Thursday, June 9, 2011

Braised Lamb Tacos with Mediterranean Salsa

I created this recipe to enter this week's contest on -- your best street food. When I have cooked with achiote paste before I've just bought it already prepared from a Mexican grocery store. This time, I could only get ground annato seed, so I made my own, with tasty results. I've made a version of this dish before, but I think this one came out better- though I'd tone down the chipotle a little next time. But, I can honestly say I would be happy to get this out of the window of a taco truck, which is my highest praise for tacos. I'd suggest having these with a salad and a crisp cold beer.

Make 8 Tacos
Braised Lamb Tacos:

2 tablespoons ground annato seed
1 tablespoon orange or tangerine juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon tequila
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles
1 pound lamb stew meat, in 2 inch pieces
2 chipotles in adobo
3 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
sour cream
6 corn tortillas
Mediterranean Salsa:

1 tablespoon italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
2 tablespoons scallion
1/4 cup green olives, chopped
1 tablespoon raisins
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 a juicy lime
1 tablespoon sundried tomato
1 teaspoon olive or canola oil

1.Mix together first 13 ingredients to form a paste. Rub into lamb and marinate overnight, or for about eight hours. Ask a question about this step.
2.Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and sear lamb meat. Ask a question about this step.
3.In a food processor, blend vegetable broth with chipotles. Add liquid to lamb, and add bay leaves. Ask a question about this step.
4.Bring to a boil, then cover and cook on low heat for an hour. Ask a question about this step.
5.Remove cover and cook another thirty minutes or so, until liquid reduces to a sauce and lamb is very tender. Ask a question about this step.
6.Shred lamb into sauce with a fork. Ask a question about this step.
7.While lamb is cooking, put raisins and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat, then reduce to low and simmer until balsamic is reduced by at least half and raisin are plumped. Ask a question about this step.
8.Mince raisins mix together with other salsa ingredients. Ask a question about this step.
9.Heat each corn tortilla in a frying pan with a tiny bit of oil, and top with a couple of good spoonfuls of meat, a good spoonful of salsa, and a dollop of sour cream

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