Lamb Barbacoa Tacos - regional guide to tacos

Lamb Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa is a dish that is loved all over Mexico. Traditionally it’s made with lamb or beef that is cooked in a hole in the ground, lined with rocks and filled with wood to make a fire. Once the fire is ready, the meat is placed on top (inside a pot, with chillies, garlic, onion and covered with maguey leaves for extra flavour). The hole is then covered with soil and the meat is cooked for hours until it’s very tender.

It’s traditional to prepare this dish for special occasions as a whole lamb can be cooked using this method, and therefore can feed a large crowd.

Our lamb barbacoa recipe is a modern version that can be fully prepared and roasted in the oven. 

Make sure to wrap tight your oven dish to retain the moisture and end up with tender and juicy meat. It’s also very important to coat the lamb with our Chipotle Honey glaze at the last minute – it will turn the outside of your lamb into a rich and glorious brown meat.

We like to serve this lamb barbacoa on a large platter in the middle of the table so everyone can make their tacos just as they would like. A big bowl of Mexican Chipotle Rice and some Frijoles make for the perfect accompaniments.

  • Prep time

    20 mins

  • Cook time

    4 hrs 30 mins

  • Total time

    4 hrs 50 mins

  • Ideal for


  • Make it


  • Serves


How to make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, 320°F. Begin by preparing the chilli mixture for your lamb. In a food processor add the pomegranate molasses, garlic cloves, Chipotle Honey, olive oil, Chipotle Paste, lemon thyme, black peppercorns and a pinch of salt. Whizz up everything into a lovely mixture.
  2. Slice your red onions and shallots and place them in the bottom of a large baking dish, big enough to fit your meat.
  3. Prepare your leg of lamb and pat the surface dry with kitchen paper. Season your lamb all over with a good amount of sea salt and black pepper. Place it in the baking dish with the onions and cover with the chipotle chilli mixture, making sure it’s coated evenly.
  4. Pour in the stout at the bottom of the baking dish and cover tightly with a few layers of tin foil. Place it in the middle of your oven for 2 hours.
  5. After 2 hours remove the baking dish from the oven and baste your meat with the liquid at the bottom. Cover it tightly again and bake in the oven for another 2 hours.
  6. Once cooked remove the foil and the meat should be tender and juicy.
  7. Place the rest of the Chipotle Honey in the microwave for a few seconds to make it runny, then with a pastry brush coat the surface of the lamb leg. The lamb is finished off in the oven at 200°C for another 30 minutes and then you can glaze the surface of your meat beautifully.
  8. In the meantime finely chop red onion, mint and coriander and place it into a bowl and reserve.
  9. Serve your piece of meat in a nice platter in the middle of the table and with some of the onions and meat juices. You can reduce some of the baking dish juices in a small pan to serve alongside your meat.
  10. Cut slices of lamb and serve with juices and warm Soft Taco Wraps Wraps, add a bit of the red onion and herb mix, a squeeze of lime juice and enjoy.

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