Recipe courtesy of Tortilleria Nixtamal
Show: Unique Eats
Episode: Queens
Barbacoa Tacos
Total:
11 hr 15 min
Active:
45 min
Yield:
About 10 pounds meat, enough for 50 to 70 tacos
Level:
Intermediate
Total:
11 hr 15 min
Active:
45 min
Yield:
About 10 pounds meat, enough for 50 to 70 tacos
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

  • 1 large twig fresh oregano
  • 1 large twig fresh rosemary
  • 1 large twig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 bunch fresh epazote
  • 3 to 5 cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 bone-in leg of lamb (about 10 pounds)
  • 1 to 2 rib racks of lamb, about 8 ribs with shoulder (about 10 pounds)
  • 3 to 5 guajillo chiles
  • 1 large maguey or platano leaf
  • 5 to 6 dried avocado leaves
  • 50 to 70 corn tortillas
  • Fresh chopped cilantro, for serving
  • Chopped onions, for serving
  • Jalapeno strips, for serving
  • Salsa, for serving

Directions

Make the marinade: Finely chop the oregano, rosemary, thyme, epazote and garlic. Mix together with 1 tablespoons salt. Stir in the olive oil until the mixture is spreadable. Cut the ribs in half if they don't lie flat in the pot. Rub the marinade thoroughly into the meat and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator. The lamb needs to marinade overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

When ready to cook, start by softening the guajillo chiles in boiling water. Remove the vein and divide into large pieces. Soften the maguay or platano leaves by placing them over an open flame and roasting until they are tender and pliable. You will likely need to cut the leaf into 4 to 8 pieces depending on the size. The pieces should be long enough to envelope the meat while cooking, yet thin enough to be pliable. 

In a large stainless steel steamer pot with 2 inches of water in the bottom, place about 4 pieces of the maguay on the bottom so that it creates a layer on the bottom while the ends stick up out of the pot. Place a layer of meat, then a layer of guajillo chiles (1 to 1 1/2 per layer depending on size), then a layer of avocado leaves. Place another layer of meat, followed by the chiles, then the avocado leaves. Repeat one last time. Fold the maguay around the meat. Place the remaining maguay leaf pieces on top of the meat and cover with plastic wrap. Over a low heat, bring the water to the steaming point and maintain a constant steam for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. 

To serve, remove the meat from the bones, place in a tortilla and add cilantro and onions, plus a strip of jalapeno and salsa to taste. Any remaining cooking liquid can be put in a bowl or cup and sipped, or used to dip the tortillas in.

Cook's Note

Have your butcher cut the lamb into 4 pieces.

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Don Pepe's Barbacoa

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Channel

Barbacoa Nortena

Recipe courtesy of Johnny Hernandez

Cream Tacos: Tacos de Crema

Recipe courtesy of Victor Valle|Mary Lau Valle

Tacos de Cecina (Pounded Pork Tacos)

Chicken Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Yvan Lemoine

The Ultimate Fish Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Zesty Lime Fish Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Kellie White

Cooking Tips

How to Poach Eggs Perfectly

Watch videos from Cooking Channel shows and chefs. Learn to prepare feature recipes and relive your favorite moments

On TV

Junk Food Flip

7:30am | 6:30c

Junk Food Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Emeril's Florida

9:30am | 8:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

10am | 9c

Unwrapped 2.0

10:30am | 9:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

11am | 10c

Unwrapped 2.0

11:30am | 10:30c

Unwrapped

12pm | 11c

Unwrapped

12:30pm | 11:30c

Unwrapped

1pm | 12c

Unwrapped

1:30pm | 12:30c

Cheap Eats

2pm | 1c

Cheap Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Cheap Eats

3pm | 2c

Cheap Eats

3:30pm | 2:30c

Cheap Eats

4pm | 3c

Cheap Eats

4:30pm | 3:30c

Cheap Eats

5pm | 4c

Cheap Eats

5:30pm | 4:30c

Cheap Eats

6pm | 5c

Cheap Eats

6:30pm | 5:30c

Carnival Eats

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Carnival Eats

8pm | 7c

Carnival Eats

8:30pm | 7:30c

Carnival Eats

9:30pm | 8:30c

Farmers' Market Flip

10:30pm | 9:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Carnival Eats

12am | 11c

Carnival Eats

12:30am | 11:30c

Carnival Eats

1am | 12c

Carnival Eats

1:30am | 12:30c

Farmers' Market Flip

2:30am | 1:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c