My love for lamb has grown steadily over the years to the point where I prefer lamb over a beef burger. Lamb meat has an earthier, more complex flavour than beef. I find that it tends to be juicier and bonus: way more health benefits. From Shepherd’s Pie to lasagna, I post a lot about this gamey protein. Surprisingly, I haven’t posted tacos, and you know how much I love Taco Tuesday! So I decided that for St. Patrick’s Day, I would make some special Guinness Braised Lamb Tacos, just for you.
St. Patrick’s Day is bittersweet for me. I never got into the festivities when I was at university because I didn’t live in residence and missed out campus life. It wasn’t until I met my half Irish ex-husband that I started celebrating this day. Our first date was at an Irish pub on St. Paddy’s so whenever I see drunken folk clad in green, it reminds me of him. Not in a bad way, but in a no-regrets-fond-memories kind of way.
This taco recipe is based on my Slow Cooked Lamb recipe that features my latest food find: lamb from Costco.
Gotta love $35 for a leg of lamb!
The only change I made to my original recipe is I swapped the wine and beef broth for, you guessed it – beer! I covered the lamb with a whole can of Guinness, because on St. Paddy’s no beer can go to waste. How I love to cook with booze! The strong Irish stout cuts through the fatty lamb and adds a whole level of richness to the meat. The result? Tender fall-apart lamb infused with hints of espresso and caramel. Oh yeah baby, tonight is your lucky taco night!
I loaded this taco with a wallop of fresh guacamole, arugula, caramelized onions and banana peppers and topped the lamb with organic salsa, feta cheese and my favourite hot sauce.
Half a lamb leg still makes a ton of meat. We had enough taco meat for four people, and I turned the remaining lamb and root vegetables into a ragu. An endless supply of lamb is always a good thing!
Guinness Braised Lamb Tacos
For the lamb
- 3 pounds leg of lamb approx half a leg
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and trimmed
- half a lemon zested
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 2 pounds root vegetables ie. squash, carrots, parsnips
- 1 500ml can Guinness beer
For the tacos
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, trimmed and minced
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for greasing
- half a lemon quartered
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 banana peppers trimmed, seeds removed and sliced
- 2 medium yellow onions trimmed, peeled and sliced
- 16 fresh corn tortillas
- 2 cups arugula roughly chopped
- 170 grams feta cheese crumbled
- half cup organic salsa
- your favourite hot sauce
For the lamb
Heat a large cast iron pan on medium high heat.
Rub lamb with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkling of salt & pepper. Using tongs, sear each side for 30 seconds. Remove lamb and place on plastic cutting board.
In a food processor, combine garlic, lemon zest, remaining tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, mint and rosemary. Process and spread paste over lamb, making sure to get into all the little crevices.
Place lamb over top of root vegetables in slow cooker and pour beer over top.
Cook on high for 4 hours, then for 1 hour on low.
Using a slotted spoon, lamb from slow cooker and pull large chunks apart using a carving fork. reserve root vegetables for later use.
For the tacos
Combine avocados, garlic, olive oil and juice from two lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper.
Grease cast iron pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Saute banana peppers and onions until lightly browned, approx 5 minutes.
In the meantime, place tortillas on a plate and wrap in syran wrap. Heat in microwave for 1 minute.
Top corn tortilla with guacamole, arugula, lamb, peppers and onions. Sprinkle feta cheese, lemon and a tablespoon of salsa over top. Add hot sauce to taste.
So if you’re feeling the spirit of the Irish, throw some beer in your slow cooker and honour St. Patrick with these awesome tacos!