Barbacoa in Asunción Nochixtlán June 2013

Barbacoa is prepared in different ways in different parts of Mexico. On this occasion in the community of Asunción Nochixtlán located in Mixteca region of Oaxaca, the lamb meat comes from the family farm and is prepared without chiles or spices. The meat’s natural flavors and the smokey taste are the result of the cooking process. To understand how the meat is cooked and how it is served, be sure to read the captions that accompany each photo.

The fire heats up the oven 24 hours prior to the meats arrival.

The oven and the contents cooking are covered with dirt to hold in the heat.

The dirt is removed to uncover and serve the barbacoa (lamb meat).

All of the dirt is carefully cleaned up.

The dirt is taken to the next room on the mat that separates the dirt from the maguey leaves, and will be stored and used the following weekend.

Large maguey leaves are placed above the oven.

The maguey leaves.

The maguey leaves are stripped away.

The man in-charge takes out a pot of lamb blood sausage, that is consumed with cooked corn dough prior to the barbacoa meat.

Blood sausage boiling.

The maguey leaves are cut and used as plates.

The maguey leaves are thoroughly cleaned and cut to be used as plates.

Ready to be served.

Ready to be served.

Hungry hands wait to be served with maguey leaf plates in eager hands.

The barbacoa is served.


Below the meat, a grill is lifted where corn dough is hot and ready to be served with the lamb blood sausages.

Bones are removed.

Serving the awaiting crowd.

The cooked corn dough being served.

Listo! Coooked corn dough served with lamb blood sausage on a maguey leaf.