Servings: 8 Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 3-4 Hours


2 guajillo chiles

2 ancho chiles

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1-1/2 teaspoons piloncillo or brown sugar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water, or more as necessary

2-3 pounds boneless leg of American Lamb, trimmed of most fat visible


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Rip open the chiles and remove the seeds, veins and stems. Heat a large skillet over medium-low, add the chiles and toast them in the dry pan, turning them over until they are fragrant, about one minute. Transfer chiles to a saucepan with enough water to cover chiles and bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and let rest for 10 minutes or until the chiles are soft. Drain the chiles and discard the water.

Combine the drained chiles, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, honey, apple cider and water in a blender and puree until the mixture is thick but smooth.

Pour some of the chile sauce into a large Dutch oven or ovenproof casserole with a lid and top with the meat. Rub the lamb with enough chile sauce to generously coat it. Close the lid and transfer to the oven immediately. Bake the lamb for 3-4 hours or until the meat is very tender. Alternatively, you can marinate overnight in the refrigerator and back the next day.

Remove the casserole from the oven and let the meat cool. Coarsely shred the meat with forks, discarding any visible fat. Serve with corn tortillas, avocado and salsa, or any remaining chile sauce.

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