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Mutton Barbacoa
Mexican
Main
Over 2 hours
Lamb
Easy
Serves
6

The rich flavour of mutton meets a punchy chilli, cumin, and garlic marinade in this barbacoa recipe. If you have a hard time sourcing mutton you can also use lamb for this dish. This recipe works fantastically in a smoker but is also great in the oven.

Recipe courtesy of
Ingredients
  • 1 bone-in mutton or lamb shoulder

Marinade

  • 2 ancho chiles
  • 3 chilli de arbol
  • 1 guajillo chilli
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 big handful of sea salt
  • 1 big pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 100ml rapeseed oil

To Cook the Mutton

  • 2 large banana leaves
  • 1 potato
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 200ml water
Method
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Method
  1. Soak the dried chillies in hot water until soft and pliable (for about 20 minutes). Then put all of the ingredients for the marinade into a blender and blitz on a high speed. You may need to scrape down the sides of the jug after a couple of minutes to ensure everything is evenly-mixed or add some water to the mix to get the blades going. Rub the marinade all over the mutton shoulder and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
  2. Take the mutton out of the fridge at least 2 hours before cooking. Toast the banana leaves over the hob to make them pliable and use them to wrap the mutton. Preheat a smoker or oven to 110°C. Put the mutton onto a roasting rack and place the tray underneath with potatoes, onion, carrots and water.
  3. Cover the whole rack/tray and place in the smoker or oven for 5—6 hours. Check the tenderness — it may need another couple of hours. 
  4. When you’re happy with it, take the mutton out and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Then shred it with two forks. Strain the broth that’s in the tray and serve in cups. Warm some tortillas and serve the mutton with salsas of your choosing.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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