Crockpot BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Crispy Onion Straws and Mango Salsa. (and birthday stuff.)

You GUYS.

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.

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.

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?

[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.


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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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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]

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