How To Prepare Birria de Borrego

 

How To Prepare Birria de BorregoPreparing Birria de Borrego  can be considered a labor of love, as it takes more than three hours to prepare, and it is well worth it.

What is the difference between lamb and beef you may ask? Lamb tends to have less marbling than beef, and when you trim the fat around the edges after cooking, the meat ends up much leaner.

You ask what about the fat? Will to start, even though their are no studies that have linked saturated fat to heart disease or raising your cholesterol, you will be happy to know that how you prepare meat influences its healthiness. Grilling, broiling, and roasting, For example, meat that is grilled, broiled, or roasted tends to reduce fat, were as pan-frying will increase it.

Buying Your Lamb At Market

Organic standards help lower the risk of contaminated feed and organic lamb has higher nutrient quality. But to assure you are truly buying an organic raised animal, make sure that packaging say 100% grass-fed. However, remember that the word “organic” by itself does not guarantee a natural lifestyle for the lambs.

As long as a lamb is fed purely grass from a pasture it can have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

Birria de Borrego on a serving platterIn Australia, where lamb is eaten frequently by both children and adults, recent studies have shown lamb to rank among the top omega-3 foods in the daily diet.

Grass-fed lamb has shown to average around 25% more omega-3 than grain fed lamb, including as much as 49% more alpha-linolenic acid.

The World’s Healthiest Foods (WHF) website used their nutritional profile of grass-fed lamb, and found on average that 100% grass fed lamb’s meat to have 40 milligrams of omega-3 per one ounce of roasted lamb loin.

WHF says that’s 50% of omega-3 found in an ounce of baked cod or broiled tuna, and 67% of the amount found in one ounce of sesame seeds.

Our featured recipe is a locally grown 100% grass-fed Birria de Borrego or Roasted Lamb, and here is what you will need.

By the way, if the area were you live doesn’t raise lamb, check out these websites…

www.localharvest.org

www.eatwild.com

They can help you find small local farms in your area, and both sites are searchable by zip code.

Preparing Birria de Borrego

2 pounds lamb roast

Dried Anchos with description6 ancho chilies, dried

3 chilies Negron, dried

1 ½ cups water

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon oregano

2 bay leaves

¼ teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons wine vinegar

2 tablespoons avocado oil

8 tortillas – Link here for homemade recipe

Salsa Verde – optional

Guacamole – optional

Place lamb roast in a large pot with tight lid. Add 1 ½ cups of water, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, vinegar and bay leaves to the pot.

Bring the pot of lamb to a boil. Once the lamb is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and place the lid over the pot. Simmer for two hours until the lamb meat comes off the bone easily with a fork. Remove pot from heat.

Allow to cool some, then remove the lamb from the pot and place on a plate or cutting board. Shred the lamb with a fork and cut with a knife if necessary. Salt to taste and place shredded meat into a large pot.

Cut the stem off the chilies and slit them lengthwise. Remove the seeds and place the chilies in a small saucepan with two cups of water. Bring the chilies to a boil and boil for two minutes or until the chilies are tender. Remove chilies from the water and chop coarsely.

Birria de Borrego - plated

Add the chopped chilies to the lamb and mix thoroughly. Reheat the lamb before serving. Serve on tortillas with salsa or guacamole topped with cilantro. A great meal for your Cino de Mayo celebration this May 5th, 2016.

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How To Use Avocados In Your Culinary Adventures

Avocado salad and tuna. Isolated on a white background.Avocados are a popular fruit, though used like a vegetable, can find its way into almost any dish. It just seems that when adding avocados to a culinary or baked good, the dish has been enriched. Like this one at Tracy’s Culinary Adventures – Fudgy Triple Chocolate Avocado Brownies, Bobby Flay‘s Crunchy Avocado Salad, or how about pairing avocado slices with grapefruit as in Simply RecipesGrapefruit Avocado Salad.

Avocados have a lot of descriptive words to explain its flavor. Such as a creamy, buttery, and smooth fruit, with distinctive colors like bright yellow and green. Their aroma can be described as floral, green, grassy, freshness, and earthy.

The texture of the fruit is a butter rich melt in your mouth taste and feeling.

How To Pit An Avocado

Pitting an avocado is not hard at all. As a matter of fact you can become a pro in no time once you know the technique.

Avocado Trivia

list with pictures of avocado varieties

Image Credit: 17 Park Side

Do all avocado varieties taste the same? What do you think, yes they do, or no they do not? If you decided on, “No they do not,” you are correct.

There are taste variations between the different varieties of avocados available for consumption.

Not only does the variety determine the taste but it is also affected by the season and how ripe the avocado well get.

It is recommended to taste test the avocados that come into season and are fully ripe, so that you can see which ones you prefer to use in your recipes.

The summer and Fall season avocado favorite among many individuals is the Hass, and the spring season avocado favorite is the Fuerte.

Just remember you can get these avocados out of season because of international trading of produce, but they will not taste the same as when having them in season.

Tips To Selecting A Ripe Avocado

The appearance of a ripe avocado will vary based on the avocado you are selecting.

The Hass variety is one of the creamiest, making it suitable for spreads, dips, and any recipe requiring mashed avocado. Other varieties are firmer and better when consumed in whole slices or chunks.

man shopping for produceThe way to tell if the avocado is ripe or not is to hold the avocado in one hand, and place the thumb of the other hand over the small stem, then gently try and see if you can move the stem.

If stem is firmly in place and cannot be easily removed, that is an indication that the avocado is still not ripe.

The fruit should be fairly heavy and free of blemishes.

To ripen an unripe avocado for use, place it on the counter at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. It would be best not to refrigerate it, as refrigeration halts the ripening process, so you should not store unripe avocados in the refrigerator unless they have already been cut open.

Avocados ripen after they are harvested and not on the tree. If you are picking an avocado off a tree, you should pick a large one with even, dark coloring and a firm texture. After picking it, you will need to let the fruit harden on the counter for 2 to 7 days before it will be ripe and be ready to eat.

If you do not plan to eat the avocado immediately, it is in your best interest to buy an avocado that is still unripened. A ripe avocado will usually only last for a few days in the refrigerator.

To speed up the ripening process, place the avocado in a brown bag with an apple or a banana. These two fruits will release a gas called ethylene, a chemical linked to the ripening process.

Here is our featured recipe using an avocado.

Tuna Salad Stuffed Avocado

1 avocado

Avocado salad and tuna. Isolated on a white background.1 lemon, juiced, to taste

1 tablespoon chopped onion, to taste

5 ounces cooked or canned wild tuna

2 sprigs fresh dill, chopped

Himalayan salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Cut the avocado in half and scoop the middle of both avocado halves into a bowl, leaving a shell of avocado flesh about ¼-inch thick on each half. Cut removed flesh into small chunks.

Add lemon juice and onion to the avocado in the bowl and mash together. Add tuna, avocado chunks, dill, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust if needed.

Fill avocado shells with tuna salad and serve.

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Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

close up of Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

This salad has flavors of the tropic’s, as it contains mango, avocado, and coconut sugar. It is a quick and easy recipe to prepare.

mango tree with ripe fruit Did you know that mangoes are eaten fresh more than any other fruit in the world?

The mango has been around for some 4,000 years now, and it is biologically a close relative with other flowering plants like the cashew and pistachio trees.

The mango trees originated in sub-Himalayan plains, and there are over 1,000 different varieties, with the Hayden being the most popular.

Mango_tree_Kerala_in_full_bloom

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Mango trees grow up to 115–131 feet tall, with a crown radius of 33 feet. The trees live a long time, as some specimens still fruit after 300 years. Though not a related tree spices, avocado trees can grow just as tall.

When preparing this recipe, it reminded me of our visited to the south of Mexico were the mango trees grow profusely. We seen young children throwing rocks up into the trees to bring down a mango. Yes, they threw a rock up 115 to 133 feet, and never missed to bring down a ripe fresh mango.

Now for our featured recipe: Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

shredded chicken

Preparation is for two servings.

1 large cooked chicken breast, without bone or skin

3 tablespoons mango puree

3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (Link Here For Homemade Recipe)

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

Shred the cooked chicken breast into a medium bowl and mix with mango puree, mayonnaise, and sugar. Set the mixture aside.

For the Guacamole

1 avocado, seeded and peel removed

1 small tomato, without seeds

2 garlic gloves

2 teaspoons powder coriander

3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion

1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon lemon juice

fresh lemon lime water1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

5 to 6 whole pepper corns

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend together for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.

Unless you have another use for the other half of the citrus half’s, and including the juiced half’s, you can either freeze the juiced rinds and save for zest in another recipe, or slice them up for lemon-lime water.

Plating The Salad

Now that you have your chicken mixture and guacamole prepared, let’s start to plate it.

plate of baby greens

Add a mixed few hand fulls of baby greens, like spinach, chard, beet greens, and arugula.

baby greens and Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

Next, using a 5 inch in diameter ramekin, fill chicken mixer to the top, and invert it over the baby greens.

Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

Next, spread some guacamole carefully over the chicken mixture, and enjoy.

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Creamy Brussels Sprouts Casserole

Creamy Brussels Sprouts Casserole

Brussels sprouts look like mini-cabbages more than anything are packed with vitamins and minerals that support a healthy immune system. Their highly nutritious, and extremely versatile in preparation with a number of different recipes.

With a variety of options for how to add them to your diet, you won’t ever get bored with these perfectly crafted vegetables made by nature for you.

brussels sproutsWhat Are Brussels Sprouts?

These little cabbages are grown for their edible buds and may have gotten their name from Brussels, Belgium, where they are believed to have originated and are highly popular. Ancestors of the modern Brussels sprout were most likely cultivated in ancient Rome, but the sprouts we know and love today were likely grown as early as the 13th century in Belgium (Wikipedia).

Nutrition of Brussels Sprouts

They are a small round leafy vegetable, and are packed with phytonutrients, including protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

brussels sprouts in the gardenThe vitamins include, vitamin C and K , some B-complex vitamins, like B-6, and folate. The minerals include, trace amounts of selenium, copper, zinc and manganese, iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Brussels sprouts are also a great source of vitamin A, which is an antioxidant required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes, skin, and promoting optimal eye health, reducing the risk of macular degeneration.

They can also cause gas and bloating if eaten raw, as they have an enzyme that is difficult to digest. Cooking them breaks this enzyme down and the nutrition of the vegetable becomes more bio-available to the body.

Brussels Spouts and Cancer

Vegetables rich with vitamins A and C have shown to offer protection against some cancers such as oral cavity, and lung cancer. The extent of cancer-protection in Brussels sprouts is still widely researched, but findings hint that this vegetable among others, can help fight cancer causing agents, as well cleansing the body of toxins.

Preparing Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be roasted in the oven, used in stir-fry’s, shredded and used in salads, added to soups, casseroles, pasta dishes, and used as garnish around poultry and fish.

There is really no right or wrong way to prepare them!

Now that we have your taste buds going, let’s present our featured recipe: Creamy Brussels Sprouts Casserole, and here is what you will need.

Creamy Brussels Sprouts Casserole

1 – 8 ounce package, cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sour cream

1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons butter (or coconut butter)

1 ½ pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, ends cut off

Optional to use 2 packages – 10 ounces each of frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed and drained

3/4 cup shredded cheese, your choice, cheddar, Monterey, Mozzarella, goat cheese, or any hard cheese

Heat Oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Set aside.

In a large skillet, sauté mushrooms and onion in butter until tender. Stir in Brussels sprouts. Remove from the heat and stir in cream cheese mixture.

Grease a 2 quart baking dish, and spoon mixture in spreading out evenly.

Cover dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Make 6-8 servings

Enjoy as a stand alone dish, or as a side dish with your favorite meat recipe.

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More Brussels sprouts recipes here at Splendid Recipes and More…

Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon

Warm Brussels sprouts and Dilled Potato Salad

Brown Butter and Brussels Sprout with Fennel

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Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa

Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa

Norma has joined us again here at Splendid Recipes and More (SRandM) to share more with us about the Tastes of Mexico (link here for previous post with Norma: Mexican vs. Tex-Mex: What is the Difference? ).

SRandM: So Norma, welcome again to Splendid Recipes and More.

Norma: Thank you. I am glad to be here again.

SRandM: I am really excited to get started, so tell us what you have for us today from Mexico.

Norma: I will be sharing a recipe on how to make Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa.

First I would like to tell you a little about the avocado, if I can?

SRandM: Sure Norma, I would like to know and I am sure our readers would too.

Norma: The avocado tree is native to Mexico. The avocado is a tree native to Mexico and Central America. The avocados that are sold in the markets are from California, but also from Mexico. The name of the fruit is Persea Americana, and yes the avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable.

Also the avocado oil that is now being sold at the markets in the U.S. is from Mexico as well.

OK, so let’s get with the recipe. Here is what you will need.

2 ripe Haas Avocados or Avocados from Mexico

1 medium ripe fresh tomato, seeded and diced

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

Juice from a fresh Lime

1 tablespoon (+ extra for garnish) fresh cilantro leaves only, and stems removed and finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

So with a sharp knife, slice the avocado from top to bottom, cutting all the way around the fruit.  Place the avocado in the palm of your non-dominant hand and gently starting at the top slice down to the bottom of the fruit and up the other side until it easily separates into two pieces.

SRandM: If you don’t mind Norma here is an image I got from theamazingavocado.com.

Norma: No, please share it. Yes, as the image is illustrating remove the seed with a fork or spoon. Or as I do just whack the seed with the sharp knife your using so the blade sticks into it. Then gently turn the knife until the seed pops out.

How to cut an Avocado

Image Credit: Avocados from Mexico http://www.theamazingavocado.com

diced avocadoNow to dice the avocado, score the flesh while still in its skin but cutting equally sized slices from top to bottom. Then, rotate 90 degrees and do the same thing going side to side. This combination of horizontal and vertical cuts will give you equal sized chunks of diced avocado.

To remove the diced fruit from the skin, take yourself a spoon and gently scrape all on the bottom of the flesh where it meets the skin until all your diced chunks are removed. While you are removing the chunks place them in a medium bowl.

Next we will add the diced tomato, minced garlic, lime juice and fresh cilantro to the bowl and combine with a fork. If you want season with salt, pepper and additional lime juice to your liking.

Now you have Homemade Guacamole to serve with your favorite Mexican entrée or on its own with corn tortilla chips.Homemade Guacamole

SRandM: Wow this looks great Norma, now what about my favorite, Mexican Salsa. Yummy.

Norma: The traditional Mexican Salsa is made with an authentic Mexican Molcajete Mortar and Pestle.

SRandM: The molcajete is made from stone?

Norma: Yes, mostly from Granite. But I am sure most of your readers do not own one, so we will be using a food processor or blender to make our Mexican Salsa.

SRandM: If someone wanted to purchase one, where could they get a stone mortar?

Norma: Will at your local Latina Market or on-line at Ebay or Amazon. OK here is what you will need for the salsa. Oh, first I would like to say the best time to make this recipe is at the height of summer when there are plenty of fresh tomatoes available. If you have your own vegetable garden, that’s even better.

fresh ingredients for Mexican Salsa4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and seeded

2 – 3 cloves garlic, peeled

Juice from 1 fresh lime (about ¼ cup)

1 – 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro stems removed and finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

SRandM: Wow I can already taste it.

Norma: OK hold on we’re not done yet. Now cut the tomatoes into quarters and place them into a blender or food processor.  Next add the garlic cloves and half the lime juice. Pulse until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Dice the remaining tomato into evenly sized small pieces. Stir into the tomato mixture so it creates a chunkier texture. If that is something you don’t like, don’t add the extra tomato. Next stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro and you can adjust this according to your personal preference or taste.

Mexican SalsaAdd the remaining lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

SRandM: What if you want a spicy or hot salsa?

Norma: You can add one to two Serrano chilies without the seeds and stem, along with the tomatoes before pulsing. Now serve with your favorite Mexican entrée or by itself with tortilla chips.

SRandM: Wow this was great Norma. What will you share with us next time?

Norma: How about Chicken Quesadillas to go with the Guacamole and Mexican Salsa?

SRandM: That sounds good, looking forward to it Norma. So to our readers we hope you enjoy the recipes Norma shared with us, Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa. Return tomorrow for her Chicken Quesadillas.

 Link to: Chicken Quesadillas

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