Barbacoa Estilo—Oaxaca Oaxacan-style Barbacoa

Yields 6 portions

Ingredients

Adobo for Babacoa

  • 20 guajillo chiles, wiped clean, seeds and veins removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp/10 mL dried Oaxacan oregano or marjoram
  • 1 ½ cups/355 mL distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt, as needed

Barbacoa Broth

  • 6 guajillo chiles, wiped clean, seeds and veins removed
  • 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 small white onion, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 carrots, large dice
  • 2 potatoes, large dice
  • 4 oz/113 g green beans, large dice
  • 8 ½ oz/241 g garbanzo beans
  • 1 1/2 quarts/1.42 L water
  • Kosher salt, as needed

Barbacoa

  • 4 lb/1.81 kg goat meat, assorted pieces, including ribs
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 6 cups/1.42 mL avocado leaves
  • 1 banana leaf
  • 12 limes, quartered
  • 36 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 ½ cups/355 mL salsa of your choice
  • 2 cups/473 mL refried black beans
  • 4 oz/113 g crumbled queso fresco

Directions

  1. To prepare the adobo, toast the chiles on a comal set over medium heat until the skin begins to blister and turn a tobacco color, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Transfer the reconstituted chiles to a blender and add the garlic, peppercorns, cloves, oregano, and vinegar. Purée until smooth, and season with salt, to taste. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
  3. To prepare the broth, toast the chiles on a comal set over medium heat until the skin begins to blister and turn a tobacco color, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Transfer the reconstituted chiles to a blender and add the tomatoes, white onion, garlic, and water. Purée until smooth, and season with salt, to taste. Pass the mixture through a small mesh strainer into a small Dutch oven or rondeau. Add the carrots, potatoes, green beans, and garbanzo beans. Set aside while you prepare the meat.
  5. Cut the meat, except for the ribs, into large pieces that will fit inside your cooking vessel and season generously with salt. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before applying the adobo.
  6. Rub the meat with the adobo mixture until well coated on all sides. Reserve the ribs for the broth. Use 4 cups/946 mL of avocado leaves to wrap the meat, securing each piece with butcher string.
  7. Place a rack at the bottom of a tamalera or large steamer pot (about 24-qt). Fill the pot with salted water just to the bottom of the rack. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and begin assembling the ingredients inside the pot.
  8. Place the small Dutch oven containing the broth ingredients in the center of the rack, leaving room on all sides for the steam to circulate. Place another small rack or grate over the Dutch oven.
  9. Spread 1 cup/240 mL of avocado leaves on top of the grate and cover with the ribs, placing the fatty side down. Spread the remaining avocado leaves over the ribs and place the remaining, leaf-wrapped on top. Cover the meat with a banana leaf and then a clean kitchen towel.
  10. Cover the tamalera with a tight-fitting lid and seal the rim with aluminum foil to create a tight seal. Cook over medium-high heat until the meat is very tender and juicy, almost falling apart, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Carefully remove the meat and broth from the tamalera. Shred the meat.
  11. Ladle the broth into bowls and serve with limes. Serve the meat, alongside the broth, with corn tortillas, salsa, and refried black beans topped with crumbled queso fresco.

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