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Borrego Tatemado, or Mexican Fire-Roasted Lamb, is a taste of rustic, ranch life in Mexico. Tender meat that has been marinated for hours. Delicious and incredibly flavorful. By Mama Maggie’s Kitchen
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5 from 1 vote

Borrego Tatemado, or Mexican Fire-Roasted Lamb

Barbacoa de Borrego Tatemado (Mexican Fire-Roasted Lamb Barbacoa) is juicy, tender meat that is slow cooked and falling off the bone. A bite of rustic Mexican heaven.
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 d 1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Calories: 442kcal



  • Place the lamb and 1 tablespoon salt inside a large container. 
  • Cover with water.
  • Let sit for 30 minutes. This is to completely remove the blood.
  • Meanwhile, toast the chile ancho and chile guajillo.
  • Be careful not to burn.
  • Remove the stem from all the chiles.
  • Then devein and remove as many seeds as possible.
  • Add the chiles to a pot of water.
  • Bring to a boil. Turn heat off. Let sit for 55 minutes.
  • Discard water.
  • Add all the rehydrated chiles, onion, garlic, cloves, peppercorns, cumin, oregano, 1 tablespoon salt, vinegar, and ½ cup water to a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • We are making a paste. If the blender needs more water, add only the amount necessary to get it to blend.
  • Set aside until ready to use.
  • Discard water from the meat.
  • Rinse the meat well.
  • Pour the sauce from the blender onto the meat.
  • Add 1 cup of water to the blender to get any remaining sauce.
  • Gently rub the sauce all over the meat.
  • Be sure to marinate every part of the meat.
  • Cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • To a large Dutch Oven pot, add the meat and sauce.
  • Cover with the lid and place in the oven.
  • Cook for 1 hour.
  • Remove the pot from the oven.
  • Baste the meat with liquid from the bottom of the pot.
  • Return the pot to the oven uncovered and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  • (OR, place uncovered pot under the broiler for 7-10 minutes, until the meat is slightly charred. If you are doing this method, watch the meat carefully so it won’t burn).
  • Again take out the pot and baste with the juices from the bottom of the pan.
  • Grate fresh nutmeg over the top of the meat and return the uncovered pot to the oven for 5 more minutes, or 2 minutes under the broiler.
  • Serve with raw white onions, cilantro, salsa, lime, and tortillas.
  • Enjoy!


You can use any type of lamb meat – leg, shoulder, with or without bones. 
If you can’t find lamb, you can also make this dish with roast beef.


Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 1633mg | Potassium: 1124mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4066IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 7mg