. Onion and cilantro are a great addition as well. Grab some tortillas, if you like, and you’re ready to make some delicious tacos.
Give this recipe a try and I hope you ENJOY!!!!