Recipe: Michael Van de Elzen’s Lamb Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Lime Mayo

There’s nothing better than homemade tacos made with fresh ingredients (and a generous sprinkling of smoky chilli)

Recipe and words: Michael Van de Elzen

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

These tacos are amazing, easy to make, and fresh, with a great kick of smoky chilli. They’re a good recipe for getting the kids involved. To source the masa flour and chipotle paste, try an online store specialising in Mexican food. It’s easy to make chipotle paste yourself, using chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, available from most supermarkets.


400g deboned lamb leg, fat trimmed (small pan roast)
1 tbsp chipotle paste
1 pinch of sea salt


1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Sear the lamb on all sides in a hot frying pan.
2. Place a large sheet of tin foil in a baking tray. Brush a square of chipotle paste onto the foil, a little larger than the lamb. Place the lamb onto the paste, season with salt, then brush the lamb with the remainder of paste. Wrap the lamb in the tin foil and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
3. Remove the lamb from the oven and allow it to cool without unwrapping.
4. When cool, pour the cooking juices into a bowl. Use your fingers to shred the meat back into the juices.
5. To reheat for serving, rest the bowl over a pot of boiling water, or microwave.


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes


2 cups masa flour
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups water


1. Combine masa, salt, and water in a bowl and mix by hand for 2 minutes to form a soft dough. If the dough feels dry, add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, until it’s soft but not sticky. Form the dough into 50g balls and cover with a damp tea towel until ready to press.
2. Place the ball between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a taco press or rolling pin to roll out 10cm diameter tortillas.
3. Heat the tortillas in a hot, dry frying pan, 20 seconds each side. Keep the cooked tortillas stacked in a clean tea towel until you’re ready to serve.

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Chipotle lime mayo

Prep time: 5 minutes


juice of 2 limes
½ tbsp chipotle paste
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
½ tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil


Blitz or whisk the first six ingredients together. Slowly drizzle in vegetable oil while mixing until the mayonnaise reaches a creamy consistency.

Smashed avocado

Prep time: 2 minutes


2 ripe avocadoes
juice of 1 lemon
pinch salt
pinch black pepper


Mash together avocado and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.

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