Sometimes good things don’t have to come to an end. Carolyn and I were quite happy to hear from the Tri-Lamb Group that the Lamb Supper Club was going to continue and they were going to up the ante by adding a contest! This time, instead of providing us with a seasonal recipe, lamb and theÂ necessaryÂ ingredients, they just sent us lamb and armed us with a $50 gift card. The challenge was to come up with an original, quick and healthy lamb recipe that was easy to prepare. The blogger with the best recipe wins an iPad! Game on!
We quickly called up our Lamb Crew and they were in, naturally. Due to travels it took a while to lock in a date, but that meant more time to craft the ultimate recipe. I present to you the Lamb Barbacoa Taco!
I know Mexican food may not be the first thing that jumps to mind when you think Lamb, but trust us on this one, it should be. The flavor of lamb falls nicely in between the more traditional pork and beef, and holds up well against the range of flavors you find in Mexican cooking.
Barbacoa is also a greatÂ preparationÂ style for the boneless leg of lamb we were sent for the contest. Traditional Barbacoa is cooked in a pit, and wrapped in leaves. My recipe is closer to a slow braise, but the result is the same; tender, flavorful, morsels of meat. It is also very healthy. The long, slow cooking render the fat from the meat and breaks down the connective tissue.
Half the fun of having a Lamb Barbacoa Taco party is that each guest gets to customize their taco. The Lamb Crew of course went above and beyond and made everything from slaw, to mango salsa, to pickled red onions–even a batch of these amazing pickledÂ zucchini! I will post about those next and include a bonus recipe for making Carnitas style lamb. While we used more traditional corn tortillas, you can use whole wheat ones if you are looking to be extra healthy.
There are two different cooking methods for this recipe–cooking the lamb in the stove in a dutch oven or using a crockpot. If you are using the crockpot, it is still good to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t start to rapidly boil. The aim is a nice slow braise that is just below a simmer.