I feel like I'm getting away with something by sharing this recipe with you because I am really telling you to use barbecue sauce in a new way, but bear with me. This recipe is still special.

I initially made this with some ground pork I got from the farmers market, and it was the first time we'd had really good ground pork in a while. It inspired me to order a half pig from my favorite local farm (you know who you are!). It's been a couple of years since I've done this, and I really miss opening my freezer and seeing 100 pounds of beautiful meat from an animal that lived its life 15 minutes away from where I live.

This is a weeknight cheat recipe that is supposed to recall smoky taco filling that has been cooked slow. Since writing about a local food delivery service that offers slow-cooked meals, I've been thinking about how to create the feeling of something like brisket tacos or barbacoa, and this is a pretty good substitute. The ground meat cooks up fast and the barbecue sauce cheats for you, adding complexity. It's a great filling for when you want food on the table in 30 minutes or less — even with making fresh salsa, this comes together quickly.


Makes 12-14 tacos


Pork and black bean filling:

1 lb ground pork

2 cloves chopped garlic

tsp cumin

tsp paprika

tsp turmeric

cup barbecue sauce (smoky, chipotle, all good choices)

1 can drained black beans

For the salsa:

1 mango

2 garden tomatoes

of a red onion

a green pepper

1 cup fresh corn (or frozen if you have no fresh corn)

Lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

For the table:

12-14 corn tortillas

Hot sauce of your choice

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Lime wedges


First, prep salsa and tortillas. The tortilla step is optional, but it makes an enormous difference in the meal and I encourage you to do it.

Heat a small, heavy-bottom saucepan on medium on your stovetop. Add a little bit of vegetable oil, just to slick the pan. Place one tortilla on the hot pan and cook 30 to 60 seconds, until brown on one side. Set aside under a clean kitchen towel and fry one by one until done. Store in the oven with no heat on (this will keep them warm while the pork cooks).

As tortillas cook, chop mango, tomatoes, red onion and pepper, and toss together with corn, lime juice, salt and pepper. Let sit, room temperature, at least 10 minutes for flavors to meld together.

To make pork, heat saucepan to medium high and add a little olive oil, then add pork to pan and let it sizzle, breaking it up only a little bit with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with salt and spices, then break apart a little more; then leave until one side is browned, around 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until soft, then add BBQ sauce and beans and stir to combine. Let this cook another 5 to 8 minutes more, then serve with tortillas, salsa, cheese, and any other toppings you desire.