Slow roasted lamb ‘barbecoa style’ with tamarind chilli mole

Slow roasted lamb ‘barbecoa style’ with tamarind chilli mole

Chris Middleton

Barbecoa is a wonderful ancient technique of slow cooking underground with aromatic fuels, spices and fragrant avocado leaves. It’s a very ambitious cooking process for the home cook, so here I’ve replicated the flavours from my travels with a simple spice rub and fragrant salsa – just add tacos! This is great served with my Summer salad of eggplant, pumpkin, olives and pepitas.


Quantity Ingredient
40 Tortilla dough, small homemade masa flour tortillas
or 40 store-bought tortillas
250ml Tamarind chilli mole


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 x 2kg bone-in lamb shoulder
100ml olive oil
12 star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
fresh avocado leaves
or bay leaves
200ml Tamarind chilli mole
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


Quantity Ingredient
2 white zucchini, shredded and finely sliced
2 salad onions, finely sliced
1/2 bunch coriander leaves, finely shredded
1/2 bunch mint, finely shredded
squeeze lime juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  2. Combine the paprika, cumin, allspice and salt together in a bowl and mix well. Using your hands, coat the lamb all over in the spice mix.
  3. Warm the olive oil in a roasting tray over low heat, carefully add the lamb and cook for 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until the fat is beginning to render and the meat is nicely sealed on all sides.
  4. Add the star anise, cinnamon sticks and avocado leaves to the roasting tray, transfer to the oven and roast for 5 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling from the bone. Remove the lamb from the roasting tray, cover with foil and leave to rest.
  5. Drain the excess fat from the roasting tray, then return it to the stove top together with the tamarind chilli mole and 100 ml water. Bring to the boil and reduce to a syrupy glaze, then pass the concentrated lamb juices through a fine sieve into a bowl, retaining the spices for garnish. Brush the glaze over the lamb and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.
  6. Heat a medium non-stick pan over high heat. Lightly spray with oil and briefly fry the tortillas to warm them. Stack the tortillas, wrap in a warm damp tea towel and set aside to keep warm.
  7. To prepare the salad, combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss together well.
  8. To serve, place your lamb shoulder on a serving platter and present it in the centre of the table, scattering over the reserved spices to garnish. Encourage your guests to tear the meat apart and serve themselves, filling the tortillas with the tamarind chilli mole, salad and shredded meat.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again