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Lamb Barbacoa with Avocado Tacos


For those who say they don't like the taste of lamb, they haven't tried this recipe yet. Slow-cooked shredded lamb with Chile Colorado sauce and avocados.

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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (10 Votes)


  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered
  • 3 tomatillos, husked and washed
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 New Mexico chiles, stemmed
  • 4 ancho chiles, stemmed
  • 1 1/2 cups water, divided
  • Salt to taste
  • LAMB:
  • 2 1/2 pounds lamb leg, de-boned
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 16 to 24 corn tortillas
  • Sliced jicama
  • Avocados from Mexico, cubed
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Lime wedges


Servings 16
Adapted from


Step 1


Preheat the broiler.

Char onions, tomatillos, tomatoes, and garlic on a baking sheet for about 7 minutes. Remove, set aside, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the chile peppers, turning them over, for about 1 minute. Transfer them to a saucepan with enough water to cover chiles and boil for about 15 minutes until they are soft. Drain the chiles and discard water.

Combine the vegetables and chiles in a blender with 3/4 cup of water per blender (you’ll have to work in two batches) and purée until the mixture is smooth. Season with salt.

Leftover sauce can be stored in refrigerator for up to a week.


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line a roasting pan with foil.

Rub agave nectar on the meat and generously season the lamb with salt. Pour the 2 cups Chile Colorado Sauce over the meat and rub it on all sides. Put the meat (fat side up) in the roasting pan. Roasting the meat fat side up allows the fat to drip down over the roast as it melts, thereby keeping the exterior nice and moist.

Seal the pan with two layers of foil creating a tight seal, and cook in the oven for 3 hours until meat is very tender.

Take the pan from the oven and let the meat rest for about 30 minutes.

When it’s cool enough to handle, coarsely shred the meat with your fingers or forks, discarding any fat.

Set out all the toppings in separate bowls and serve with the shredded meat. Warm up leftover sauce for a salsa topping and let everyone prepare their own tacos.

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