Colorado American Lamb Birria Tacos


June 27, 2022

Recipe provided by Chef Alex Seidel, Frutition Restaurant & Mercantile Dinning & Provison, courtesy of the American Lamb Board (Colorado American Lamb Birria Tacos | American Lamb).

Cook time: 3-4 hours

  • Prep: 1 hrs
  • Cook: 4 hrs


3-4 lbs American lamb shanks, whole

4 Dried guajillo chilis, stems removed & coarsely chopped or torn

3 Dried ancho chilis, stems removed & coarsely chopped or torn

2 Canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce

6 cloves Garlic, peeled & whole

2 tsp Ground cumin

2 tsp Ground coriander

1 tsp Dried oregano

2 Yellow onions, 1 diced & 1 finely chopped

2 cup Canned diced tomatoes

3 sprigs Fresh thyme

2 Bay leaves

2 sprigs Fresh marjoram

Salt & pepper, to taste

8 cups Lamb or beef stock

1 Yellow onion, finely chopped

1 bunch Cilantro, minced

16 Fresh corn tortillas, warm


1In a food processor, combine guajillo, ancho and chipotle chilis with garlic, cumin, coriander and oregano and pulse to make a coarse paste.

2Coat bottom of a large heavy-bottom stockpot with oil and heat over medium heat. Add chile-garlic mixture and diced onions and gently cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves and marjoram; season with salt and pepper. Add lamb shanks and stock. Gently simmer until lamb is tender and pulls away from the bones of the meat. Using a strainer, remove lamb and pick meat from bones. Roughly chop lamb and return meat to liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3To serve, ladle birria into bowls. Top with finely chopped onion and cilantro. Serve with warmed tortillas.