Greek Lamb Tacos with Minted Yogurt Sauce
- 5-6 pounds boneless lamb shoulder
- 12 large garlic cloves
- ½ cup packed fresh herbs: thyme, parsley, oregano or sage or a combination
- ½ cup olive oil
- Zest of ½ a lemon
- 5-6 teaspoons kosher salt (1 teaspoon for every pound of meat)
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 large onion
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 English cucumber, sliced or diced 6 radishes, sliced or diced
- 1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese, or make yogurt sauce
- ½ cup fresh torn Italian parsley or mint leaves for garnish
- 10-12 small tortillas
Minted Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Zest of a lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or lime)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
Herbed Caper Sauce (optional)
- ½ cup mint
- ½ cup parsley
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Zest of one lemon ⅛ cup fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons capers
- Let meat rest on counter and come to room temperature. Trim any excess fat.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- To make the herb paste, place garlic, oil, herbs, zest, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend into a paste.
- Slice the onion into 1/3” -1/2” rings and lay in the bottom of a large Dutch oven, creating a foundation for the lamb to rest on. Add the bay leaves. Pour the cup of wine over the onion.
- Rub the lamb with the garlic herb paste, coating the meat well using all the paste. Place the meat over the onions in the pot. Cover with a tight filling lid and place in the hot oven. The lamb will take about 3 hours to cook and become tender, depending on size and weight. Check after 2 hours, then every ½ hour after that. It is done when the meat easily pulls apart with two forks.
- While the lamb is braising, prep the veggies. Slice or dice the cucumber and radishes. Chop the herbs. Make the Minted Yogurt Sauce by stirring the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- When the meat is tender, using tongs, carefully remove it from the pan, placing it on a dish. Discard the bay leaves. Scoop out the onions and save them with the meat. Pour all the fat/liquid out of the pan, saving it.
- Return the lamb and onions to the pan, shred it a little with two forks and season with salt. Either skim the fat from the braising liquid (which will rise to the surface) or chill it until it hardens and you can easily remove it. You can add a little braising liquid back into the lamb (this step is optional, adds moisture and flavor).
- Serve the lamb with toasted tortillas (or lightly grill them over your gas burner on the stove) and sides.
Note: For additional flavor make the optional Herbed Caper Sauce. Place all but the capers in a food processor and pulse until chopped evenly, but not smooth. Pour in a small bowl. Stir in the capers.
Source: American Lamb Board