Get your Chile Going, Suckling Lamb Barbacoa Taco from 'Mexico from the Inside Out' by Enrique Olvera

Get your chile going,  moving beyond divorce, after Divorced Chilaquiles from  Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera (Phaidon, $59.95, October 2015) , the first English language cookbook by chef from restaurant Pujol in Mexico City.

Suckling Lamb Barbacoa Taco, Taco de barbacoa de cordero lechal


Serves: 4


Chile Poblano Tortilla

2 cups (480 ml) corn oil

1 chile poblano

1 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste

½ cup (20 g) cilantro (coriander)

½ cup (140 g) Corn Dough (pg. 39)

Chile Guajillo Adobo

1 pound (500 g) lamb bones

2 cups (100 g) chiles guajillo

1 large garlic clove

¼ white onion

1 heirloom avocado leaf

1 tbsp. corn oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

Lamb Barbacoa

½ agave leaf

1 white onion

1 large garlic clove

1 heirloom avocado leaf

1 pound (500 g) boneless milk-fed lamb egg

1 tsp. fleur de sel

4 cups (960 ml) water

1 cup (240 ml) Chile Guajillo Adobo


1 Hass avocado, peeled, halved, and pitted

½ cup (105 g) frozen peas

Thawed leaves from 2 sprigs cilantro

½ chile serrano, chopped

1 tsp. kosher salt


4 pea shoots

20 cilantro criollo sprouts

8 cilantro criollo flowers

4 squash blossoms

Suckling lamb


Chile Poblano Tortilla

Place the oil in a small pot and heat to 375 °F (190°C). Fry the chile for 3 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath. Drain and remove the skin and seeds. Bring 2 cups (about 500 ml) water to a boil in a small pan and add ½ teaspoon salt. Blanch the cilantro, drain, and transfer to an ice bath. Blend the chile, cilantro, and the remaining salt and strain. Mix with the dough and adjust the salt. Divide into 4 (1-ounce/25 g) portions and shape into balls. Using a tortilla press, form into tortillas. Cook on a comal over low heat, turning 3 times, for 35 seconds on each side for a total of 1 minute and 45 seconds.

Chile Guajillo Adobo

Roast the bones on a baking sheet in a 355°F (180°C) oven for 1 hour. Core and seed the chiles and soak in 2 cups (about 500 ml) hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and blend. In a large pot, sauté the garlic, onion, avocado leaf, and roasted bones in the oil over medium heat. Mix in the guajillo paste and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add for cups (960 ml) water and cook over medium heat. Adjust the salt, strain (sieve) and cool.

Lamb Barbacoa

Toast one side of the leaf directly over a gas burner set to medium heat. Place it in a baking dish and add the onion, garlic, avocado leaf, and lamb. Dissolve the salt in the water and combine with the adobo. Pour the adobo over the lamb and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Roast in a 475°F (250°C/Gas Mark 9) combi oven for 40 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 195°F (90°C/Gas Mark 0), with 65 percent humidity, and roast for 10 hours longer. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Remove any connective tissue from the lamb and return the beat to the Chile Guajillo Adobo. 


Using a blender, combine the avocado with the peas, cilantro, and chile until homogeneous. Adjust the salt. Place in a pastry bag or squeeze bottle and refrigerate.


Arrange 4 tortillas on plates and place the lamb on top. Place 3 large dollops of guacamole in a triangle on each tortilla. Place the shoots, sprouts, and flowers over the lamb. Finish with the squash blossoms.

(* Reprinted with permission from Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera -Phaidon, October 2015-Photo by Araceli Paz)

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