Lamb Taco


Lamb Birria Sauce

  • 5 pounds American lamb shoulder cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 50 grams dried guajillo chili peppers stems and seeds removed, toasted
  • 2 dried chili ancho stems and seeds removed, toasted
  • 1 dried chili chipotle stems and seeds removed, toasted
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 6 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 quart water/chicken stock
  • salt + pepper


  • 1 quart birria sauce
  • 1 cup dried ancho chile pepper powder
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate pieces 70/30
  • 4 maria cookies

Macha Peanut Sauce / Salsa Macha

  • 2 ancho chilies
  • 1 New Mexico chili
  • 1 guajillo Chili
  • 10 arbor Chili
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cups neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup pepitos
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Other Ingredients

  • fresh white corn tortillas
  • queso - jack cheese, sharp cheddar – shredded lime
  • lime crema- lime juice and zest mixed in Mexican crema or sour cream to taste, pinch of salt
  • Urfa pepper
  • Slaw- shredded cabbage, lime juice, pinch of salt
  • Charred onion - 1 sweet onion cut in half, seared in olive oil in a hot skillet
  • Birria braise rendered fat


For the Lamb Birria Sauce

Brown the American lamb shoulder in a heavy pan with oil. Place into a large braising hotel pan. Add the onion and garlic to the pan you seared the lamb in. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add all the other ingredients, cooking another 20 minutes.  Pour the sauce over the lamb.  Cover the pan with film and then heavy aluminum foil. Braise in an oven - 325 degrees F for 5-7 hours until tender. 

For the Mole

Warm the birria sauce, add dried ancho chili powder.  Stir in dark chocolate stirring frequently.  Add crushed Maria cookies.  Cool slightly, puree until smooth. Rewarm to serve.

For the Salsa Macha

Remove seeds and stems from dried chilies. Toast chilies for several minutes until aromatic.  hop toasted chilies coarsely. Saute garlic in neutral oil until aromatic.  Add peanuts and pepitos. Toast in oil. Add sesame seeds, chopped chilies, raw sugar, and sesame oil. 

Stir cooking on a low flame for about 3-5 minutes more. Let cool and pulse for 30 seconds in a blender with salt and water.Assembly

Warm lamb over low heat.  Warm mole over low heat. 

Dip tortilla in the birria sauce. Place on hot plancha or pan. Build taco with lamb and queso.

Crisp taco on the flattop or a skillet on both sides making sure the cheese has melted. Spread the mole on a plate. Place taco on the mole. Place other ingredients on top of the taco and serve with the macha salsa.  

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

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American Lamb Board