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Braised Lamb Shoulder Tacos

Braised Lamb Shoulder Tacos

By Matthew Jennings

These tacos are rich with flavor. Lamb is slow-roasted and braised over Big Game hardwood in a bold and bubbly guajillo chili sauce until perfectly tender. Serve it street-style on corn tortillas for some handheld deliciousness.

Prep Time

20 Minutes

Cook Time

5 Hours




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Units of Measurement:
3/4 Teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 Teaspoon whole coriander seeds
3/4 Teaspoon pumpkin seeds
2 Ounce guajillo peppers, seeded
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
3 Clove Garlic, roasted
1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
As Needed kosher salt
3 Pound lamb shoulder roast
As Needed corn tortillas, 6"
As Needed Sea salt
As Needed pickled radishes
As Needed fresh cilantro
As Needed Lime wedges


  • 1

    In a spice grinder, finely grind the cumin, coriander, and pumpkin seeds.

    • 3/4 Teaspoon cumin seeds

    • 3/4 Teaspoon whole coriander seeds

    • 3/4 Teaspoon pumpkin seeds

  • 2

    In a microwave-safe bowl, cover the guajillo chilies with water and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer soft chilies and 2 tablespoons of water to a blender.

    • 2 Ounce guajillo peppers, seeded

  • 3

    In the blender with the chilies, add the ground spices, paprika, lime juice, oregano, garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of salt. Purée the marinade until smooth.

    • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika

    • 1 Tablespoon lime juice

    • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

    • 3 Clove Garlic, roasted

    • 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil

    • As Needed kosher salt

  • 4

    In a medium roasting pan, add the lamb and rub 1/2 cup of the marinade on all sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours. Remove the lamb shoulder from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking, and allow sitting at room temperature.

    • 3 Pound lamb shoulder roast

  • 5

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 325°F and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

    325 ˚F / 163 ˚C

  • 6

    Add 1/2 cup of water to the roasting pan and cover the pan loosely with foil. Cook the lamb for 2-1/2 hours, adding water to the pan a few times.

    325 ˚F / 163 ˚C

  • 7

    Remove the foil and cook for about 2-1/2 hours longer, until the lamb is brown and tender, occasionally spooning the juices on top.

    325 ˚F / 163 ˚C

  • 8

    Remove the lamb from the grill, and let rest for 20 minutes. Shred the meat when it's cool enough to handle and combine with remaining liquid in the bottom of the pan.

  • 9

    Assemble the tacos. Serve the braised lamb on corn tortillas with a squeeze of lime, sea salt, pickled radishes, and a sprig of cilantro. Enjoy!

    • As Needed corn tortillas, 6"

    • As Needed Sea salt

    • As Needed pickled radishes

    • As Needed fresh cilantro

    • As Needed Lime wedges

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