Ivy Stark's Lamb Barbacoa Recipe-MainPhoto

Ivy Stark's Lamb Barbacoa Recipe-MainPhoto
Chef Ivy Stark suggests cooking a lamb shoulder low and slow for something different. Lamb barbacoa is traditionally cooked in a pit, but with this oven, the meat becomes succulent and full of flavor. Serve with warm corn tortillas and a spicy and sweet mint salsita to balance the richness of the lamb.

6-8 servings

3 ancho chiles, seeded and stemmed
3 guajillo chiles, seeded and stemmed
2 tomatillos, roasted until soft and blackened
2 T vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves
1 t Mexican oregano
1 t toasted cumin
3 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
1 clove
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup orange juice
1 3-5 pound lamb shoulder roast
Salt and pepper
2 fresh or frozen banana leaves
1 cup chicken stock
Corn tortillas, warm

Read Related: The Sweet Life: Ivy Stark’s Crepas de Cajeta


  1. Lightly toast ancho and guajillo chiles on griddle. Place chiles in bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain chiles and puree in blender with roasted tomatillos.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat vegetable oil, cook onions and garlic until soft. Add chiles-tomatillo puree and spices. Cook for about 5 minutes. stirring constantly. Add vinegar and orange juice and simmer for 20 minutes. Put marinade in blender and puree.
  3. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Place lamb in roasting pan lined. Liberally rub lamb with marinade and marinate for 1 to 4 hour. Preheat oven to 300°F. Sear lamb on cooktop over high heat on all sides.
  4. Line roasting pan with aluminum foil and banana leaves. Place marinated lamb in pan and pour remaining adobo over top.  Add chicken stock. Fold over banana leaves and seal the foil.  Roast for 2 hours or until fork tender.
  5. Let meat cool. Remove meat from bones, reserving bones.  Put bones and lamb cooking liquid in saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim fat and strain sauce. Add stock if necessary. Simmer sauce for 20 minutes, skim fat and strain. Heat lamb in large skillet to brown and add sauce to moisten.
  6. Serve hot with tortillas and salsita.


¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup piloncillo
1 T vegetable oil
¼ cup onions, minced
4 jalapeños roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
1 T lime juice
¼ cup chopped fresh mint


  1. Simmer vinegar and piloncillo in saucepan until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Heat oil in skillet.
  3. Add onions and cook until soft.
  4. Add jalapenos and piloncillo-vinegar syrup and simmer until mixture holds together.  Cool.
  5. Season with lime juice and fresh mint just before serving.