The inspiration for this dinner is from my favorite taco stand. They serve a Tacos al Pastore that are quite tasty. You don't see these tacos any other place in town. They start with small corn tortillas topped with a marinated and grilled pork and pineapple-they are exceptional. I started researching this unusual taco. From what I understand it was an adaptation from Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Today it seems to be made more often with pork than lamb, but I read that it started with lamb. I wonder why they didn't use goat because the flavor of goat and lamb are so similar.
In Mexico, the meat is vertically spit roasted with a pineapple at the top, so that the pineapple juices flow down, basting the meat. I have a small horizontal spit, so I had to brush pineapple juice over the roast as it turned. I roasted it for about 1 1/2 hours and let the leg rest for 20 minutes before slicing it, it was perfectly roasted to medium rare with lovely rosy, juicy slices of lamb.
I had every intention of making small corn tortillas for this, but as I said in my other post I had been doing yard work all day and there was no Maiz in the pantry to make them with, so I used a nasty store bought corn tortilla-it was still delicious. Add some rice and a fresh salsa made with pineapple, avocado, red onion, and jalapeno to turn a taco into a sit-down supper for Sunday night.
1 leg of lamb-I used a half leg, about 4 1/2 pounds
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeno, minced
Combine all the ingredients in a zip lock bag large enough to hold the lamb, add the lamb, and coat all sides, let the lamb marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
An hour before roasting, remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, drain off the marinade and place the leg on the spit, roast until medium rare-about 125 degrees, as your roast rests before slicing, it will continue to cook until the temperature reaches about 130 degrees-perfect for me. Baste the lamb with additional pineapple juice as it roasts.
Serve with a fresh pineapple and avocado salsa and some rice cooked with vegetables and a roasted poblano chili.