This smoked and braised Leg of Lamb recipe will be a delicious addition to your weekly smoke sessions. It is perfect for a casual dinner (if you don’t mind leftovers) or dinner party you are hosting. You won’t be disappointed with the results. Just be sure you factor in the 12-24 hour marinade that allows the delicious marinade to penetrate into the lamb.

The Ancho Chili paste is the most important part of the whole cook. This will determine the flavor of your lamb that will leave your taste buds wanting more. It starts by rehydrating some guajillo and ancho chilies in water and then adding them into a food processor with a few more ingredients. This will leave you with a nice thick paste to slather your leg of lamb with. leg of lamb recipe in a dutch oven

Right after the 12-24 hour marinade, it goes straight into the smoker with hickory wood for 3 hours to form a deep mahogany bark. This is where the flavor is at! From here, it’s placed in the dutch oven with some herbs and spices for another 3-4 hours. The key is to let it go until it is probe tender, basically until it shreds without applying too much pressure. 

Now the only thing left is the full recipe, let’s get started!

seasoned lamb in a pan

Smoked Leg of Lamb Tacos with Ancho Chili Marinade

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10


  • 3-5 lb Leg of lamb (bone-in or boneless)
  • 1 pack Corn tortillas
  • 1 Red onion diced for garnish
  • 1 bunch Cilantro for garnish
  • 3-4 Limes
  • Oaxaca Cheese

Ancho Chili Paste

  • 6 Guajillo chilies
  • 2 Ancho chilis
  • 6-8 cloves Garlic
  • ½ stick Stick of Achiote paste
  • ½ cup Juice from rehydrating chilies
  • cup Rosemary chopped
  • cup Fresh oregano chopped
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Allspice powder
  • 1 tsp Cloves powder
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • ½ cup Red wine vinegar

Braising Ingredients

  • 36 oz Beer I used Honey Brown Lager
  • ½ cup Beef stock
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Whole onion large
  • 6 sprigs Thyme
  • 3 sprigs Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Allspice berries
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp Chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp Chopped oregano
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
Keyword ancho chili, easy lamb tacos, easy tacos, lamb tacos, leg of lamb, smoked leg of lamb


  1. Start off by scoring the leg of lamb so the marinade can penetrate into the lamb. 
  2. Get a pot of water boiling and add the Ancho chiles and the guajillo chilies (be sure to remove the stem and seeds prior). Let them sit in the boiling water for 4-6 minutes and remove. 
  3. Add the chilies into a food processor with the juices from the pot. Add garlic, Achiote paste, fresh rosemary, fresh oregano, peppercorns, allspice powder, clove powder, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Blend for a few minutes so it becomes a thick(er) paste.
  4. Spread the Ancho Chili paste all over the lamb and seal it in a container. Place in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
  5. The next day, fire up the smoker and set the temp to 250 degrees F. Using hickory wood chunks. Add a water pan and add the leg of lamb. Smoke for 3 hours.smoked leg of lamb on a smoker
  6. After 3 hours, remove and place in a dutch oven with onions, garlic, beer, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, rosemary, allspice berries, black peppercorns, basil, oregano, and a cinnamon stick. Braise until the lamb is probe tender (fall apart tender), about 2-3 hours.
  7. Remove the leg of lamb once it’s shreddable and place in an aluminum pan sealed with foil, resting for 45-60 minutes. Shred the lamb and strain the juice from the solids. Add 1/2 the juice in with the shredded lamb and cover.
  8. Get a skillet nice and hot and toast your tortillas, add cheese and the lamb.
  9. Once they are made, add red onion and cilantro with lime juice to finish them off.
  10. Serve and enjoy with family and friends!



Items used in This Recipe

Hasty-Bake Grill

Knitted Gloves

Food Processor

Cast Iron Skillet 

Meater +

Charcoal Chimney

Charcoal Starters

Firestarter Guard

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