Lamb Barbacoa – Recipe from Make it Paleo II
A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have the mailman bring me my advance copy of Haley and Bill’s latest cookbook: Make it Paleo II.
I started flipping through the pages and before I was even done feasting on all the beautiful pictures, their recipe for Lamb Barbacoa caught my attention and I knew right then and there that I was gonna have to make it; the sooner the better!
As luck would have it, I’d just purchased a humongous boneless leg of lamb and was planning on throwing it in the slow cooker later that week. Only I was far from planning on using the kind of seasoning that Haley and Bill suggested in their book, though. It would never have occurred to me to use Mexican spices with lamb. I was intrigued!
The very next day, I was on it.
But before we actually start cooking, please let me tell you a little bit more about this real gem of a cookbook.
Make it Paleo II is filled with over 175 delicious grain-free recipes, each portrayed by an absolutely stunning, mouth-watering photo. Haley and Bill are not only ridiculously talented in the kitchen, they also happen to be outstanding photographers and their book really showcases the extent of their talent. Just take a quick glance at their book cover and you’ll see exactly what I mean!
Honestly, this book is beyond beautiful and so inspiring, it’ll probably have you want to empty your cupboards of every pots and pans you own and whip up each and every recipe that the book has to offer.
The best part is, most of the recipes you will find in Make it Paleo II are very accessible and fairly easy to make, too. We’re talking familiar and not so familiar dishes, like Honey Sesame Wings, Braised Brussels Sprouts, Salmon Cakes, Lobster Fettuccine Alfredo, Clam Chowder, Thai Fried Chicken, Pork and Apple Ravioli, Fried Wontons, Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse, Dark Chocolate Olive Oil and Sea Salt Ice Cream, as well as a great assortment of sauces, dressings and even beverages. Haley and Bill even shared a recipe for Pasta Dough, which looks so much like like the real deal, I just know I will have to give it a try.
The book also features a very handy guide to different cooking techniques that explains pan-searing, slow-cooking, steaming, grilling, warm smoking, pickling, fermenting, curing and much more. In the first section, you will also find some handy notes on grain-free baking, a practical guide to stocking up a paleo pantry, as well as a list of useful kitchen tools.
Oh, and did I tell you the photography in that book is spectacular? The photography in this book is spec-ta-cu-lar. It’s very well worth the expense, if only for that.
Alright. Let’s get some cooking done, now! I need to specify that adapted the recipe somewhat (are you surprised?) to accommodate my humongous piece of meat…
For starters, the original recipe calls for a boneless lamb shoulder. What I had on hand was a leg. Gah! That would have to do. Also too, I was feeling lazy and chose not to brown the meat, but rather to let it macerate overnight in the tasty spice mixture.
I think I’m very happy with my decision!
This Lamb Barbacoa was honestly one of the best pulled meat I’ve ever eaten. That gigantic roast, I ended up eating all to myself (not in one go, don’t worry) and I was actually sad when I ate the last of it. I wanted there to be more.
Sorry, I got carried away. I’m done talking now… let’s get started, shall we?
Cover the lamb roast with the dried mustard.
As you can see, the mustard will form some kind of a sticky paste as it comes in contact with the meat. I’ll give it to you, it doesn’t look all that appetizing, but trust me, you want to do this. It will add so much flavor to the meat!
Once the mustard’s been taken care of, wash your hands quick quick and, in a small mixing bowl, combine the salt, paprika, cumin, oregano and chipotle powder; stir to evenly combine.
Evenly distribute the spice mix all over the lamb while making sure to get it into all of the crevices as best you can.
Place the lamb in the slow cooker, cover and, if time permits, (which hopefully it does) place in the fridge to marinate overnight.
When you are ready to cook the lamb, pour the water into the slow cooker and turn the heat to high; cook for 6 hours.
When fully cooked, the lamb should shred easily with a fork, like this.
Remove all but one cup of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker and shred the lamb.
Use the rest of the cooking liquid to adjust seasoning as needed.
A word or warning, here. Don’t you go leave all the juice in with the meat, else it’ll be WAY too salty.
Serve as is, in a bowl, or over lettuce leaves with sauteed mushrooms, and prepare to have your mind B.L.O.W.N.
This lamb is seriously moist, seriously tasty, has just the perfect kick to it… it’s a Mexican Fiesta in every bite.
Oh, and just you wait until you see what I did with the leftovers!
Honestly, I would’ve never, ever thought to mix lamb meat with Mexican flavors. In my mind, Lamb only had one true partner, and that was rosemary. I’m real glad Haley and Bill opened my eyes to this new, winning combination.
Does that look delicious or what?
I’m telling you, if the other recipes in Make it Paleo II are even half as good as this one, I totally want to make every single one of them.
Seriously guys. Get this book: it is a true gem, a real collector’s item, an absolute must-add-to-your-cookbook-collection. I swear. You will totally not regret it.
- 5.5 lb boneless leg of lamb
- 1/4 cup dried mustard
- 2 tbsp Himalayan salt
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 cup water
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the salt, paprika, cumin, oregano and chipotle powder and stir to evenly combine.
- Cover the lamb roast with the dried mustard, then evenly distribute the spice mix all over the lamb. Make sure to get it into all of the crevices as best you can.
- Place the lamb in the slow cooker, cover and, if time permits, place in the fridge to marinate overnight.
- When you are ready to cook the lamb, pour the water into the slow cooker and turn the heat to high; cook for 6 hours.
- When fully cooked, the lamb should shred easily with a fork. Remove all but one cup of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker and shred the lamb.
- Use the rest of the cooking liquid to adjust seasoning as needed.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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17 Comments on “Lamb Barbacoa – Recipe from Make it Paleo II”
Hey, Sonia! I’ve been cooking some of your recipes recently ( I have my mom visiting and consequently some more time on my hands) and they all have been very successful! I’ve made: creamy cauliflower fritters, salmon omelette, vegetables meatloaf, cauliflower pizza and soon I’ll make ananas meatballs. Thank you for the tasty recipes! I hope that everything is going allright with your granddaughter.
Thank you so very much for this amazing feedback, Mrs. G. You have no idea just how much I appreciate your taking the time to write this. You, my dear, are a real gem! 😀 <3
Things are going mighty fine with Matilde, she is such a sweetheart. I only wish she didn't have to grow so fast!!!
Amazing pics! Looks so scrumptious! I’m not a big fan of lamb. I will try this great recipe with pork. Thanks a lot for sharing it.
I’m sure it’ll be equally good with pork!
Hi. Is it just 1 cup of water and that’s it in terms of liquid?
Thanks. I have the meat in the fridge soaking up the rub!
That is correct. Enjoy, Nick!
Hi, this looks so yum! How long/ what temp for cooking in the oven instead of slow cooker?
If I was to make this in the oven, Lou, I would cook it very slowly in a Dutch oven, at something like 300F for about 4 to 5 hours.
I just finished making this in a dutch oven and the family loved it. I used a 4.8 lbs bone-in leg of lamb.
I’d recommend reducing the amount of salt by half. A dutch oven tends to reduce the liquid and concentrate flavors, rather than discard some of that tasty broth, of which you may not be left with much, leave it all in and mix around. Using the above recipe we ended up with just the right amount of moisture left in the dutch oven following the instructions, but it was over salted.
Dutch Oven cooks @ 325 for 4.5 hours
Thanks for all the insights on making this in a Dutch Oven rather than in a slow cooker, Dave. Glad it came out great and that your family enjoyed it!
Oh my, I just found this and must get hold of some lamb quick smart. I loved your Instagram post with what you did with the leftovers – is this shared anywhere here by any chance, along with ingredients?
You mean this one? https://thehealthyfoodie.com/lamb-barbacoa-nachos/
Ooh yes, that’s it! Thank you!
You are very welcome! 🙂
This was very flavorful! I had purchased a boneless leg of lamb and found your recipe. About half way through cooking I cut it up into smaller pieces and after 5 hours it was amazingly tender. I served it on lettuce leaves with melted cheddar and sour cream, thanks for sharing!
Would this work with lamb breast?
I doubt that it would be meaty enough… but still, it might be worth a try!