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Grilled barbacoa lamb chops are simple to prepare with bold flavors.

Grilled Barbacoa Lamb Chops

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Grab a hold of these Grilled Barbacoa Lamb Chops with boozy salsa borracha. Complex flavors, but very simple to throw together on the grill. Plus, you get a bowl of salsa. Who doesn’t love that?

  • Total Time: About 5 hours
  • Yield: Serves about 4-5 1x


  • 5 dried guajillo chiles seeds removed
  • 2 dried ancho chile, seeds removed
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, in husk
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fine Kosher salt
  • 1 rack of lamb, frenched (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon tequila reposado
  • 2 limes, sliced in half for grilling


  1. Prepare the salsa marinade. Rinse the dried chiles and remove the stems and seeds. Pour very warm water over them in a non-reactive bowl and allow them to hydrate for about 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the grill to high heat. Roast the tomatoes, onion, and garlic over the heat until everything is charred and soft, for about 6 minutes. The onion might take longer than the rest. Remove the charred husks from the garlic, the charred skin from the onion, and the skin from the tomatoes. Add them into a blender with the oregano, thyme, cumin, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Blend until mostly smooth and set aside to cool.
  3. Slice the lamb into individual chops. Season each of them lightly with some kosher salt. Place them into a resealable plastic bag and pour in just enough of the cool marinade to coat them. There will be at least half of it left over, we’ll use this to make the salsa borracha.
  4. Allow the lamb to marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
  5. Prepare the salsa while the lamb is marinating. Add the rest of the fresh marinade to a small sauce pan with the tequila. Cook the salsa at a medium low heat, allowing the salsa to thicken for about 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust the flavor with salt if needed.
  6. Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Remove the lamb from the marinade and shake loose any excess sauce.
  7. Clean the grill grates well. Sear the lamb directly over the heat and allow it to cook for about 2 minutes before flipping. Continue to cook in this method while flipping until the lamb has developed a nice crust. For medium rare, remove lamb when they are about 130°F. Grill the lime slices at the end for a couple of minutes.
  8. Serve with the salsa borracha and a squeeze of lime. Cheers!


  • Don’t forget to salt the lamb before you add it to the marinade. The sauce does have some salt, but I’ve found that lightly salting the lamb a few minutes before you add the marinade makes a big difference with the surface flavors.
  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Marinade Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Beef & Lamb
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Main Dish
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