Photo by Kieran Wagner

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4 Squash Servings

  • 10 ounces boneless leg of lamb,Dry rub (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Water
  • Dry Rub
  • 2 tablespoons ground dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 tablespoons ground coffee
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Tamale Dough
  • ½ cup whole-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup masa flour
  • ½ cup lamb braising liquid (from recipe above)
  • Salt to taste
  • Huitlacoche Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup huitlacoche (available online)
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup whole-fat yogurt
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Salt to taste

Lamb and Dry Rub

  1. Mix all rub ingredients together, coat the leg of lamb evenly with rub, and marinate, covered in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
  2. After 12 hours, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Add canola oil to a heavy-bottomed pan and heat over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb on all sides, making sure to get an evenly caramelized crust.
  4. Drain excess oil from the pan and add water to almost cover the lamb but not completely. Cover the pan, place it in the oven, and cook for 3½ hours. The lamb is done when it easily pulls apart.
  5. Once done, remove lamb from oven and let it cool. Once cool, pull all the meat, cover, and reserve. Also reserve braising liquid.

For Tamale Dough

  1. Place yogurt in a bowl.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the masa flour a little at a time, alternating with the braising liquid and making sure to reserve a little of the braising liquid until you see how much the masa will absorb. Add salt to taste. The tamale dough should be neither runny nor dry and should spread easily.

Huitlachoce Sauce

  1.  Add canola oil to a heavy-bottomed pot and heat on the stove to medium-low heat.
  2.  Add onions and cook until translucent, then add garlic and cook for a minute more. Add huitlacoche and cook, stirring occasionally until the ingredients become dry and want to stick to the pan (30−40 minutes). Do not let it burn.
  3. Remove from heat and let rest to room temperature, then purée in a blender, adding vegetable stock a little at a time until smooth and the viscosity of heavy cream.
  4. Once smooth, pour the sauce into a bowl, fold in the yogurt, and season with lime juice and salt.

To Assemble

  1. Bring a pot of water with a steamer on top to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, with a gentle hand, carefully splay the petals of the squash blossoms open, keeping the petals intact with the stem. Finally, remove the stamen to create a flat surface.
  3. Take 1 heaping tablespoon of tamale dough and spread evenly across the inside of the petals, all the way to the edge. Add a generous pinch of pulled lamb to the center of the tamale dough.
  4. Fold splayed edges of the petals back together and, cupping the blossom in your hand, gently squeeze to reform the blossom back to its original shape.
  5. Place the squash blossom tamales in the steamer and steam for 8 minutes.
  6. Spoon a little huitlacoche sauce on a plate, place the squash blossom tamale on top of the sauce, and serve immediately.


  • from Chefs Caleb Shruver and Phillip Perrow of Dutch & Company, Richmond, Virginia

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