At El Hidalguense, the Huatecan restaurant on Long Point Road in Houston, barbacoa de borrego is the special on Sundays. The seasoned lamb is cooked in a built-in pit lined with maguey leaves. The rich broth from the bottom of the pot is the first course, followed by barbecue lamb tacos on freshly made corn tortillas. The restaurant’s owners import a smoked chile from Hidalgo that tastes a little like a chipotle, but not as smoky. They make a table salsa from this chile that is one of my favorite salsas in Houston.
El Hidalguense was the second stop on the “World Barbecue Tour” that Chris Shepherd and I led for the Houston Culinary Tour Series. Our group sampled the lamb barbacoa, cabrito al pastor, cabrito ranchero and chicharon gorditas for lunch with several shots of tequila and some wonderful frijoles. On my way out, I noticed this family seated at a table near the door. Dad was enjoying some lamb barbacoa and broth. But the younger generation demanded their own favorite dish–Tex-Mex yellow cheese nachos.