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montefin's Mexican Barbacoa Bandera Recipe

In English, Barbacoa means barbecue. Bandera is the Mexican word for flag. In cooking, Bandera denotes the use of the three colors of the Mexican flag: red, white, and green, which makes this a perfect main dish to serve on Cinco de Mayo, Dia de la Independencia, and Dia de la Bandera -- but it is also a wonderful dish to serve any time of the year.

Mexican Barbacoa adera ( Mexican Barbeque )
Serves 2.
  • 1 - 3 Lb. Pork Arm or Shoulder Roast
  • 2 Quarts - Cold Water
  • 5 - Chiles Ancho
  • 5 Cloves - Ajo (Garlic), chopped thick
  • 1 Large - Cebolla (Onion), quartered
  • 1 Stick - Canela (Cinnamon)
  • 1 Pod - Tamarindo (Tamarind)
  • 2 Large, Fresh - Laurel (Bay) Leaves
  • ! Tsp - Comino (Cumin) seeds, crushed in a molcajete (a mortar and pestle usually made of volcanic rock)
  • 3 Tbls. - Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Sour Cream
  • 1 - Long, red Chile Arbol

Feel free to , so you can easily return whenever you want to make this.

Pre-heat oven to 450° F.

This is a long, slow cooking dish, so start the day before you want to serve it. Hey, at least I'm not asking you to dig a 4' deep pit in the yard, line it with adobe mud, cover it with maguey leaves and cook it underground overnight the way they do barbacoa in Oaxaca!

Score the skin of the Pork Roast with a very sharp knife (I use an X-acto® Knife) then set it in the very hot oven for 1/2 hour to crisp the rind. Turn the oven down to 325° F. and roast for one hour more or until a meat thermometer registers at least 170° F.

Have a large pot with a domed lid ready with a layer of chopped Onion on the bottom. Remove roast from oven and place in the pot on top of the onion, then add the Cold Water, Chiles Ancho, Bay Leaves and Garlic. Don't worry about covering the roast. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Let simmer overnight and through most of the next day, turning the meat a few times. In the morning, give the Tamarind Pod a few good smacks and pick off the shell, the stem and the thick fibers that run down its length. Remove the seeds and add the gummy pulp to the pot. Add the Canela (Cinnamon) Stick and the crushed Cumin Seeds and simmer one hour more.

Then, fish out the bones, chiles anchos, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Butter the insides of a large, shallow, earthenware casserole. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and other solids from the pot into the casserole. Pour in the juices from the pot and place in a 325° F. oven, uncovered, for about an hour to let the juices bake down and thicken.

Just before bringing to the table, stir in most of the chopped Cilantro. Quickly top with dollops of Sour Cream the long, red Chile Arbol and a sprinkle of the remaining cilantro for the colors of the Mexican flag.

As you approach the table with the still burbling casserole, drop Spanish words like Ajo, Cebolla, Comino, Tamarindo and Molcajete, but if this dish doesn't impress your dinner partner, trust me, nothing will..

Less than 8 Carbohydrate grams per serving.

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