Steam-Baked Lamb Mixiote

Paola Briseño González
Paola Briseño González
June 16, 2023
Mixiotes are delicious packets of tender meat wrapped in a parchment-paper-like thin layer originally sourced from stalks from the agave plant. Mixiotes are from Central Mexico, and they are traditionally steamed on the stovetop or cooked in a barbecue pit. These mixiotes are made with boneless leg of lamb, marinated in a bright adobo made with full-flavored dried chiles, warm spices, and aromatics. The meat is then tightly wrapped in parchment paper that serves as a fine substitute from the original version of the dish to envelop the meat and encourage steaming. The steam in the Anova Precision Oven helps to cook the meat perfectly. After the meat is cooked, it can be shredded into the brothy adobo to make tacos, or eaten with a side of rice and a stack of warm corn tortillas, limes, and radishes. Notes: Prep time includes 8 hours marinating time.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Steam-Baked Lamb Mixiote
5 (1)
3 lb
Boneless leg of lamb, trimmed
Kosher salt
(1 ounce) guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
Ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
Morita chiles, stemmed and seeded
Whole allspice berries
Whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
Whole cloves
2-inch cinnamon stick
1.75 cups
Chicken broth
½ cup
Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp
Dried oregano
½ tsp
Dried thyme
Small yellow onion, roughly chopped
Dried avocado leaves (or substitute 6 dried bay leaves and 2 sprigs of mint)
Lime and radish slices, rice, and warm tortillas, for serving

1. Season the Lamb

Butterfly the lamb by slicing it in half lengthwise, without slicing all the way through the meat. Season the lamb with 2 teaspoons of salt on all sides and transfer it to a nonreactive bowl or large resealable plastic bag. Set aside at room temperature while you prepare the adobo.
Season the Lamb

2. Toast the Chile and Spices

Set a dry cast iron skillet or comal over medium-low heat. Add the guajillos, allspice, garlic, anchos, moritas, cloves, and cinnamon; toast, turning often, until the chiles are dark in spots and the spices are fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel the garlic.
Toast the Chile and Spices

3. Rehydrate Chiles

Add the toasted chiles to a small saucepan with enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, pressing on the chiles to submerge them. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and let stand until the chiles are fully softened and pulpy, 10 minutes.
Rehydrate Chiles

4. Make the Adobo

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chiles to a blender, and discard the soaking water. Add the reserved toasted spices, peeled garlic, broth, vinegar, oregano, thyme, onion, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Puree until completely smooth. Reserve ½ cup adobo in a container and refrigerate. Pour the rest of the adobo all over the lamb until completely coated. Cover the bowl or seal the bag and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
Make the Adobo

5. Preheat the Oven

Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 100%
Temp: 350°F
Heat: Rear

6. Prepare the Lamb for the Oven

When ready to cook the lamb, layer two rectangles of parchment paper horizontally on a shallow baking dish that just fits the lamb. Transfer the lamb along with the marinade so that the meat is fully submerged in the liquid (you may need to use a smaller baking dish that allows the meat to be fully submerged in the marinade). Top the meat with avocado leaves (or bay leaves and mint sprigs, if using). Fold each of the corners of the parchment paper towards the center. Add the remaining parchment rectangle on top and tightly tuck it around the meat and inside the edges of the baking dish. Trim excess parchment paper from the overhang.
Prepare the Lamb for the Oven

7. Braise and Steam the Lamb

Add the baking dish to the oven. Cook until the meat is fork-tender, about 3 ½ hours (or longer depending on the size of the meat). Halfway through the cooking, remove the top layer of parchment and use tongs to gently turn the lamb. Replace the parchment and continue cooking.
Braise and Steam the Lamb
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 100%
Temp: 350°F
Heat: Rear
03:30 Timer

8. Rest, Shred, Garnish, and Serve

Remove the reserved adobo from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt as needed. When the meat has finished cooking, remove it from the braising liquid and let rest for 10 minutes before shredding it into bite-size pieces. Serve the lamb mixiote with the parchment paper directly from the baking dish, or transfer it into a serving dish. Discard the avocado leaves (or bay leaves and mint, if using). Pour the braising liquid all over the meat and top with the reserved adobo. Garnish with radishes and serve with limes, rice, and tortillas.
Rest, Shred, Garnish, and Serve
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