This is a kinda-sorta involved recipe that if you live in a place that is godawful hot right now, you might want to tuck it away until fall because, ovens and hotness and things like that. But I want to also mention that I made this braised guajillo lamb tostadas in my slow cooker for our Friends Who Fete Cinco de Mayo dinner parties in May and that worked like a charm.
What are your feelings about lamb? I absolutely love it and somehow still never make it. Why it’s so under appreciated I haven’t a clue but I suggest you give this recipe a whirl and change all that.
How to Make Braised Guajillo Lamb Tostadas
Okay, so this is a three-part affair. The first step is to make the guajillo sauce that the lamb will slowly braise in until it is tender and luscious and chile-infused to within an inch of its life. The sauce is a smooth puree of charred and soaked dried guajillo chiles, aromatics, oregano, cumin, and a touch of vinegar. It is on the spicy-ish side, so if you are sensitive, cut back on the number of chiles in the recipe.
The second step is to brown the lamb along with some more onions, carrots, and celery. If you’ve never purchased lamb before, look for a boneless roast it can be from the shoulder or the leg, but for this purpose, you don’t want any bones in there. Sometimes the lamb will come wrapped in a mesh covering—take that off and throw it away. You won’t be slicing the meat so it doesn’t really matter if it is perfectly round.
After browning the meat and vegetables you can transfer the whole business to the slow cooker if you’d like or simply add the guajillo sauce to the pot, cover it, and slowly braise in the oven. If you decide to go the slow cooker route the cooking time is on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
The final step is to shred the meat, mix it into the sauce and make a little salad to go on top. I also like to serve these tostadas with a fresh pico de gallo, but that’s up to you. Pile the meat on to a tostada shell then top with the salad mixture and a little pico.
These are extremely delicious morsels worth every bit of the effort.
- 8 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 yellow onions, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or leg roast
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1-2 cups baby arugula
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 lime
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 12 tostada shells
- Heat a large, dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chiles, garlic, and 1/2 of 1 yellow onion, quartered. Watch vegetables closely, turning as they toast. Remove the chiles to a plate as soon as they are toasted and fragrant so they don't burn. Garlic will also be done before the onion, then finally the onion, which will take about 10 minutes to char on all sides.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add toasted chiles and submerge under the water. Remove pan from the heat and let chiles soak until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove chiles from the water and add to a blender, along with charred onions and garlic, oregano, cumin, apple cider vinegar, and a teaspoon or so of salt. Blend with 1/4 cup or so of the Chile-soaking water until smooth (you may need to add a bit more liquid to get the blender going). Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Heat oven to 300°F. Season lamb on all sides generously with salt and pepper. Chop remaining onions.
- Heat a large oven-safe dutch oven with a lid over medium-high heat. Add lamb and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- Add remaining onions, carrots, and celery, and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in guajillo sauce. Add lamb and return to a boil.
- Cover and place in the oven. Braise until lamb is very tender, and easily comes apart with a fork, about 3-4 hours.
- Shred lamb and toss with the sauce. Combine baby arugula and red onion in a large bowl. Squeeze the half lime over the vegetables and drizzle with the oil. Season with salt, toss to combine.
- Place a generous amount of braised lamb on each tostada shell, top with salad and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 362mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 21g
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Have you ever cooked with lamb? What’s your favorite lamb recipe?
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