Recipe Provided By"Shared Appetite"
3 hrs 30 min
4 to 6
- 6 to 8 pound boneless American Lamb shoulder
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 3 tablespoons tequila
- Flour or corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 2 avocados, chopped
- Pickled onions
- Mexican crema*
- Hot sauce
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
- Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Cut American Lamb shoulder in large pieces, approximately 4 to 5 inches, and remove excess fat. Season generously on all sides with salt.
In a large heavy-bottom oven-safe pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear lamb shoulder on all sides until deep golden brown, approximately 2 to 4 minutes per side. If the pot is too small to cook all the lamb at once in a single layer, sear in batches.
Remove browned lamb from the pot; use a paper towel to blot away excess grease. Pour in 1 cup water; use a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits in the bottom of the pot. Stir in chile powder, ancho chile powder, cumin, garlic, bay leaves, onion and a big pinch of salt. Return all lamb to pot; add enough water so that it submerges two-thirds of the meat.
Place uncovered pot in a 350°F oven for 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours; turn lamb a couple times throughout the braising process. Lamb is done when almost all liquid is evaporated and the meat literally falls apart when picked up with a fork.
Remove bay leaves; discard. Remove meat to a large bowl; shred with two forks (or allow to cool a bit and shred with your fingers). Discard any visible big chunks of fat.
If serving right away: Discard any excess braising liquid left in pot. Add shredded lamb back into pot; return to oven, turning shredded lamb occasionally, until crispy and caramelized as desired.
If making ahead: Let lamb cool completely; refrigerate for up to a few days. Alternatively, wrap shredded lamb in foil and seal in a zip-sealed bag; freeze for several weeks. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator; reheat at 350°F wrapped in foil placed on a baking sheet. Once lamb is heated through, unwrap foil and let lamb get crispy and caramelized, if desired.
In a small mixing bowl, submerge raisins in tequila; let soak for approximately 2 hours.
To serve: Warm tortillas. Top with shredded lamb, tequila soaked raisins, pepitas, avocado and pickled onions. Drizzle with crema and hot sauce, and garnish with queso fresco and cilantro.
Note: *If unable to find Mexican crema, combine 1/2 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup half and half. Season with salt; if too thick, thin with filtered water to desired consistency.
USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters
Internal temperature of 160°F
All Other Cuts
Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest