clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Lamb Tacos

Lebanese Lamb Tacos: Tacos Arabes

  • Author: Cosette's Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Lamb
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Lebanese


A delicious lamb taco filled with middle eastern flavors.



Lamb Shoulder

  • 3.5-4 pound boneless American lamb shoulder
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt*
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, any variety
  • 2 teaspoon mixed spices or 7 spice, you can sub all-spice if you can't locate
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons toum, or olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 cup red wine or veggie/chicken/beef stock
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • extra dollop of toum (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Cabbage + Beet Slaw

  • 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt*
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 2 whole lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 whole fresh beet, peeled and sliced thin into matchsticks*

Other Taco Ingredients:

  • Pita bread, fresh made or store bought
  • Feta cheese, or other preferred cheese
  • Additional thick yogurt if desired
  • Scallions


Lamb Shoulder

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Next, begin preparing your boneless American boneless lamb. I prefer working on a large sheet pan to prep.
  3. Mix your spices together in a small bowl: salt, pepper, paprika, mixed spices (or 7 spices), sumac and garlic powder. Set aside.
  4. Peel 10 cloves of garlic, if some are larger pieces, you can cut in half.
  5. With your lamb still wrapped in twice or netting, begin making small slits in and then place a garlic clove inside. Continue on all sides of your lamb until you've used all your garlic cloves. Use or more or less to your taste. Remember, the garlic will melt and become sweet when roasted, so no heavy garlic flavor.
  6. Once you've inserted your garlic, coat your lamb with toum or olive oil - I of course prefer toum as it lends a bit of extra flavor + oil.
  7. Next, rub your spice mixture all over your lamb sides and both front and back until fully coated. Set aside.
  8. In the bottom of a heavy-bottomed dutch oven (or oven safe pot) add your remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and begin sautéing your onions over medium-high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent then remove from pot and set aside.
  9. Turn your burner to high and place your lamb in the same pot and begin searing on one side for 3-4 minutes, then flip and continue to sear on all sides until golden brown all around.
  10. Add your onions back to the pot as well as your wine or other cooking liquid, lemon juice and another dollop of toum if you'd like.
  11. Cover and place in preheated oven. Cook for 3 hours, begin checking at the 2.5 hour mark. When you remove from oven, you want the lamb to be fork tender, meaning when you take a fork to it, it will begin to fall apart. If it's still tough - cover and add additional time in 30 minute increments.
  12. One your lamb is cooked, remove from cooking liquid and allow to rest 15 minutes.
  13. Place your cooking liquid to the side and allow to cool, once cool - the fat (lamb has a lot of rendered fat) will surface to the top and you can skim away and compost or place in garbage - do not put down sink!
  14. Reserve the remaining liquid/sauce + onions and mix with your lamb.

Cabbage + Beet Slaw

  1. Make your dressing by smashing your garlic cloves with a mortar and pestle. Next add your salt, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and salt.
  2. Whisk in your yogurt or sour cream until smooth.
  3. Add your shredded cabbage and sliced beets to the bowl. Begin working into the dressing.
  4. Toss until fully combined.


  1. To assemble your tacos, heat your pita slightly over an open flame on stovetop or for just a few seconds in the oven or microwave.
  2. Add in your sliced lamb pieces, top with cabbage slaw then finish with feta cheese, scallions and additional yogurt or sour cream. Enjoy!


  • If using table salt vs kosher salt, half the amount in the recipe and taste before adding more. Table salt has a higher saltiness factor than kosher salt. My preferred brand of kosher salt is Diamond.
  • If you don't have a fresh beet, you can use a canned beet and slice into matchstick pieces. Cooked beets will also work but the crunch from fresh is preferred.
  • Store your lamb in a sealed container and reheat just what you want when remaking tacos.
  • Lamb and slaw are good in the fridge for 4-5 days. Lamb can be frozen in a well sealed freezer safe container for up to 3 months. 
  • A Dutch oven is preferred for this dish, here is an option for you. Otherwise, be sure your cooking vessel and lid are safe to 325 degrees. If your lid is not, you can always cover with foil. 

Keywords: tacos arabes origin, tacos al pastor, tacos, lamb tacos, lebanese tacos al pastor, lamb tacos recipe, lamb tacos al pastor, barbacoa, barbacoa tacos recipe, barbacoa tacos, american lamb, authentic lamb tacos, authentic tacos, gyros