Hickory-Smoked Lamb Barbacoa Tacos Recipe

Get ready to impress your guests with these delicious lamb tacos! Rub a boneless lamb shoulder roast with a blend of ancho and guajillo chile powders, cumin, oregano, and other seasonings before braising it in a mixture of chicken or lamb stock, onions, garlic, and chipotles in adobo. Serve the shredded lamb in warm corn tortillas with diced onions, cilantro-tomatillo salsa, lime wedges, and your favorite hot sauce for a meal that is sure to please.



5 Pounds boneless lamb shoulder roast - tied

2 Tbsp kosher salt

2 Tbsp ancho chile powder

2 Tbsp guajillo chile powder

2 Tbsp ground cumin

2 Tsp dried Mexican oregano

2 Tsp onion powder

2 Tsp garlic powder

1 Tsp chipotle chili powder

1 Tsp cinnamon

1 Tsp ground coriander

¼ Tsp ground cloves


4 Cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium lamb stock. Chicken stock is a good substitute if lamb isn't avail.

1 Ancho chile - stemmed and seeded

2 Guajillo chiles - stemmed and seeded

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

½ Cup finely chopped white onion (about 1 small)

4 Medium cloves garlic - smashed and peeled

2 Tsp dried oregano - preferably Mexican

1 Tsp ground cumin

¼ Tsp ground cloves

¼ Tsp ground cinnamon

⅓ Cup apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp finely chopped chipotles in adobo plus 1 tbsp adobo sauce

2 Bay leaves

¼ Cup freshly squeezed lime juice from 2 limes

1 Orange - sliced with skin on

Kosher salt - to taste


Corn tortillas

Diced white onion

Cilantro - tomatillo salsa

Lime wedges

Your favourite hot sauce

Cotija cheese (Feta can be used as a substitute)



Mix/grind together salt, ancho chile powder, guajillo chile powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle powder, cinnamon and ground cloves.
Liberally rub all over the lamb being sure to get into any cracks or crevasses.
Let the lamb with its rub rest overnight, uncovered in your refrigerator.


Toast the chillies in a large dutch oven. The same dutch oven you'll place the smoked lamb in for braising. Toasting the chillies to get a slight bit of colour but don't burn them. They should smell fragrant.
Once the chillies are toasted add 2 cups of the lamb/chicken stock.

Bring this to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the chiles are rehydrated and soft (10-15 minutes). Remove the chillies and stock from the pot and set them aside in a bowl.

Heat your vegetable oil in the dutch oven and add the chopped onion and garlic cloves. Cook these down with constant stirring until you get a slight colour, but be careful not to burn the onions. About 10-15 minutes.

Add in the oregano, cumin, and ground cloves and stir for 30 seconds or until the mixture is fragrant.
Add in the remaining 2 cups of stock, cider vinegar and chipotles and bring to a boil. Let this simmer until your liquid is more concentrated with flavours. You should reduce the liquid volume by about half with your boil. About 20 minutes or so should suffice. Once achieved, turn off your fire and let this cool down.
Turn your attention back to your rehydrated chilies. Carefully remove the stems and seeds while preserving as much of the flesh as possible in the chicken stock. Discard the seeds as you won't need them.
Transfer your chillies and stock back into your now cooled and reduced stock mixture. Carefully pour (again, a cooled mixture is helpful here) to a blender and blend until completely smooth
Place your orange sliced along the bottom of your dutch oven and rest your smoked lamb. Pour the blended braising liquid overtop and add in your bay leaves. Place a lid on top and pop it into a 250-degree oven for 2-3 hours. The lamb is done when you can insert a skewer inside with little to no resistance. You're looking for a consistency that falls apart when shredded. Think pulled pork - but lamb!
Remove the lamb from pot, and cut the butchers twine used to keep it together. Shred the lamb with your hands or forks into a dish or pot and strain the braising liquid over the meat. In short, just ensure the onions and bay leaves don't make it in. Grab a couple of limes and squeeze the juice over along with any kosher salt should the mixture need it.


Warm your flour or corn tortillas in a pan or oven.
Dice your white onions and clean some cilantro leaves and or stocks
Crumble up your cheese.
Place a couple of spoons of the shredded lamb onto your tortilla along with a spoon of salsa verde, some chopped white onion, crumbled cheese and cilantro leaves. Dab a couple of drops of your favourite hot sauce (totally optional) and enjoy the smiles on the faces of friends and family.

Salsa Verde Recipe: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/tomatillo_salsa_verde/



Hickory Wood Bisquettes

The strong and sweet flavour of Hickory Bisquettes make it one of the more popular woods for smoking, and especially pairs well with poultry, beef, pork, game, water fowl, nuts, and cheese.

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