Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Crispy Onion Straws and Mango Salsa I

Today is sort of a fun day. A really fun day! It’s somebody’s birthday.

Not my birthday. If it was my birthday I’d be having a myocardial infarction since it would mean I’m 30. Huh. Not yet not yet not yet.

BUT. It is my husband’s birthday. Happy happy birthday to him – with pork and everything. Normally I’d spend a good chunk of this day laughing about how much older he is than me. However at some point that got stale once we realized that like, yeah… it was funny for about a year. Or less. Or not at all. Whatever. Then it wasn’t. It was just… boring. And we don’t want to be BORING for the next 50 years. So no more old man jokes.

Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Crispy Onion Straws and Mango Salsa I

The thing is… he is probably one of the greatest husbands in all the land.

Right about now he most likely is thinking that I’m only boasting about him being the greatest in all the land because I’ve had about 48 hours to myself… without him… like with a bed to myself… and a good night’s sleep… snore-free… with no chicken or steak to be seen… and no man stuff…

And oh gosh. It’s been freaking WOOONDERFUL.

We would not survive otherwise.

We sort of strike this perfect balance between us. You know, like I’m super intense and insane and believe that my life should be like MTV’s super sweet 16 birthday party, but be like that um, every single day and he’s all quiet and calm and pretty much black and white and helps to bring me back to Earth.

No idea why I need THAT though.

Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Crispy Onion Straws and Mango Salsa I

I only think with my heart… always. He only thinks with his head… always. I don’t even think I have a head sometimes. Seriously. If you’d even HEAR the stuff I say and do based on emotion alone and no real rational sense… oh mah gosh. It’s scary. It’s not even, like, real girl stuff. It’s like utterly whacked up Jessica-specific stuff. I try to tell him it’s because I’m a Scorpio. And obviously, I sometimes don’t even think he has a heart. You don’t want to witness our fights. Pretty sure they are the reason that all of our neighbors hate us and don’t talk to us. HAS to be. I mean, I cook food for a living! Wouldn’t they want some?

He is totally cool about the annoying things I do, like leave my hair dryer plugged in for all of eternity (um, I’m just going to plug it back in again tomorrow) and vacuum the floors then leave the vacuum right smack dab… in the middle of the floor. Like with the cord all unwrapped and everything. Sometimes tangled and sprawled between three or four rooms. I just haaaaate that stupid cord and push my luck seeing if I can get him so fed up that he will wrap it up himself. And he usually does… and doesn’t even complain. Or mention it. Or remind me 800 times that he did it. That’s pretty perfect, right? Oh and he also lets me do all those other things I’ve told you about like sleep with the ceiling fan on high since I’m like a blast furnace and he doesn’t even say a word when I break out the pita chips and hummus at midnight while watching Fashion Police. After we ate pizza like two hours earlier.

Ugh. Does it get any better?

Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Crispy Onion Straws and Mango Salsa I

[It hasn’t always been like this, and it’s not always like this. You’ve most likely witnessed three years of my matrimonial emotions on this website. All over the gosh darn board. But now we like each other. Like, a lot. It’s crazy. And then we want to kill each other. Again. Did you know…  if you actually WORK at something, it grows. Who would have thought? What is this work-for-something business? You mean I can’t improve my relationship with a click of the mouse? WHAT. Did I sign up for this? ]

So when you a write a food blog… it means multiple birthday meals. Well with me it does. When asked what he wanted for his blog birthday meal (besides plain steak, plain chicken, steak and chicken), he went with this bbq beer pork. Which really was bbq beer chicken. Turned into tacos because… is there anything that can’t become tacos? I added the crispy onion straws to “man” these up as much as I could, along with the salsa for some fresh and light flavor. And geeeeez… we could not stop eating them. He has good taste.

So happy happy birthday Eddie! I’m hoping this is the year I can convince you to hatelove Girls with me. You know you want to.

Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Crispy Onion Straws and Mango Salsa I


Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Crispy Onion Straws and Mango Salsa

Yield: serves 4-6

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8.5 hours


1 (3.5-pound) pork shoulder roast (mine was bone-in)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces of beer
32 ounces of barbecue sauce + additional for drizzling
12 small flour or corn tortillas
4-6 ounces freshly grated cheddar cheese
1 batch of crispy onion straws

Mango Salsa
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/2 jalapeño, finely diced
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
the juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Optional but yields the best result: heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Sear the pork on every side (about 2-3 minutes per side) until golden brown before adding to the crockpot.

Add pork to crockpot with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours, tossing once or twice if desired. After 8 hours, shred pork with forks or kitchen tongs and add remaining barbecue sauce. Toss pork to coat and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving to absorb everything. Remove bone (if bone-in) before serving.

I made the mango salsa about 2 hours before serving and the crispy onion straws about 1 hour before. To assemble tacos, place pork in the center of the tortilla and top with a drizzle of barbecue sauce if desired. Add on cheddar, then onion straws and then a big spoonful of mango salsa. Eat up!

Mango Salsa
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to mix. Can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days, is best when sits for a few hours so the flavors marry.

[pork adapted from my BBQ beer chicken]

Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Crispy Onion Straws and Mango Salsa I

Tomorrow will be an even funner day. Yes it’s a word. Tomorrow we talk birthday dessert. Funner!

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94 Responses to “Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Crispy Onion Straws and Mango Salsa. (and birthday stuff.)”

  1. #
    Eddie — September 20, 2012 @ 7:06 am

    I wouldn’t want to work on this marriage thing with anyone else.


    • Julie J — September 20th, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

      Aww! Happy Birthday.


    • Erin W. — September 20th, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

      It’s my birthday too! Happy Birthday, birthday twin! And the BBQ Beer Chicken is my favorite recipe. Good call.


  2. #
    Kim@hungryhealthygirl — September 20, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    Happy b-day to Eddie! Can’t wait to see what your cooking up for tomorrow.


  3. #
    stacy t — September 20, 2012 @ 7:13 am

    oh funner is a word! yup it is. so is thinger! use it all the time and i get these weird stares from people. they just aren’t as cool as i am!


  4. #
    Rachel Cooks — September 20, 2012 @ 7:14 am

    Happy Birthday Eddie (love his comment, btw!). This look like a perfect birthday meal–especially w/ the onion straws!


  5. #
    Linda — September 20, 2012 @ 7:21 am

    Eddie it sounds to me like your one lucky man! Haveing a wife like Jessica who is so creative with her cooking and always makeing you thease delciouse meals! I hope you have a wonderful Birthday! Filled with all the things that you wanna do and doing them with the ones who love you so much. Your family and friends!


  6. #
    Liz — September 20, 2012 @ 7:26 am

    Happy birthday to your husband!!!!


  7. #
    Alicia — September 20, 2012 @ 7:30 am

    As we say in my family
    Hippo birdie two ewe!
    I ‘ve got 6 months till my 50Th ,want to compare notes …..


  8. #
    Stephanie — September 20, 2012 @ 7:38 am

    Happy Birthday Mr. How Sweet!

    Here’s to hoping there’s a hockey season this year, but boo Penguins! Go Devils!


    • Eddie — September 20th, 2012 @ 8:29 am

      as long as you don’t root for Philly, you and I are cool.


      • Stephanie — September 20th, 2012 @ 10:11 am

        and as long as your don’t root for Philly or the Rangers we’re cool, so I guess we’re cool then! Why can’t everyone just get along and play some hockey?

    • Jessica — September 20th, 2012 @ 10:07 am

      I am scared to see what happens in this house if there is not a hockey season. Seriously.


    • Julie J — September 20th, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

      Go Red Wings!


  9. #
    Rachel — September 20, 2012 @ 7:38 am

    What a sincere and touching post! Sending my best wishes to you both :-)


  10. #
    DessertForTwo — September 20, 2012 @ 7:44 am

    Happy Birthday Mr. How Sweet!!! I hope you know how lucky you are that she makes food like this for you ;)


  11. #
    Kim in MD — September 20, 2012 @ 7:47 am

    What a sweet, touching post! Happy Birthday, Mr. How Sweet (aka Eddie)!

    The tacos look so delicious, and I am going to make them for dinner tonight!


  12. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — September 20, 2012 @ 7:48 am

    Happy birthday to Mr How Sweet! It sounds like you two are perfect complements for each other. Steak, chicken pork, and beer… add a little diet Coke and his day (in terms of meals) will be complete!


  13. #
    Joelle (on a pink typewriter) — September 20, 2012 @ 7:48 am

    Sounds to me like you’ve got a good thing going – tacos just make it better. :) Happy birthday to Mr. How Sweet!


  14. #
    Jenny @ BAKE — September 20, 2012 @ 7:56 am

    happy birthday to your hubby! this meal looks amazing!


  15. #
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh — September 20, 2012 @ 7:56 am

    Happy Birthday to your Mr!

    Now I want pork for breakfast. “Pork…it’s what’s for breakfast.”


  16. #
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — September 20, 2012 @ 7:58 am

    Awwww, what a GREAT 1st comment for this post!!!! Happy Birthday, Eddie!!!!!
    The tacos look awesome!!


  17. #
    Amy W — September 20, 2012 @ 8:22 am


    You just made me so happy. Like, so happy. I’m 24 and lately I’ve been thinking what is even the point of marriage anymore? So many people I know have gotten married and are now divorced that I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I didn’t understand why people just couldn’t work things out. I love to hear things like this that prove to me marriage is still a very real option for us “younger crowd”. Couples that don’t have a perfect relationship but grow stronger despite of it. So thank you. A very happy birthday to Mr. How Sweet and many wishes for the both of you.


    • Eddie — September 20th, 2012 @ 8:36 am

      Hi Amy,

      i don’t want to get all preachy but marriage is definitely worth it. It requires work every day and no one can prepare you for how difficult it is at times (or maybe it’s just a passionate Scorpio and stubborn Virgo that make it difficult) but i wouldn’t change a thing.


      • Stacy — September 20th, 2012 @ 10:49 am

        Amen! Even from this Scorpio & his Virgo… Work and friendship = good times & love Yeah, you fight but that’s just part of the process.

    • Jessica — September 20th, 2012 @ 10:07 am

      I totally know what you mean Amy! So… I think there is a very fine line these days about marriage/divorce in our generation. I love that people are strong/smart enough to leave a relationship when it isn’t right. And there are definitely a ton of those out there. But I also think that a lot of people give up way too easily (that whole instant gratification/internet generation thing) and the second it gets hard, they bolt! It’s definitely worth it but it does take work.


      • Niki — September 20th, 2012 @ 10:29 am

        Haha – I’m a Scorpio and my BF is a Virgo, so i TOTALLY know how you two live. It isn’t pretty at times, but i’m lucky I get my way most of the time!

  18. #
    Alexis @ Hummusapien — September 20, 2012 @ 8:27 am

    Happy Birthday Mr. How Sweet! I loved how you said he doesn’t say a word when you break out the pita chips and hummus two hours after you ate pizza. I go through the same thing with my boyfriend ALL.THE.TIME. and he just smiles :)

    I hope he got to eat a few sugar toasted almond cupcakes too!


  19. #
    Simply Life — September 20, 2012 @ 8:27 am

    how sweet! happy birthday to him!


  20. #
    Lindsay @ — September 20, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    This looks amazing! I love your pictures of the sauce. Looks like your husband had a good birthday. I can’t wait to see the dessert recipe.


  21. #
    Abby@ Totes Delish Blog — September 20, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    Happy Birthday Mr How Sweet! Isn’t it crazy what our guys put up with?! Mine will wash the dishes if I cook, DEAL!


  22. #
    Bridget — September 20, 2012 @ 9:00 am

    Don’t you think it is funny when people assume you and your husband must have all kinds of similarities? I just think “Good lord, why would I want to marry another me? That would be awful.” Happy birthday to Eddie!
    P.S. Will you join my mission to stop time now? I am also a scorpion turning 30 this year and am completely freaking out and going through some sort of major crisis and trying to travel and run marathons and go out all the time because I’m convinced my life is going to end the day I turn 30.


    • Jessica — September 20th, 2012 @ 10:02 am

      I think you are me. Minus that whole marathon thing.


  23. #
    Allie — September 20, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    Happy Birthday to Eddie!
    P.S. You totally need to go get one of those vacuum cleaners where you push a button on the side and it slurps up the cord and stores it internally so you don’t have to do anything. It’s amazing.


    • Jessica — September 20th, 2012 @ 10:02 am

      Um OMG yes I do. That would make our marriage even better.


  24. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — September 20, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    Did you watch the Girls-a-thon on HBO the other day? SO amazing! I noticed things that I didn’t notice the first time around, like the other Tweets on her page when she was composing a Tweet. January 2013 can’t come soon enough!!


    • Jessica — September 20th, 2012 @ 10:02 am

      Hahahah love that!


  25. #
    Sues — September 20, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    This is such a sweet post! Also, I always leave my hairdryer AND straightener plugged in and my husband always tries to unplug them. Just stop.

    Also also, I’m going to be 30 in a week. Help.

    Also also also, these tacos look INCREDIBLE! I have a crockpot coming my way next week (my first crockpot!) and I’m totally making these.


    • Jessica — September 20th, 2012 @ 10:01 am

      A week! I have about 6 weeks. FREAKOUT.


      • Jessica — September 20th, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

        30 WAS wayyy scary but now that the day has come and gone!!! 30 is the new 20!!! LOL…..dont worry 30 is not as scary as it sounds

  26. #
    Becca — September 20, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    Ugh, the photography and colors in the post are UNREAL. Especially that one of the sauce dripping: PERFECT!

    These tacos sound delicious, added to my list of recipes to make, they sound like perfect weekend food, which is almost here!

    Happy Birthday to your husband and congratulations your committed and loving marriage :)


    • Jessica — September 20th, 2012 @ 10:01 am

      Thanks! I actually thought these photos were awful, so that means a lot!


  27. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — September 20, 2012 @ 9:42 am

    Adorable. Happy birthday Mr. How Sweet Eats!


  28. #
    Tawny — September 20, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    Hate love GRILS!!! My husband is out of town and I took the opportunity to watch half of the first season ON DEMAND. OMG why did not I watch this when you first wrote about it? I can’t explain why I love it, I just do.

    Happy Birthday to the Hubs!


  29. #
    Tracey — September 20, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    Awwww, love this! Happy Birthday to your hubby! I’m totally cracking up – I do the same thing with the vacuum cord, I’m not sure I’ve ever wrapped it up myself :) The tacos look awesome, I’m now craving pulled pork at 9:30 am…


  30. #
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles — September 20, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    Happy birthday Mr. How Sweet!! :-)

    The over emotional thing….definitely a Scorpio trait. I’m with you on that one. :-)


  31. #
    Heidi @foodiecrush — September 20, 2012 @ 10:06 am

    Happy birthday to Steady Eddie, thank god you have him to even out Jubilant Jessica! Who thank god you have some crazy in you or we wouldn’t have these crazeballs recipes to drool over!


  32. #
    Courtney — September 20, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    Get a Miele canister vaccum! Super light, comes in all sorts of fun colors (mine is candy apple red) aaaaannnnnddddd…..there’s a button you push for automatic cord roll-up. Amazingly, stupid easy and fast. Oh, and btw, I want to eat my computer screen this morning, so thanks for that. A very happy happy birthday to your hubbie!


  33. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — September 20, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    Bday dessert – can’t wait! And what a sweet post about your hubs! And what a perfect meal for him – I am in love with the mango salsa!


  34. #
    Laura — September 20, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    Delicious! And hooray for birthdays!


  35. #
    Meaghan — September 20, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    Jessica! I believe I’m you and your husband 10 years down the road:) Yes, it only gets better:) And, yes, I still do all of the same things that annoy him constantly…hair dryer, vacuum (at least I vacuumed!). And, we still have the same high-emotion-my-issues-but-i’m-not-claiming-it-at-this-moment fights. I often remind him that my quirkiness and drama is the reason he married me – it’s part of my charm. He so knows it’s true!
    Happy Birthday to your hubby!


  36. #
    Tanja — September 20, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    Looks so great! Thanks for sharing!


  37. #
    Jenna — September 20, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    Happy bday to ur husband. These look delicious


  38. #
    Andrea — September 20, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    Oh my geez. Sweetest post ever. Seriously have tears ebbing at the brim of my eyeballs right now. Thank you for sharing!! And happy happy birthday to him!


  39. #
    Sarah — September 20, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

    Happy birthday, Fast Eddie! Eddie Spaghetti? Ed-weirdo? I have a brother named Eddie…I could do this all day.


  40. #
    Alyssa — September 20, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    Sounds like the perfect birthday meal! Can’t wait to see the dessert!

    PS Funner is totally a word!


  41. #
    Leah B. — September 20, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    I LOVE your blog. I haven’t commented before (either I’m lazy or just in too much of a food coma after making one of your recipes) but I’ve tried SO many of them!!

    Roasted tomato grilled cheese capreses with balsamic glaze are a staple with me and my fiancé. We roast all tomatoes. I don’t let one get by unroasted. We love your garlic pizza dough, peanut butter oatmeal balls, bbq chicken mac n cheese, maple bacon donuts, peanut butter chocolate chip banana cookies… the list goes on. Basically, your food rocks and it’s always a hit with whoever ends up tasting it.

    Now for THESE delicious-looking things. I’m at work, saw this and emailed it to my fiancé who’s at home “MAKE THIS! NOW! IT TAKES 8 HOURS! GO!” so now I can’t think about anything else the rest of the day. I’m sure that these, like all your other recipes, will be so stinkin good we can’t stand it, so thank you in advance!

    And happy birthday, Eddie!

    Also, ever tried Coke and coffee ribs? My fiancé’s birthday meal was (and pretty much always is) pork ribs boiled in coffee and Coke for a couple hours, then slathered in BBQ sauce and baked. Fall. Off. The. Bone. Amazingness.


  42. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — September 20, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    Awwwww happy birthday. And I love the idea of multiple birthday meals because clearly we need to make one for the blog haHA! You’ve found a way to make things perfect…


  43. #
    Phi — September 20, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    I would love to mature beyond making fun of my boyfriend’s constant age difference.. . but you’re prob right about it getting real old/real fast. I don’t eat meat so I can’t wait to see what sort of bday dessert is here tomorrow!


  44. #
    Jennifer — September 20, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    Awww! Happy Birthday to Eddie! I’m a Scorpio married to a Virgo and it totally works this way. But we’ve been married over 7 years and we still love being together. My husband turned 30 two years ago and I teased him so bad. Funny how I kinda stopped now that I’m closing in on 30. Must be wisdom that comes with age. Hope the two of you have a great time celebrating this weekend!


  45. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — September 20, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

    Happy birthday to the hubby! He’s a good man — My boyfriend is a Scorpio, so I know you people take a lot of patience :P

    The crispy onion straws totally take this over the top!


  46. #
    Adriana @FoodCocktail — September 20, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

    Happy birthday to your husband! He’s a lucky man to be spoiled like that with such a rich and tasty meal.
    And you know, speaking of marriage, last week, at my cousin’s birthday we had some fortune cookies and one of the messages got stuck in my head: Marriage is the thing that allows you to annoy one single person for the rest of your life.
    Funny but true I guess :)


  47. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — September 20, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    Happy birthday Mr. How Sweet!! My hubby and I are complete opposites too but sometimes I think that’s what makes marriages better…in a strange sorta way. What a delicious meal!


  48. #
    Donna B. — September 20, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

    Homygosh. That looks delicious. I’m ripping out the crock pot months earlier to make this! Yumyumyum… I love me some good pulled pork. And tacos. Everything tastes better as a taco…
    … And y’know what’s freaky? My beloved’s birthday is TOMORROW… Jessica, may I ask what day yours is?! I’m a Scorpio too, and if you said anything between the 12th to the 14th I am going to get very scared… :O


  49. #
    Rose — September 20, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

    Lovely post. I love how my relationship has grown over the years (just 3) when both people are on board and have the same goals. I know this is a (Fabulous) food blog, but I do enjoy reading life/story oriented posts. Anyways, l adored this post and reading about a young couple in love! And happy birthday to your husband..Oh, and your bbq beer chicken is possibly my fav of your recipes( and I’ve made lots).. so deliciously easy, I always use it for tacos!


  50. #
    Katie — September 20, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

    I love you and your honesty about marriage RIGHT smack in the middle of showing us delicious tacos. Happy birthday Mr. How Sweet!



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