Braised Goat Huarache, Rajas, Queso Cotija, and Tomatillo de Arbol Sauce

Adapted by
June 2012
Yield: 6 servings


Birria Marinade
1½ ounces Guajillo chili, de-stemmed and seeded
16 ounces water
4 ounces whole garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1½ ounces ground cumin
1 ounce chipotle powder
½ ounce ancho chili powder
16 ounces red wine vinegar
4 ounces salt
1 ounce black peppercorns
5 pounds goat shoulder
Black Beans
1 pound dried black beans
4 ounces yellow onions, diced
2 ounces garlic, chopped
½ ounces epazote leaves
2 teaspoons cumin, toasted and ground
½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 ounces canned chipotle peppers in adobo
1¼ cups canned diced tomatoes
Braised Goat
2 pounds banana leaves
Refried Black Beans
2 cups black beans
Huarache Dough
12 ounces maseca
15 ounces water
0.3 ounces salt
1 ounce olive oil
1 ounce canned chipotle peppers in adobo, puréed until smooth
1 ounce cotija cheese, grated
Tomatillo de Arbol Sauce
10 ounces tomatillos
8 ounces Roma tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon ground toasted cumin
¼ teaspoon ground toasted Mexican oregano
1 ounce dried chile de arbol peppers, de-stemmed, seeded, and toasted
2 ounces lime juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 ounce cilantro
1 poblano pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
To Assemble and Serve
cotija cheese
micro cilantro


For the Birria Marinade:
In a saucepot, combine the guajillo chiles and water and bring to a boil. Add the garlic, oregano, coriander, cumin, chipotle, ancho chile, red wine vinegar, salt, and black peppercorns. Transfer to blender and purée until smooth. Coat goat shoulder in half the marinade and let sit for 24 hours. Reserve additional marinade.

For the Black Beans:
Soak the beans in water (enough to cover by double) overnight. The next day, drain the remaining water off and rinse beans.

Put the onion, garlic, epazote, cumin, oregano, chipotle, and tomatoes in a blender and purée until smooth. Put the beans in a large pot, cover with water, and add ½ gallon extra water. Add the puréed mixture. Simmer for 3 hours or until soft, adding water as needed during cooking. Season with salt during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

For the Braised Goat:
Preheat oven to 250°F. Wrap the marinated goat meat in the banana leaves and place in a roasting pan. Pour the reserved marinade over the top, cover with water, and cover with foil. Cook in oven for 8 hours. Remove from the oven, cool, and shred meat.

For the Refried Black Beans:
Purée 2 cups of black beans in food processor until smooth. In medium sauté pan over medium heat, warm the fat and add bean purée, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until hot.

For the Huarache Dough:
Mix the maseca, water, salt, olive oil, chilies, and queso together until thoroughly incorporated. Form into 1½-ounce dough balls. Roll out into an oval shape between two sheets of greased parchment paper. Lay huaraches out on fresh parchment paper.

Heat a sauté pan over low to medium heat, lightly oil, and cook huaraches for 1 minute on each side. Remove and cool.

For the Tomatillo de Arbol Sauce:
Char the tomatillos in a dry skillet until blackened on the outside. Peel away papery covering. Char the tomatoes under a broiler or open flame or with a kitchen torch. Place the tomatillos, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano, chilies, lime juice, brown sugar, and cilantro in a blender and purée until smooth. Season with salt.

For the Rajas:
Roast the poblano, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper over direct flame under a broiler or with kitchen torch until charred. After charring, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the bowl, peel off skins, and rinse seeds out under running water. Julienne into slivers.

To Assemble and Serve:
Evenly spread 1 ounce Refried Black Beans between 2 Huaraches. Heat a lightly oiled sauté pan over medium heat and cook huaraches for 2 minutes on each side. Place a huarache in center of the plate. Top with 4 ounces Braised Goat meat, 1 ounce Tomatillo de Arbol Sauce, 1 ounce Rajas, and ½ ounce grated queso cotija. Garnish with micro cilantro.