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Monday, July 24, 2017

Lamb Picadillo Tacos

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

JUL 10, 2013

The recipe for the boldly flavored meat filling in these tacos, with a couple of minor adjustments, comes from Pati Jinich's cookbook, "Pati's Mexican Table."

Ranchero sauce has the consistency of an enchilada sauce and the seasoning of a spicy salsa. You can substitute a pureed version of your favorite salsa or just omit this ingredient from the recipe.

Make Ahead: The meat filling can be refrigerated up to 2 days in advance; reheat before serving.



3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pound ground lamb
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with their juices
2 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth (may substitute water)
1 tablespoon ranchero sauce (see headnote; optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch ground cumin
1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted (see NOTE)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup manzanilla olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
Twelve 6-inch flour tortillas, preferably freshly made
Flesh of 2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced, for garnish
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded, for garnish
1 cup crumbled queso fresco or other crumbled white cheese, for garnish


Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and stir to coat. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until softened, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the lamb and salt; cook until the meat has lost its raw look and is lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices; once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes so the mixture thickens.

Stir in the broth, the ranchero sauce or salsa, if using, the cinnamon, cloves and cumin; cook for 15 minutes, stirring a few times, then add the almonds, raisins and olives, stirring to incorporate. Cook for 5 minutes; the lamb picadillo should be thick and not runny. Remove from the heat.

Heat the tortillas by stacking them between pieces of paper towel and microwaving on LOW for 5-second increments until they are quite warm. Divide the picadillo among the tortillas. Fold over and top with avocado slices, lettuce and cheese. Serve warm.

NOTE: Toast the almonds in a heavy, dry skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are lightly browned and begin to smell toasty. Watch carefully; nuts can burn quickly. Transfer to a dish to cool.


Adapted by Washington Post Express features editor Jennifer Barger.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 550
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 33g 51%
Saturated Fat: 10g 50%
Cholesterol: 65mg 22%
Sodium: 780mg 32%
Total Carbohydrates: 43g 14%
Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%
Sugar: 10g
Protein: 21g

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