Barbacoa Lamb

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  • 6 lamb shanks or 2 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ancho powder
  • 1 tablespoon mild chile powder
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped;
  •  or 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (12-oz.) bottle Mexican beer (or broth)
  • 2 cups water or 1 cup broth and 1 cup water


Preheat oven to 300°F.

Season lamb liberally with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, sear lamb in oil until very well browned on all sides. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the rest of ingredients. Pour into pot and stir to deglaze. Add lamb back to pot, cover and place in oven for 3 hours (or in a slow cooker on high 6-8 hours or an electric pressure cooker on high for 40 minutes with a 15-minute natural pressure release). When lamb is tender and falling off the bone, uncover and turn heat to 400°F. Cook 20 minutes until juices reduce slightly and top of meat browned.

Remove meat from pot and shred onto a warm plate. Skim the fat from the juices in the pot and discard. Drizzle remaining juices over meat.

Use for tacos, tostadas (garnish with chopped white onion and fresh cilantro and salsa), burritos, enchiladas, soups or tamales.

Recipe from Central Market Shoreline - Culinary Resource Center
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