American Lamb Birria Tacos

Recipe by 


Prep Time

30 MIN

Cook Time

3 HRS, 30MIN

Total Time




lamb loin chops with cucumber mint salad and sweet and smoky tahini


For the lamb birria

● 3 each dried guajillo and ancho chilies, stems and most of seeds removed

● 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

● 5 whole cloves

● 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

● 1 small white onion, chopped

● 2 vine ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

● 4 large garlic cloves

● 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

● 1 teaspoon dried thyme

● 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

● 1 tablespoon brown sugar

● 2 cups beef broth

● 2 teaspoon, kosher salt, divided

● 3 pounds American lamb stew meat

● 2 bay leaves


For the tacos:

● Corn tortillas

● White onion, chopped

● Cilantro

● Cojita cheese


1. Prepare sauce

Toast chiles in a large dutch oven over medium heat, turning as needed, until fragrant and starting to darken, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add whole spices and toast for another 2 minutes. Add onion, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, vinegar, brown sugar, broth, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Cook over medium heat for 12 minutes until softened. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then process in a blender until smooth, adding up to 1 cup water if needed.

2. Prepare Lamb:

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Season lamb with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and black pepper.

Add sauce back to dutch oven. Add lamb and bay leaves, mixing to coat and spreading evenly. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat.

Cover and place in the oven for about 3 hours. Once lamb is fork tender, remove from the sauce, which you’ll use for dipping the finished tacos.

3. Serving:

Pull the lamb and serve it with warm grilled tortillas, white onion, cojita cheese, and cilantro.

Serve the sauce alongside for dipping.

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

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.

You Also Might Enjoy


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top

American Lamb Board