Lamb Barbacoa Tacos

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 4 tacos
Fork-tender and succulent, these lamb barbacoa tacos will make taco night a night to remember!

Tacos de barbacoa are among the most popular taco recipes in Mexico. While it sounds like "barbecue," it isn't the same thing. Barbacoa traditionally refers to meat (typically lamb, goat or beef) that is team-cooked in an underground oven. Most of us don't have an underground oven handy, but these barbacoa tacos will do their name justice.

If you've never cooked lamb before, this is an easy dish to try. And if you don't like the gaminess of lamb, you can easily make this dish with beef or pork. In fact, we've got a slow-cooker beef barbacoa recipe you might want to try next.

The key to this dish is to let the meat cook until it's fork-tender and succulent. When you can shred it easily with a fork, you know your barbacoa is ready. And while many tacos rely on a variety of toppings and salsas to bring out their flavor, the marinated meat of barbacoa is so full of flavor that you don't need much to finish off your taco. For this recipe, some finely chopped onion, cilantro and freshly squeezed lime was all we needed to complete our barbacoa tacos.

Since you're going to be cooking the meat for a while, you might want to make extra and store it in your refrigerator. It's a delicious filling for enchiladas, burritos and more.


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  1. Marinate the meat with salt and vinegar let it rest for an hour.
  2. Blend the white onion, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, garlic and 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Place the plantain leaves in a roasting pan. Layer the marinated meat on top and cover with the blended sauce. Fold the plantain leaves to cover.
  4. Pour 1 cup of cold water around the plantain leaves, and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake at 350 F degrees for 3 hours.
  6. Remove and use forks to shred the meat.
  7. Heat the tortillas in a pan with no oil, and transfer to a plate.
  8. To make the tacos, add lamb, onions, and chopped cilantro. Add freshly squeezed lime to taste and enjoy!
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