No, I’m not expecting you to dig a classic Mexican backyard pit to cook lamb barbacoa for your Memorial Day taco party. (If you really want to, though, here’s my step-by-step procedure…

But I can suggest an alternate version, one where a lamb shoulder, wrapped in aromatic leaves and marinated in red chile, roasts in your slow cooker until it’s fall-apart tender. Folded into a tortilla, splashed with salsa and showered with fresh onion and cilantro, these succulent tacos offer a true taste of Mexico.

Don’t be intimidated by my call for agave leaves (pencas de maguey) here. If you’re near a Mexican grocery store, you’ll typically find them in the meat or vegetable department. (Banana leaves make a decent substitute; you can find those in Mexican and Asian markets.)

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More recipes by Chef Rick Bayless: