Barbacoa lamb carnitas

Barbacoa lamb carnitas

  • serves 12
  • Easy

These gluten free, slow-cooked lamb tortillas are great for a feast between friends. It's easy to make and everyone can get stuck in and make their own.


*This recipe is gluten free according to industry standards



  • red cabbage 1 small, finely shredded
  • lime 1, juiced

Lamb barbacoa

  • onions 3, thickly sliced
  • garlic 1 bulb, cloves separated
  • ground cumin 1 tbsp
  • lamb shoulder 1 large or 2 smaller (about 2.5kg in total)

Charred jalapeño salsa

  • jalapeños 4
  • vine tomatoes 6
  • onion 1, quartered
  • garlic 2 cloves, skin on


  • avocados 4, peeled and stoned
  • lime 1, juiced
  • onion 1 small, finely chopped
  • coriander a bunch, finely chopped
  • tomato 1 large, finely chopped
  • red chilli 1, seeded and chopped

To serve

  • corn tortillas warm
  • hot sauce
  • sour cream
  • feta crumbled
  • radishes sliced
  • pickled jalapeños
  • lime wedges


For the lamb

  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Put the onions and garlic cloves into a large deep roasting tray. Rub the cumin into the lamb with a big pinch of salt, and add to the tray.

  • Step 2

    Pour in enough water to come 4cm up the sides of the tin and cover tightly in foil. Cook for 4-5 hours until the meat is tender, and falling off the bone. Take off the foil for the last hour so the fat gets a chance to crisp a bit.

To make the jalapeño salsa

  • Step 1

    Heat a griddle or frying pan to hot, and add the whole jalapeños, tomatoes and onions (do this in batches if you need to). Leave the veg to blister and char, turning everything every few minutes until softened and blackened all over, about 5-10 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Transfer everything to a plate, and add the garlic to the pan. Cook for a minute until the skins blacken. Remove the stalks (and seeds, if you don’t want it too spicy) from the jalapeños, the skins from the garlic, and tip into a blender with the onion, tomato and 1 tsp salt.

  • Step 3

    Whizz. Tip into a bowl, and leave at room temperature until serving.

For the red cabbage

  • Step 1

    Toss the red cabbage with the lime juice and some salt. Cover, and leave to marinade at room temperature.

For the guacamole

  • Step 1

    Mash the avocado with the lime juice, then add the remaining ingredients with a little salt.

To serve

  • Step 1

    Pull the lamb into chunks. Serve with warm tortillas, salsa, guacamole, red cabbage and bowls of the serving accompaniments for people to make their own carnitas.

Watch our 20-second video for the easiest way to stone an avocado...


This recipe would be paired nicely with JC Mas 'Classic' Grenache Noir

JC Mas 'Classic' Grenache Noir

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 531
  • Fat 38.2g
  • Saturates 16.1g
  • Carbs 7.2g
  • Sugars 5.5g
  • Fibre 4.5g
  • Protein 37.2g
  • Salt 0.8g