Birria Tagliatelle

The basics of traditional Italian pasta and ragu cooking, flipped, twisted and flown all the way to Central America?

Done in 4hrs

Tom Jackson

Dish by Tom Jackson



For the Birria Sauce:

1.5 kglamb shoulder (cut into cubes)

3ancho chillies

3guajillo chillies

2chipotle chillies

1brown onion

4large tomatoes

4garlic cloves

1 tsp dried mexican oregano

1cinnamon stick

4bay leaves

1 tspblack peppercorns

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp mexican chipotle adobo paste

2 cups beef stocks

salt to taste

The rest:

as much as you need of Tagliatelle (for 4 people)

good extra virgin olive oil

loads of parmigiano regnano

coriander (finely chopped)

Pasta and Ragu. Possibly the most classic and with so many options, it is the go to dinner for a lot of folks. There's spaghetti and bolognese from the north, seafood linguines from the south, and now Birria Tagliatelle from Mexico??!!


In a large, high-walled pot, add your dry spices and chillies, and on a medium heat, toast them until they start to crack and pop. Remove from the pot.

In the same pot, on high heat, sear your onion, tomatoes and garlic until charred. Add back your dry spices, and water to fill the pot at least half way. Bring to the boil, and lower to a simmer for 30 mins to steep all our aromatics.

Once your aromatics have cooked off, and your chillies are now soft, add to a blender with a couple ladles the chilli water. Blend into a thick-ish paste and adjust the consistency with more water if needed. Add your vinegar, beef stock and salt to taste.

Cut your lamb into cubes (about a couple inches thick), salt heavily and sear on high heat on all sides to develop a beautiful dark golden crust (do this in the same pot as before). Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the braising liquid to the lamb, cover with foil and place in the oven at 150-160°c for a minimum of 2-2.5 hours, or until the lamb falls apart with ease (if this doesn't happen after 2.5 hours, just keep it cooking, it will just keep getting tastier).

Now it's time to get that pasta on the hob! Remove the lamb pieces from the braising liquid and shred them up.

In a small pan, heat on medium with some extra virgin olive oil, and add the shredded lamb to warm through. Ladle on some of the sauce to your desired sauciness, and some pasta water, stirring to emulsify. Add your pasta and all that's left is to serve up with all the parmigiano regnano you can imagine, and enjoy!

What do you think of the recipe?

Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson

Originally hailing from Birmingham, England and with a culinary heritage sprawling around Britain, Tom, the host of Shelf Life and Alphabetti, is a cook from nowhere that takes inspiration from everywhere. Passionate about the shared food experience and the commonalities between supposedly separate cuisines, Tom showcases broad and thorough references in his cooking and has a particular love for spices. He is also obsessed with pasta salads and is currently waiting for Mr. Naga to get in touch regarding his Ambassadorship.

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