Words Vicki Ravlich-Horan, Images Brydie Thompson – first published in Nourish Magazine
Barbacoa is a traditional way of slow cooking meat in an underground oven. Mutton, lamb and goat are traditional, although beef is also popular. The meat is wrapped in large leaves from the agave plant or banana palm then topped with the animal’s stomach and organs.
The result is melt in the mouth pulled meat. Despite the rustic ingredients, appearance and preparation, barbacoa is considered a delicacy and a treat or special-occasion food. This version brings together the essence of barbacoa for a twist on your Kiwi Sunday roast lamb.
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 bay leaves
100g tin chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 lamb leg
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
2½ cups beef stock
¼ cup fresh lime juice
Peel and slice the onion and place on the bottom of a roasting dish along with the garlic gloves, bay leaves and tin of chipotle peppers. Place the lamb leg on top.
Mix the cumin, oregano, salt and white pepper together and rub over the lamb leg.
Pour the stock and lime juice into the baking tray before covering with foil and roasting at 160°C for 6–7 hours.
Once cooked, allow the lamb to rest for 30 minutes before cutting/shredding the meat and mixing with the soft onions and cooking juices.
Serve in warm tortillas with refired beans, salsa, guacamole and extra limes.
Keen to experience a real taste of Mexico? Join Vicki for two weeks travelling from Oaxaca to Puebla and Mexico City before ending on the beautiful Yucatan.