October 8, 2019

Greek American Lamb Tacos with Minted Yogurt Sauce


Prep Time

30 min

Cook Time

3 hrs

Total Time

3 hrs 30 min


6 to 8

Greek American Lamb Tacos with Minted Yogurt Sauce


  • 5 to 6 pound boneless American Lamb shoulder
  • 12 fat garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano or sage or a combination)
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 5 to 6 teaspoons kosher salt (1 teaspoon for every pound of meat)
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced or diced
  • 6 radishes, sliced or diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh torn Italian parsley or mint leaves (for garnish)
  • Minted Yogurt Sauce (recipe follows), or 1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • Herbed Caper Sauce (recipe follows), optional
  • 10 to 12 small Tortillas

Minted Yogurt Sauce (optional)

  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup Greek-style yogurt (whole milk)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Herbed Caper Sauce (optional)

  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 cup mint
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons capers


Let meat come to room temperature. Trim excess fat. 

In a blender or food processor, add garlic, oil, herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper; blend into a paste. 

Slice onion into 1/3-inch to 1/2-inch rings; lay in bottom of a large Dutch oven, creating a foundation for the lamb to rest on. Add bay leaves; pour wine over all. 

Rub lamb with the garlic herb paste, coating all sides well. Place meat over onions in the pot; cover with a tight filling lid. Cook at 350°F for roughly 3 hours, checking after 2 hours then every 1/2 hour, until meat easily pulls apart with two forks. 

For the Minted Yogurt Sauce: In a medium bowl, combine  lemon zest, yogurt, mint, oil, lemon juice and salt. 

For the Herbed Caper Sauce: In a food processor, add garlic, lemon zest, mint, parsley, oil, lemon juice and salt; pulse until chopped evenly but not smooth.  Pour into a small bowl; stir in capers. 

When the lamb is tender, remove from pan and place on a dish. Discard bay leaves; save onions with the meat. Pour liquid from pan; reserve.  Return lamb and onions to pan; shred and season with salt. Remove fat from braising liquid; add some braising liquid back to lamb. 

Serve lamb with toasted or lightly grilled tortillas along with cucumber, radishes, parsley, Minted Yogurt Sauce and Herbed Caper Sauce.

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.


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