Barbacoa Nortena

Total Time:
3 hr 25 min
25 min
Inactive Prep:
3 hr
8 to 12 servings


  • 5 pounds boneless leg of lamb
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 4 dried avocado leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs dried epazote
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley
  • Banana leaves, to cover
    • Chopped onions
    • Chopped fresh cilantro
    • Lime wedges
    • Avocado slices
    • Salsa, store-bought or homemade


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Generously rub the lamb with salt and pepper and place in a large pot. Add enough water to reach three-quarters of the way up the sides of the meat. Add the garlic, onions, avocado leaves, oregano, thyme, epazote and parsley. Cover the meat with banana leaves and the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Place in the oven and cook until fork tender (the meat should easily pull apart and shred), approximately 3 hours. Remove the herbs and chop the meat.

    Serve garnished with onions, cilantro, lime, avocado and salsa.


    Barbacoa is traditionally served for breakfast with corn or flour tortillas. It also makes an excellent taco and a great accompaniment to huevos rancheros.


    This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens have not tested it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.