Last Thursday, I was invited to attend a special dinner party hosted by Negra Modelo at 3015 Trinity Groves. The venue was filled with beautiful people, tasty food and lots and lots of delicious Negra Modelo beer! Chef Rick Bayless provided the evening's entertainment with a cooking demonstration teaching us some fun ways to put a new twist on guacamole and how to make a slow-cooker dish using lamb barbocoa with penca (see recipe below). Most people know Rick Bayless from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, beating out the French and Italian with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated Public Television Series, Mexico–One Plate at a Time, is in its ninth season and is broadcast coast to coast. His approachable style was perfect for this event and guests were hanging on his every word! Attendees were encouraged to tweet tagging @NegraModeloUSA and utilizing the hashtag, #ThePerfectComplement. Each tweet adding to milestone markers which then “unlocked” Negra Modelo branded prizes such as glass-wear, a cutting board and a signed copy of Chef Rick Bayless‘ new book Frontera. Be sure to follow @NegraModeloUSA on Twitter and Instagram and search the hashtag #ThePerfectComplement to see even more action from the incredible evening! Visit www.NegraModelo.com to learn more about this brand.
Try his recipe for yourself:
Slow Cooker Lamb Barbacoa
by Chef Rick Bayless
FOR THE LAMB
A 12-inch chunk of an agave leaf (penca de maguey) or 1 large banana leaf, optional
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder
112-ounce bottle of beer (optional but I love this!)
FOR THE MARINADE
2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into large pieces
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into large pieces
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 canned chipotle chile en adobo
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
Your favorite hot sauce or salsa
A little chopped white onion
A handful of cilantro leaves
Roast the agave leaf being careful not to touch the exposed flesh of the agave) over an open flame, turning every few minutes until pliable and charred, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness. (If using a banana leaf, run it briefly over an open flame to soften it.) Cut into 3 pieces.
In the stovetop-safe insert of your slow cooker or in a very large (12-inch) skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Pat the lamb dry with a paper towel, sprinkle generously with salt and lay it in the insert of skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until richly brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Fit the insert into the machine or transfer the meat to the slow cooker.
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a blender with 2 cups of water and blend to a smooth puree. Pour through a medium mesh strainer into the slow cooker. Nestle the pieces of agave leaf or banana leaf under and around the meat, if you are using them. Cover and turn on the slow cooker to high. Your barbacoa will be done in about 6 hours, though you can hold it for longer. (My slow-cooker can be programmed to switch from high after 6 hours to a “keep warm” temperature for up to another 6 hours. Some slow cookers click to “keep warm” automatically; others need to be switched manually.)
When you are ready to serve, coarsely shred the lamb and arrange it on a warm platter. Skim any fat from the sauce that remains in the slow cooker, then taste it. If you feel it would be better with a more concentrated flavor, pour it into a medium saucepan or remove the insert and set it over high heat. Boil for a few minutes to reduce that quantity, then taste and season with salt if it needs it. Spoon as much as you like over the lamb or beef. (I like to sprinkle coarse salt over the meat at this point.) Serve the barbacoa with the hot sauce or salsa, onion and cilantro. Grab some tortillas, if you like, and you’re ready to make some delicious tacos.
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