Lamb Barbacoa Tacos + Make It Paleo 2

I received a review copy of the beautiful new cookbook Make it Paleo II, by Bill & Hayley of Primal Palate and Hayley's sister Caitlin (who is trained as a sushi chef).

While this cookbook does have some AIP-friendly recipes or dishes that are easily adapted, I haven't gotten a chance to cook from it yet - there are a lot of very exciting things happening right now -- I'm in the final stages of writing MY first ebook (about why paleo is not enough for vibrant health and freedom from disease), I learned that I'm doing a cooking demo at Paleo f(x), and I'm in the middle of a voluntary AIP challenge with 3 other folks in my house and I'm working on materials to help folks transition to AIP or a leaky gut protocol. And I'm cooking all of the food for the house. Not to mention I got about a month behind on all my work thanks to the house flooding in January and being displaced to hotels. 

So, I've been a very busy bee this last month, and, honestly, the best recipes in this book are nowhere near AIP-friendly, so I am making a list and planning delicious meals for when I'm finished with this challenge and can properly enjoy them. 

Let's take a closer look at the book. There are over 175 recipes inside, ranging from super simple flavorful staples -- like Caramelized Carrots, Roasted Cauliflower, Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing, Nightshade-free Breakfast Sausage, and Orange Chicken -- to moderately complex dishes, to ones that are quite exotic, exciting, and often time-consuming to prep -- like Pork and Apple Ravioli, Pork Dumplings, Ramen with Chasu and Marinated Eggs, Scottish Meat Pies, Nut-free Pasta Dough, and Cranberry Hand Pies. Y'know, all those things you never thought could be paleo are in this amazing cookbook. 

I see this cookbook as one I will turn to when I want to create a meal that doesn't feel like it's restricted by paleo guidelines and is on par with something I would be served at a fine restaurant. I can see myself using this cookbook to go all out and cook for 2 days straight for an epic dinner party that will be so memorable that my guests will be talking about for a long time afterward.  

I can also see using this book on the weekends to create a special weekly meal that the whole house can look forward to eating and perhaps one we can cook together. It's awesome when a homemade meal makes you forget for a moment that you are eating paleo. I mean, c'mon, homemade paleo pasta?? And pork dumplings?? Those are some damn fine treats to enjoy on occasion. 

And really, every recipe in this cookbook - even the simple and fast ones -is exciting. There aren't really any "throwaway" recipes that you can tell are just in there to take up space. Any of these dishes would be worthy of showing up on the menu at a fine dining restaurant. You'll feel like a real chef when you cook from this book and I am certain that you will find some new favorite meals to add to your regular menu at home. 

Well, now my mouth is watering now and I'm counting down the days until Lent is over and I can really dig into this cookbook. But, so I'm not a complete tease, the authors have been generous enough to let me share a recipe from the cookbook with you today. It's for Mexican-style lamb barbacoa tacos. You'll have to buy the book to get the tortilla recipe, but luckily there are a couple of other paleo tortilla recipes online that you could try with it. Or, to keep it simple and low-carb, wrap this delicious meat up in a large lettuce leaf.  

Here are some suggestions for tortilla recipes:

Hope you enjoy, and be sure to follow me on Instagram so you don't miss an upcoming giveaway for this gem of a cookbook :-)

#Paleo Lamb Barbacoa Tacos //

Lamb Barbacoa Tacos

Recipe by Bill, Hayley, and Caitlin from Make It Paleo II

Barbacoa is originally from the Caribbean and Central America, but today there are many varieties of barbacoa dishes. As the dish gained popularity in the American South (particularly Texas), 'barbacoa' became 'barbecue.' Barbacoa gained popularity in many parts of the united States when the restaurant chain Chipotle introduced it as part of its menu. It's easy to see why barbacoa became popular, as it is packed with great flavor and is relatively easy to make. This version with lamb is Mexican, though other regional variations of the dish can be made with beef and pork.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 4 hours

Total time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt (Amanda's note: I would use coarse Celtic Sea Salt instead)
  • 2 tsp paprika (Amanda's note: I would use this smoked paprika to give it some extra depth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder
  • 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp rendered lard

Cooking Directions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the sice mix and stir to evenly combine.
  2. Pour the water in a slow cooker and turn the heat to high. Cover the lamb shoulder wihtthe mustard, then evenly distribute the spice mix all over the lamb. Make sure to get it into all the crevices as best you can.
  3. Heat the lard in a heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat. The lard should be very hot, but not smoking. Sear the lamb on all sides to give it a golden brown crust. Place the lamb in the slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours.
  4. About 20 minutes before the lamb has finished cooking, prepare the tortillas (if using).
  5. When fully cooked, the lamb should shred easily with a fork. Remove the lamb from the slow cooker and shred it.
  6. Top each tortilla or lettuce wrap with the shredded lamb and garnish with the toppings of your choice.
  7. There is an awesome tortilla recipe in the cookbook

Recommended tools & ingredients

These are the ingredients that I use in my own kitchen at home, which are available from my affiliate partners. I only recommend things I love to use myself and that I think you will love, too! Click on any image to learn more about the product. 

If you can't render your own lard, this stuff is the next best thing! Buy 3 jars and save. 

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