Your Life A to Z Recipe: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015: Lamb Adobo and Elote by Chef Jeff Smedstad

Posted: Updated:

Lamb Adobo

A primal experience is how eat a shank feels. That may go a ways in understanding how this dish has been my most popular for years now. This dish has also had the most impact on how I cook.Years ago while going from market to market in central Mexico I was talking to the ladies in the fondas and I had been making an Adobo for some time now, as I was talking to one Dona and asking about what made her adobo so special she asked how I would make one, after sharing the basics of my recipe she told me I was overcomplicating the sauce and the only way to make something better would be to make it a simpler way. I guess you could call it a lightbulb moment, that afternoon I learned more about my cooking than I had learned in my life and from that day on I have tried to make food that was simple yet elegant using the best ingredients and giving them a chance to shine.

Adobo sauce

12 garlic cloves

4 cups orange juice

6 ancho chiles clean and stems removed

1 3 inch stick of canela [mexican cinnamon]

2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp cumin

2 tbsp mexican oregano

2 bay leaves

1/8 tsp ground clove

2 tbsp cider vinegar

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp salt

4 Lamb Hindshanks



in a dry sauce pan large enough to accommodate all the ingredients  over medium high heat lightly toast the garlic until lightly browned all over then add remaining ingredients and simmer until the chiles are softened. Cool slightly and puree until very smooth. Now in another large pan with a little oil in it heat to medium high and add 4 lamb shanks that have been salted and peppered on all sides and brown all over, be patient as this is the most important part of making this dish. When they are well browned and smelling irresistable add the adobo cover and bake at 325 for about 4 hours or until fork tender. You can refrigerate them and slowly reheat the next day for supper or  serve immediatley,    just clean off some of the grease with a spoon first.   



What could bring to life the flavor of Mexico more than corn roasting and caramelizing over a grill. For that matter these flavors would be at home in any backyard where there is barbeque going on. Typically in Mexico this would be made with starchier corn but I prefer the flavor of sweet corn, Silver Queen is my favorite and this dish always tastes better in the summer.


6 ears of corn with the husk intact

1 cup of mayo 

1 tablespoon cholula hot sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon each of salt pepper and sugar

1/4  cup of chicken stock

1/4 cup cotija cheese ground

2 tbsp chopped cilantro 

pure  ground chile to taste 



Over a medium hot grill roast the corn until the husks are well charred about 5 minutes turning them occasionally so as not to completely burn the kernels underneath. Set them aside to cool enough to handle then shuck them and cut the corn off the cob.  when ready to eat mix the mayo, hot sauce, lime juice and chicken stock and warm in a saute pan with the corn pour into a bowl and garnish with the cheese, cilantro and chile powder. Serve immediately.