SLOW COOKER TACOS BARBACOA
INGREDIENTS – MARINADE
2 ancho chiles, dried or fresh
1 chipotle chile from can. (Keep 2 tablespoons of the can’s liquid)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons epazote or oregano
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt (1 teaspoon more later)
1¾ cups water
1 tablespoon vinegar
INGREDIENTS – LAMB
3 pounds boneless lamb parts*
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large bananas leaf or 3 avocado leaves**
2 cups bone broth, beef broth, or water
INGREDIENTS – GARNISH
1 medium onion
⅓ cup fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
12 8″-flour tortillas
* = Beef is the most popular meat for this in Mexico. Goat is also popular. Regions in Mexico usually have a strong preference. But NO ground meat.
** = Bananas leaves and avocado leaves are mighty hard to find outside of Mexican or Asian supermarkets. If you cannot find them, use cornhusks, parchment paper, or tin foil as a substitute. Leaf or leaves should be able to cover the width of the slow cooker.
food processor or blender
Serves 6. Takes 9 hours 40 minutes.
PREPARATION – MARINADE
Remove stem and seeds from ancho and chipotle chile. Add all marinade ingredients to food processor. Puree in food processor.
PREPARATION – LAMB
Rub salt onto lamb. Cut lamb into as many pieces necessary to fit them in a slow cooker. Add oil to pan. Heat oil at high heat until it starts to ripple. Carefully, carefully add lamb pieces. Sauté lamb at high heat until all sides are well seared or you get a dark-brown crust on the lamb. Turn over to sear the other side of the meat.
Wrap lamb with banana leaf. Add wrapped lamb and marinade to slow cooker. Ladle broth over banana-leaf wrapped lamb. Set slow cooker and high and cook for 9 hours or until lamb becomes fall-apart tender. Shred lamb with forks. Keep liquid.
PREPARATION – FINAL
While lamb cooks, dice cilantro. Thinly slice onion. Cover serving platter with banana leaf. Place shredded lamb on banana leaf. Ladle juice from slow cooker over lamb. Sprinkle with lime juice. Warm tortillas by placing on pan with the heat set at medium. Remove as soon as they get warm. Or microwave tortillas for 10 seconds. Fill tortillas with lamb. Garnish with cilantro and onion. Goes well with with green salsa.
1) The stars in our universe exhibit a red shift. That’s because they’re moving away from us. This observed red shift in our celestial orbs gave rise to the Big Bang Theory. The color red makes objects move things move from other things. For example, forest fires are red. Forest fires move away from their starting points.
2) Red picnic-table cloths, left unchecked, would move themselves away from the picnic table. This is why people have potlucks. The plates laden with potato salads, hot dogs, and corn on the cob provide enough weight to counteract the Moving Away Force (MAF) on the red table cloths.
3) The Germans experimented with red tablecloths in World War II. They hoped their table cloths would move away from the ground and into the path of Allied bombers. The red objects, however, moved away from the bombers as well. These Nazi tablecloths still continue outward trek. Look for them in the Asteroid Belt, if you have a powerful enough telescope.
4) Naturally, other red objects such as plates exhibit MAF. A totally red plate would leap off the kitchen table and crash through a window in a quest to join its brethren in the Asteroid Belt. Plates with only a tiny bit of red in them display a tiny MAF. (See above picture.) Such plates require only a little bit of food to keep them in place.
5) Of course, blue objects show Moving Toward Force (MTF.) This is why so many people end up wearing blue shirts. To be safe, you really should avoid blue and red altogether. If, however, you must use these colors, for Pete’s sake, you them in equal amounts. (See above picture again.)
Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.