Lamb Barbacoa – Recipe from Make it Paleo II
I started flipping through the pages and before I was even done feasting on all the beautiful pictures, their recipe for Lamb Barbacoa caught my attention and I knew right then and there that I was gonna have to make it; the sooner the better!
As luck would have it, I’d just purchased a humongous boneless leg of lamb and was planning on throwing it in the slow cooker later that week. Only I was far from planning on using the kind of seasoning that Haley and Bill suggested in their book, though. It would never have occurred to me to use Mexican spices with lamb. I was intrigued!
The very next day, I was on it.
But before we actually start cooking, please let me tell you a little bit more about this real gem of a cookbook.
Make it Paleo II is filled with over 175 delicious grain-free recipes, each portrayed by an absolutely stunning, mouth-watering photo. Haley and Bill are not only ridiculously talented in the kitchen, they also happen to be outstanding photographers and their book really showcases the extent of their talent. Just take a quick glance at their book cover and you’ll see exactly what I mean!
Honestly, this book is beyond beautiful and so inspiring, it’ll probably have you want to empty your cupboards of every pots and pans you own and whip up each and every recipe that the book has to offer.
The best part is, most of the recipes you will find in Make it Paleo II are very accessible and fairly easy to make, too. We’re talking familiar and not so familiar dishes, like Honey Sesame Wings, Braised Brussels Sprouts, Salmon Cakes, Lobster Fettuccine Alfredo, Clam Chowder, Thai Fried Chicken, Pork and Apple Ravioli, Fried Wontons, Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse, Dark Chocolate Olive Oil and Sea Salt Ice Cream, as well as a great assortment of sauces, dressings and even beverages. Haley and Bill even shared a recipe for Pasta Dough, which looks so much like like the real deal, I just know I will have to give it a try.
The book also features a very handy guide to different cooking techniques that explains pan-searing, slow-cooking, steaming, grilling, warm smoking, pickling, fermenting, curing and much more. In the first section, you will also find some handy notes on grain-free baking, a practical guide to stocking up a paleo pantry, as well as a list of useful kitchen tools.
Oh, and did I tell you the photography in that book is spectacular? The photography in this book is spec-ta-cu-lar. It’s very well worth the expense, if only for that.
Alright. Let’s get some cooking done, now! I need to specify that adapted the recipe somewhat (are you surprised?) to accommodate my humongous piece of meat…
For starters, the original recipe calls for a boneless lamb shoulder. What I had on hand was a leg. Gah! That would have to do. Also too, I was feeling lazy and chose not to brown the meat, but rather to let it macerate overnight in the tasty spice mixture.
I think I’m very happy with my decision!
This Lamb Barbacoa was honestly one of the best pulled meat I’ve ever eaten. That gigantic roast, I ended up eating all to myself (not in one go, don’t worry) and I was actually sad when I ate the last of it. I wanted there to be more.
Sorry, I got carried away. I’m done talking now… let’s get started, shall we?
Cover the lamb roast with the dried mustard.
As you can see, the mustard will form some kind of a sticky paste as it comes in contact with the meat. I’ll give it to you, it doesn’t look all that appetizing, but trust me, you want to do this. It will add so much flavor to the meat!
Once the mustard’s been taken care of, wash your hands quick quick and, in a small mixing bowl, combine the salt, paprika, cumin, oregano and chipotle powder; stir to evenly combine.
Evenly distribute the spice mix all over the lamb while making sure to get it into all of the crevices as best you can.
Place the lamb in the slow cooker, cover and, if time permits, (which hopefully it does) place in the fridge to marinate overnight.
When you are ready to cook the lamb, pour the water into the slow cooker and turn the heat to high; cook for 6 hours.
When fully cooked, the lamb should shred easily with a fork, like this.
Remove all but one cup of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker and shred the lamb.
Use the rest of the cooking liquid to adjust seasoning as needed.
A word or warning, here. Don’t you go leave all the juice in with the meat, else it’ll be WAY too salty.
Serve as is, in a bowl, or over lettuce leaves with sauteed mushrooms, and prepare to have your mind B.L.O.W.N.
This lamb is seriously moist, seriously tasty, has just the perfect kick to it… it’s a Mexican Fiesta in every bite.
Oh, and just you wait until you see what I did with the leftovers!
Honestly, I would’ve never, ever thought to mix lamb meat with Mexican flavors. In my mind, Lamb only had one true partner, and that was rosemary. I’m real glad Haley and Bill opened my eyes to this new, winning combination.
Does that look delicious or what?
I’m telling you, if the other recipes in Make it Paleo II are even half as good as this one, I totally want to make every single one of them.
Seriously guys. Get this book: it is a true gem, a real collector’s item, an absolute must-add-to-your-cookbook-collection. I swear. You will totally not regret it.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the salt, paprika, cumin, oregano and chipotle powder and stir to evenly combine.
- Cover the lamb roast with the dried mustard, then evenly distribute the spice mix all over the lamb. Make sure to get it into all of the crevices as best you can.
- Place the lamb in the slow cooker, cover and, if time permits, place in the fridge to marinate overnight.
- When you are ready to cook the lamb, pour the water into the slow cooker and turn the heat to high; cook for 6 hours.
- When fully cooked, the lamb should shred easily with a fork. Remove all but one cup of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker and shred the lamb.
- Use the rest of the cooking liquid to adjust seasoning as needed.