Lamb tacos with rocket, pomegranate crema and chiltepil

Lamb tacos with rocket, pomegranate crema and chiltepil

Hungry For That
Lauren Bamford

I am very fortunate to have two great brothers, Rudin and Johann. Both, like me, share a passion for food and family. Rudin has a beautiful little boy named Zedrin. For Zeddy’s first birthday, Rudin decided to throw a big party, as you do. He invited about 100 people to his house and got me to sort out some food. As the guests started to arrive, they could see that Rudin and Brooke had gone to A LOT of effort for a first birthday party. They had custom badges and bunting made with Zeddy’s name on them, plus there were endless drinks and snacks on offer. There was a buzz in the air, but no one could really pinpoint why. Sure, first birthdays are exciting, but this was out of the ordinary.

I had a spit of lamb shoulders going and, at about 1 pm, I was looking to start serving lunch. 1 pm came and Rudin gave me the nod. He and Brooke slipped back into the house. Five minutes later they re-appeared in new outfits and announced they were going to get married, then and there! A strange guest who had been posing as a distant relative popped out of the crowd and started the ceremony. WTF! Still in shock, all of the guests witnessed a very casual, but incredible, backyard wedding. Then they turned around and hit these spit-roasted lamb tacos!

Now, every time I make these tacos, I think of my brother’s surprise wedding.


Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons hot paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2kg lamb shoulder, bone removed
20 Corn tortillas
1 lemon, juiced, plus more to taste
rocket, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
70g pepitas
40g sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3-4 teaspoons chilli flakes, preferably chile de árbol


Quantity Ingredient
500g greek-style yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon salt

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
pomegranate seeds


  1. To make the chiltepil, toast the pepitas in a dry frying pan over low heat, until light brown and fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and use a pestle to break them up slightly. Combine the pepitas with the sesame seeds, salt, sesame oil and chilli flakes.
  2. To make the labneh, combine the yoghurt with the salt in a bowl. Lay a large square of muslin (cheesecloth) on a working surface and scoop the yoghurt into the centre. Gather up the sides of the muslin to make a pouch around the yoghurt and tie up with kitchen string. Hang the pouch over a bowl and refrigerate for at least 24 hours (see recipe note).
  3. Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  4. Combine the oregano, paprika and salt in a small bowl. Rub the spice mix all over the lamb and put the lamb, fat side up, in a roasting tin. Loosely cover the tin with foil and roast in the oven for 5 hours, or until the lamb is really tender and falling apart. Remove the lamb from the tin and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Heat a barbecue or a chargrill pan to a high heat. Cut the lamb into small pieces, and put aside any pieces with a good amount of fat. Cover the leaner lamb pieces with foil to keep them warm, and quickly grill the fatty pieces on the barbecue or in the chargrill pan for 2–3 minutes. Be sure to let some of the pieces really crisp up, and even burn slightly.
  6. Meanwhile, warm the tortillas. Heat a non-stick frying pan or a barbecue hot plate to a high heat. Warm the tortillas for about 10 seconds each, or until they become soft and pliable. Wrap them in a damp, clean tea towel to keep them soft until ready to serve.
  7. Combine the charred lamb with the rest of the lamb and hit it with a good squeeze of lemon and a good pinch of salt. To assemble, spread some of the labneh on each tortilla and top with some of the rocket, some of the lamb and a little chiltepil. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.


  • The easiest way to hang the pouch is to tie it to a wooden spoon and suspend that over the bowl.
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