Meet at the market: feeding your Fiesta familia

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Each week we meet up with Katie Hershfelt of Cultivate Events as she chats with farmers, chefs and shoppers at the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ Market.

This week, in the spirit of Fiesta and outdoor meat-eating, she stopped by Jimenez Family Farm to speak with Joe Jock about his favorite Fiesta recipe and ways to use lamb fat in your next pie.


a spicy stew from the Mexican state of Jalisco

Lamb Leg from Jimenez Family Farm
Lamb Leg from Jimenez Family Farm
  • 3-4 lbs meat (with or without bones)
  • 4 California chiles
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-6 tomatoes (for broth)

Make chile paste

Cook chiles. Remove the seeds and veins, process in blender with the remaining ingredients to make a paste. Use some of the water from the chiles to thin the mixture to a spreadable consistency.

Rub the meat

Salt and pepper the meat first, then rub the meat well with the chili mixture. Best if marinated overnight.


Place meat in a roasting pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook 2 hours at 400 degrees then 2 hours at 350 degrees until meat shreds easily. Add water if needed to keep meat from drying out.

Make broth

Boil tomatoes until soft. Place in blender and puree. Return the pureed tomatoes to the pot and add salt to taste. Use broth released from the meat at about a 50:50 ratio with the tomato puree to make the broth.


Shred the meat. Ladle the broth over the meat and top with chopped onion and cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges, warm corn tortillas, beans and rice.

Jimenez Family Farm’s lambs

To check out all our past farmers’ market guests, click here.

Marcie and Gustavo Jimenez. Photo: KCET