Lamb Barbacoa

Delicious melt-in-your-mouth lamb – perfect for tacos, burritos, tostadas or anything else you might fancy! The lamb shoulder is cooked low and slow in a rich, flavourful marinade combining fresh orange and lime, chipotle and an assortment of spices.

Everyone will love this dish! It’s great for a feast between friends and family – it’s easy to make and everyone can get stuck in and customise their tacos to their liking.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Meat


Braising marinade:
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chipotle chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
For the lamb:
  • 900 g boneless lamb shoulder joint
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 150 ml water
  • 2 dried bay leaves


  1. Heat your oven to 150℃ /130℃ fan. Whizz the braising marinade ingredients to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. Drizzle the lamb shoulder with olive oil and spread to cover. Season generously with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper on both sides.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb shoulder until browned on both sides. Transfer the lamb shoulder to a roasting tin.
  4. Return the frying pan to the stove over medium-low heat and add a splash of olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Add the braising marinade. Rinse the blender out with the water and add it to the pan, along with the dried bay leaves. Bring everything to a simmer then remove the pan from the heat.
  6. Pour the marinade over the lamb, ensuring it’s coated on all sides.
  7. Tightly cover the roasting tin with 2 layers of foil. Bake the lamb for 5 to 6 hours, or until fall-apart tender.
  8. Remove the lamb from the sauce and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, if necessary, return the tray to the oven uncovered to reduce the sauce until thickened.
  9. Shred the lamb with 2 forks, then return to the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, to your liking.
  10. Serve with taco shells and your favourite toppings – enjoy!


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