Huaraches con carne cordero
Giant corn tortillas topped with salsa, grilled meat, cactus and cheese. This is my version of Mexican huarache con carne cordero.
Salsa rioja
Mexican salsa verde
Huaraches dough
Salsa rioja
  1. Heat a griddle pan over high flame and lightly blacken the fresh chilli and tomatoes on all sides.
  1. Meanwhile, put the dried chillies (stems removed, and seeds removed if you don’t like it too hot), onion and garlic into a small saucepan. Top with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 minute then drain.
  2. Put the charred chilli, tomatoes and boiled chillies, onion and garlic into a food processor or blender. Toss in the oregano, salt and pepper and blitz until puréed. Refrigerate until needed.
Mexican salsa verde
  1. Put the onion, garlic and green chilli into a small saucepan. Top with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 minute then drain well.
  2. If using fresh tomatillos, put them into the same pot as the onion, garlic and chilli, to soften.
  3. Toss the boiled and drained onion, garlic and chilli into a food processor or blender, along with the tomatillos, coriander and salt. Blitz until nicely puréed. Refrigerate until needed.
  1. Put the masa harina and salt into a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the achiote in the warm water, then pour the water into the masa. Mix it with your hand until a soft dough forms, then knead it for a minute or two. Cover and set aside until needed. No need to refrigerate.
To cook & assemble
  1. Heat a large pan over medium-high flame. Drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of oil and sauté the onion for about 1 minute, tossing frequently. Take the onion out and set it aside.
  2. Add a little more oil to the pan and gently sear the cactus strips on both sides. Be careful as they can spit when you first put them into the pan. Remove and set aside, as well.
  3. Season the lamb on both sides with salt and pepper, rub some oil over it and then sear it in the hot pan. Cook to your liking, but for a nice juicy bit of meat, only sear for about 2 minutes on either side – but it does depend on the thickness of the cut. Turn off the heat, take the lamb out of the pan and let it rest.
  4. Divide the masa dough in two (or 4 if you wish) and shape each into an oval. Either use your hands or a rolling pin, flatten each oval to 5 or 6 millimetres. If you’re making two huaraches bear in mind you’ll need a very large pan or hotplate to cook them.
  5. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, swirl around about 2 tablespoons of oil then lay one or two (depends on the size of your pan) huarache in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes to burnish the bottom nicely.
  6. Flip over the huaraches and immediately top with either the salsa rioja or salsa verde – or both – then scatter with the cheese.
  7. For the more elaborate lamb version, top the cheese with the cooked onion, cactus and sliced lamb.
  8. Garnish with the chopped charred green chilli, avocado and coriander leaves.