Red Chile American Lamb Barbacoa


June 24, 2022

Recipe provided by the American Lamb Board (Red Chile American Lamb Barbacoa | American Lamb).

Cook time is 3-4 hours

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 4 hrs


2 Guajillo chilis

2 Ancho chilis

1 cloves Garlic

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp Dried Mexican oregano

1 tsp Cumin

1 1/2 tsp Piloncillo or brown sugar

1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup Water, or more as necessary

2-3 lbs Boneless leg of American lamb, trimmed of most fat


1Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2Rip open the chiles and remove the seeds, veins and stems. Heat a large skillet over medium-low, add the chiles and toast them in the dry pan, turning them over until they are fragrant, about one minute. Transfer chilis to a saucepan with enough water to cover chilies and bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and let rest for 10 minutes or until the chilis are soft. Drain the chilies and discard the water.

3Combine the drained chilis, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, honey, apple cider and water in a blender and puree until the mixture is thick but smooth.

4Pour some of the chili sauce into a large Dutch oven or ovenproof casserole with a lid and top with the meat. Rub the lamb with enough chili sauce to generously coat it. Close the lid and transfer to the oven immediately. Bake the lamb for 3-4 hours or until the meat is very tender. Alternatively, you can marinate overnight in the refrigerator and back the next day.

5Remove the casserole from the oven and let the meat cool. Coarsely shred the meat with forks, discarding any visible fat. Serve with corn tortillas, avocado and salsa, or any remaining chili sauce.