Mexican Slow Cooker Recipes

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 Gran Luchito Chipotle Paste and 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


Nutrition: Per serving

kcal 153 fat 7.8g saturates 2.2g carbs 10.7g sugars 3.3g fibre 0.4g protein 9.2g salt 0.32g

How to make it

Preheat the oven to 160°C / 320°F.

  1. In a large baking dish add the onions and garlic, pour in the stock and beer. Rub the olive oil on the leg of lamb and season with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper, then place the lamb on top of the aromatics and cooking liquid. Cover the dish with foil tightly and bake in the oven for 4 hours, half way through the cooking, turn the leg around, recover the baking dish and finish cooking.
  2. In the food processor add the pomegranate molasses, honey, olive oil, Chipotle Paste, coriander, lemon thyme, black peppercorns and salt, Whizz everything into a paste and reserve.
  3. After 4 hrs remove the lamb from the oven and the meat should be fork tender. Then brush the lamb with the honey chipotle mixture, make sure it goes in all the crevices and place back in the oven for 30 minutes at 200˚C, until the outside turns crisp and deliciously brown .
  4. In the meantime in a bowl, mix the onion, coriander and mint, and place it in a bowl to serve alongside the lamb. Warm up Soft Taco Wraps over a hot pan and wrap them in a tea towel to keep them warm and bring them to the table.
  5. When ready, remove the leg of lamb from the oven. Serve your piece of lamb on a nice platter in the middle of the table, 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.
  6. Cut slices of the lamb and serve with the juices and warm Soft Taco Wraps. Add a bit of the red onion and herb mix, a squeeze of lime juice, and enjoy!

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What To Serve With Lamb Barbacoa Tacos

Serve your lamb barbacoa tacos with sides of:

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Comments / Questions / Tips

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5 months ago
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Hi there, can I use a good dry cider instead of the beer or can you recommend another beverage? My son has a serious gluten allergy and all the gluten free beers contain barley, which he is allergic to. I’m making this for Christmas Day. Im so excited!!

Leletu Baba
Leletu Baba(@leletu)
5 months ago
Reply to  Sara

Certainly! Using a good dry cider as a substitute for beer in lamb barbacoa tacos is a fantastic idea, especially considering your son’s gluten allergy. Cider can add a unique flavour profile to the dish, offering a slightly sweet and tangy taste that complements the lamb beautifully. Additionally, some people opt for non-alcoholic substitutes like apple juice or a combination of apple cider vinegar and broth to mimic the flavours typically imparted by beer in recipes.

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