Lamb Barbacoa


I was planning on making a lamb barbacoa, but couldn’t get several of the ingredients I’d need for something vaguely authentic. So instead I made this, which hits the “I need barbacoa or carnitas or something” spot.

Serves 4. Two hours cooking, half an our prep.

  • 75g spanish chorizo, cubed
  • 750g lamb shoulder, cut into inch or so pieces
  • two onions, peeled and quartered
  • Two limes
  • One satsuma or mandarin orange
  • 150 ml beer - malty rather than hoppy, like an amber lager
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp apple cider
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano (mexican, ideally, but turkish is fine)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • fresh chillis, diced (I used three, slightly milder than a jalapeno)
  • 2 tbsp reggae regga jerk bbq sauce

  • tortillas, guacamole, salsa fresca

Heat the oven to 170C.

In a broad, ovenproof pan render the fat out of the chorizo, then brown the lamb (probably in two batches, adding some oil if needed).

Juice the limes and orange, then add the juice and all the other ingredients to the pan. Mix well, bring to a simmer, cover and move to the oven.

Cook for two hours, turning the stirring a few times. Half way through taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Maybe some hot sauce or more reggae reggae sauce if it needs more heat.

Turn the oven up to high.

Remove the meat to a plate and roughly shred it - by hand or with two forks. Spread the meat over a sheet pan and return it to the oven, to dry and brown a little for five or ten minutes.

Meanwhile simmer the remaining sauce, reducing by a third. Season again, if it needs it.

Return the meat to the sauce, then serve wrapped in tortillas with guacamole and salsa fresca.