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Barbacoa de Borrego

My mouth waters just at the thought of Lamb Barbacoa. It’s a simple stew that you can enjoy on a Sunday morning when everyone’s at home and has time to enjoy a relaxing brunch. I always prepare this meal overnight, I just add everything to the slow cooker and forget about it until the next morning.
Course Antojitos
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Times given are for the slow cooker version 0 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 625kcal


  • 3 Avocado leaves
  • 1 large baking potato peeled and cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 medium sized carrots peeled and cut into slices
  • ½ white onion cut into wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 Serrano pepper thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. white rice uncooked
  • cup chickpeas soaked overnight*
  • 1 Full rack of Lamb about 1 ½ pounds
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
  • 6 cups of water


  • 1 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 cup white onion finely chopped
  • 1 lime cut in wedges
  • Warm tortillas and your favorite hot salsa


  • Slightly toast the avocado leaves over medium-high heat on a griddle.
  • Place the potato, carrots, onion, garlic, serrano pepper, rice, and chickpeas in the cooking pot. Cover with 6 cups of water.
  • Place a steamer or metal cooking rack (I use the metal steamer from my pressure cooker) over the vegetables, this will support the meat.
  • Season the lamb rack with the coarse sea salt on both sides. Place on the steamer.
  • The meat usually doesn’t touch the water, it is cooked merely from the vapor/steam. Place the avocado leaves on the lamb. Cover the pot with aluminum foil and then place the lid on tightly. Cook for 4 ½ hours on high in your slow cooker or for about 1 hour in a large pot/Dutch oven on your stove top over medium heat.


• This recipe only renders 4 servings. If you want to prepare a large amount use a leg of lamb. 
*You can substitute the uncooked chickpeas for canned chickpeas. If using the canned version, add it to the stew a half-hour before finish cooking.
• You can also use a Leg of Lamb, or a combination of both leg and rack, for more servings.
• This recipe will render 4 large bowls of consommé and about 2 -3 tacos per person.
• This is the slow cooker version, if cooking in a Dutch oven over the stovetop, it will take about 1 hour, or until meat is tender.


Serving: 1portion | Calories: 625kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 699mg | Potassium: 745mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5393IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg