Ever since I had the lamb tacos at The Gingerman, I’ve wanted to try to make something similar at home. I love the way that the flavors play off each other – the sweetness of the mango and the creaminess of the avocado balance out the intense saltiness of the shell. The lamb also pairs well with both flavors. For something that seems so complicated, the recipe actually very straightforward and doesn’t take require a lot of active cooking time. Since braising the lamb will tenderize it, you can get away with using a tough cut which also keeps this dish affordable.
The shells are the most difficult part of this dish but, once you get the hang of it, it’s not difficult. You know how sometimes when you make grilled cheese, some of the cheese melts out out crisps up in the pan? That’s the basic idea with these shells. Try to not worry about them burning in the pan – if you try to move them before they’re done they mush up and stick to themselves. They’re ready when the top darkens and crisps. If you want, you can take them off the heat a few seconds before this point for a thin cheesey layer on the top – just make sure the outside edges have fully crisped. They should look liek this when you take them out of the pan:
Braised Lamb Tostadas on Manchego Cheese Shells
- 1 lb lamb chops
- salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 cup light red wine, such as pino noir
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 oz manchego cheese, grated
- mango preserves*
- diced avocado
Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the lamb and sear on both sides. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add wine and stock. Cover and reduce heat – let simmer for about an hour or until lamb is cooked and tender.
Heat a frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Sprinly about 1/4 cup cheese in a very thin layer in the heated pan – try to keep the cheese in a rounded shape. Cook 2-3 minutes until the cheese darkens and crisps up, leaving a thin layer of uncrisped cheese if desired. Carefully remove from the pan by picking it up with two forks. Let cool on paper towels. Repeat with remaining cheese.
Cut lamb into small cubes. Spoon on top of cheese shells. Top with mango preserves and avocado.
Makes about 6 tostdas.
*if you can’t find mango preserves, heat a diced mango in a saucepan until it softens, then mash like you would with applesauce.