Lamb Carnitas

I have been wanting to make carnitas, but with a different protein than the typical pork. I'll be honest, I was hoping to find duck though instead I left the butcher with lamb as it just looked so good. I know the carnitas recipe from watching my dad do it several times. This time around I googled and found this recipe from Lynne Char Bennett. I did some slight changes and added the coleslaw and different salsas. I also did a special tortilla batch at Yoli. We infused our white corn with poblano peppers. It gave it another level of depth and the color looked pretty awesome too. As we approach selling in retail stores and farmer markets, you will see us launching seasonal special batches. Stay tuned for more info...but we are so thrilled to share some of these special batches with you. Hope you get to do this recipe...Provecho!




Lamb Carnitas

Serves 5 (about 8-10 tacos)


4 lb of lamb shoulder or lamb leg works well too
2 tbsp of lard

 4 tsp ancho chile powder
 4 tsp New Mexico powder
 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
 ½ fennel roughly chopped
 2 tsp pepper
 4 garlic cloves (peeled)
 ½ cup olive oil

 1 orange
 1 yellow onion

 1 red cabbage
 1 jalapeno deveined and chopped
 Juice of 1 lime
 2 tbsp of vinegar (white or apple)
 8 tbsp of canola oil
 1 tbsp honey
 Salt to taste

 1 lb tomatillo
 1 jalapeno
 1 tsp honey
 Salt to taste

 1 tbsp olive oil
 1 tbsp honey
 ½ white onion
 4 mangos, peeled and cubed
 2 habaneros – stemmed but keep all the seeds
 2/3 white vinegar
 4 garlic cloves (peeled)

 3 radishes sliced thinly
 Cilantro leaves

Yoli White Corn Tortillas



Put all the rub ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add more olive oil if needed. Rub all over the lamb, cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for 2 days.

Heat up the oven to 350. Set the lamb in a dutch oven or heavy bottom pan. Put in orange, onion and fill with water covering half the lamb. Place on the cooktop and bring to a boil. Immediately turn off and cover. Place in the oven and cook for 2.5 hours. Flip halfway through. Do not cook so much that it falls apart, it should be fully cooked but not coming a part. Let it fully cool down.

Once fully cooled down, remove the lamb and take off any fat or ligaments. Chop into bite size pieces. Strain the cooking liquid and set on the side.

Heat up the lard and add the lamb…leave in a single layer to create a bit of a crust (about 4 minutes) then add the braising liquid. Simmer until the liquid is completely absorbed.

Slaw the cabbage and combine with the finely chopped jalapeno – set aside

Combine the vinegar, lime, canola and honey until completely smooth. Salt to taste. Combine the vinaigrette with the cabbage/ jalapeno. Set aside.

In a baking pan, place the tomatillos (husked and cleaned) and the jalapeno. Place under the broiler until charred. Take out the oven and transfer to a blender. Add honey and blend until smooth. Salt to taste.

In a sauce pan, heat up olive oil and saute onion until translucent. Add the mangos, garlic, habaneros, honey and vinegar. Simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Let it cool down.

Heat up your tortillas on high heat—15 seconds.

Set tortilla, add 2 tbsp of carnitas, 2 heaping tsp of coleslaw, drizzle habanero and green salsa. Garnish with cilantro and radish slices. Serve with a lime on the side… enjoy!