Venison Barbacoa

This is one of the best recipes I know for using the front shoulder of a deer. That meat can be sinewy and tough to deal with, so this method will all you to deal with all that connective tissue and make the meat super tender. However, the meat will still be really lean, so you may want to add something to it to thicken it up. Some people add 1/4 cup of lard, but olive oil or vegetable oil would work. Of course, fatty meats like pork or lamb don't need this step. Be sure to have lots of side dishes for the barbacoa! It’s a base for a meal, the do-it-yourself construction of your tacos is more than half the fun! One more thing: This recipe reheats beautifully, so make a big batch!! Serves 4 to 6. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 3 hours, more or less - 2 to 3 pounds venison, from the shoulder or legs - 2 to 4 canned chipotles in adobo - 1 red onion, chopped - 5 garlic cloves, chopped - 2 bay leaves - 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional) - 1 teaspoon ground cumin - 1 teaspoon ground cloves - 1 tablespoon kosher salt - ½ cup lime juice - ½ cup cider vinegar - 1 quart beef or venison stock - 1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil - Smoked salt (optional) - Cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocados and hot sauce for garnish __________ Put everything in a slow cooker or Dutch oven and cook, covered, until the meat falls off the bone, which will be between 2 hours (for many domestic meats and young deer) and 6 hours if you have a very old animal. If you use a slow cooker, set it to “high.” If you use a regular pot, put it into the oven set to 300°F. Pull all the meat from the bones and shred with forks or your fingers. Stir in the lard and as much smoked salt as you want. You want the lard or oil to coat the shreds of meat. Pour over some of the juices from the pot and put the meat in a pan for the table. Serve with tacos, in a burrito or on a bun.

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