Good recipe. Trimmed a ton of fat off the lamb, so didn't have a problem. Also couldn't find cascabel chiles; substituted california chiles.
Easy Lamb Birria
Photo: Erin Kunkel; Styling: Nissa Quanstrom
The deep flavor in this long-braised lamb dish belies the minimal labor it takes to make it. You don't even need to brown the lamb.
Yield: Serves 8
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Amount per serving
- Calories: 372
- Calories from fat: 32%
- Protein: 49g
- Fat: 13g
- Saturated fat: 4.4g
- Carbohydrate: 13g
- Fiber: 3.6g
- Sodium: 618mg
- Cholesterol: 147mg
- 4 pounds lamb stew meat
- 2 limes
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 3 each dried guajillo, ancho, and cascabel chiles*
- 6 large garlic cloves
- 9 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- About 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1. Cover lamb with cold water; squeeze in juice from 1/2 lime (adding rind) and add a few pieces of the chopped onion. Let sit, stirring every so often, until water is very pink and cloudy, about 10 minutes. Drain well, discarding the lime rind.
- 2. Meanwhile, toast chiles in a large frying pan over medium heat, turning as needed, until fragrant and starting to darken, 6 to 8 minutes; when cool enough to handle, remove stems. Put in a food processor with remaining onion, the garlic, cloves, thyme, cumin, vinegar, 1 1/2 cups broth, and the salt. Whirl together to make a thick sauce, adding a little more broth if needed.
- 3. Combine sauce with lamb and bay leaves in a large, wide dutch oven, mixing to coat and spreading evenly. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is very tender when pierced, about 2 1/2 hours. Cut remaining 1 1/2 limes into wedges and serve on the side, along with Cilantro Rice.
- HANDS-FREE METHOD: Once sauce and lamb are mixed in the dutch oven, bake about 3 hours in a 275° oven.
- *Find the chiles in well-stocked Latino markets.
- Wine pairing: Ceja 2009 Syrah. This pungent lamb needs a dark, meaty red wine. The Ceja Syrah has a matching earthy soul from its cool-weather vineyard site.
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