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Braised American Lamb Tacos

Prep Time:
30 mins.
Cook Time:
3 1/2 - 4 hrs.


  • 4 American lamb shanks, about 3-4 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups beer
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 cup water
For Assembly
  • Small corn or flour tortillas
  • 1 cup radishes thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • ½ cup Cotija cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges for serving
  • Optional toppings: salsa, guacamole, hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Pat lamb shanks dry with a paper towel, season on all sides with Kosher salt.
  2. Combine chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add lamb shanks and sear until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer lamb to a plate.
  4. Add beer to the hot pan and scrape up any brown bits at the bottom. Add vinegar, tomato paste, and spice blend; whisk to combine.
  5. Return seared lamb shanks to the pot, then add garlic, bay leaves, quartered onion, and halved orange. Pour water on top.
  6. Cover and cook until meat is fork tender and falls off the bone, about 3 – 3 ½ hours. Uncover and allow lamb to rest about 15 minutes until cool enough to handle.
  7. Transfer lamb to a plate and pull meat by shredding with two forks. Discard fat and bones.
  8. To assemble tacos, place a spoonful of lamb on top of two stacked tacos. Garnish with radishes, onion, cotija, and cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges.
  9. As an option, strain braising liquid into a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Can serve on the side.

Source: Well Seasoned Studio & The American Lamb Board