Recipes & Tips

New Zealand Grass-fed Lamb Birria Tacos Recipe

  • Servings: 4
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours

Say hello to your new favorite taco recipe, courtesy of Spoon Fork Bacon. This take on the popular birria recipe features tender, juicy New Zealand grass-fed lamb braised in a richly flavored sauce then pan fried in corn tortillas with cheese and served with extra jus for dipping.  


For the Lamb:

  • 3 lb. New Zealand grass-fed boneless lamb leg (or boneless lamb shoulder), cut into 3 inch pieces (Tip: Look for the Taste Pure Nature logo)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Tacos:

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 8 ounces Oaxaca cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oil, divided

To Garnish:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges 


For the Lamb:

  • 1. Season lamb with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper.
  • 2. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  • 3. Sear meat on all sides for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove meat from pot and set aside.
  • 4. In another pot, add dried chiles, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, yellow onion, garlic cloves and tomatoes. Add water until all ingredients are just covered. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • 5. Strain and transfer everything, except the cinnamon stick, into a blender. Discard the cooking liquid. To the blender, add white vinegar and 1 1/2 cups beef stock. Blend until smooth. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and pulse a couple times to incorporate.
  • 6. Preheat oven to 325˚F.
  • 7. Add lamb back to Dutch oven and cover with blended sauce. Stir in remaining stock and bay leaves. Simmer over medium heat.
  • 8. Once mixture begins to simmer, cover, and transfer to oven. Braise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender and easy to shred.

For the Tacos:

  • 9. Transfer lamb to a bowl with 1 cup braising liquid. Shred lamb and stir together with liquid.
  • 10. Dip a tortilla into the braising liquid and then fill with shredded lamb, shredded cheese, and a sprinkle of onion and cilantro. Fold tortilla in half. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  • 11. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon oil.
  • 12. Fry a few tacos on each side for 3 to 4 minutes or until the tortillas are crisp and cheese melts. Repeat with remaining tacos.

To Serve:

  • 13. Serve tacos with extra jus and lime wedges and cilantro on the side.
This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Cookie Policy Accept Cookies