Turkey Barbacoa Tacos with Black Beans

Turkey Barbacoa Tacos with Black Beans

Photo by

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 2

    tablespoons sesame seeds

  • pound plum tomatoes

  • 10

    garlic cloves, unpeeled

  • 3

    medium onions, unpeeled, halved through root, divided

  • 6

    ancho chiles, seeds removed

  • 2

    tablespoons kosher salt, divided, plus more

  • 4

    turkey drumsticks

  • 1

    16-ounce package banana leaves, thawed if frozen

  • cups dried black beans, soaked overnight

  • 2

    medium carrots, halved crosswise

  • 2

    celery stalks, halved crosswise

  • 2

    teaspoons ground cumin

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 24

    corn tortillas, warmed

  • Salsa de Chile Morita (click for recipe) and queso fresco or dry farmer cheese (for serving


Toast sesame seeds in a dry large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a blender. Place skillet over medium-high heat and add tomatoes, garlic, and 4 onion halves and cook, turning often, until softened and charred in spots, 5−8 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to blender; set onions and garlic aside. Cook chiles in same skillet, turning often, until darkened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add to blender. Once cool enough to handle, peel garlic and onion and add to blender along with 1 Tbsp. salt. Blend until smooth. Divide drumsticks between 2 resealable plastic bags. Add tomato purée, dividing evenly. Seal bags, pressing out air, and toss to coat. Chill at least 12 hours. Preheat oven to 325°. Line a large roasting pan with banana leaves, then individually wrap drumsticks with the marinade (use all of it) in banana leaves; place in pan. Cover with any remaining leaves, then cover pan tightly with foil. Bake until meat is very tender and falling off the bone (tear into packets with a fork to check), 2−2½ hours. Let cool slightly. Meanwhile, drain beans and combine with carrots, celery, cumin, and remaining onion halves in a large pot. Add water to cover by 2”; season generously with pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, partially covered, seasoning with salt halfway through, until beans are tender, 80−90 minutes. Pluck out carrots, celery, and onion. Transfer drumsticks and any marinade to a large bowl; discard banana leaves. Pour turkey cooking liquid from roasting pan into a large glass measuring cup; season sauce with salt. Scrape off cooked marinade from turkey legs, then shred meat into bite-size pieces; discard skin, bones, and sinews. Combine shredded meat with marinade; season with salt if needed. Serve turkey with tortillas, salsa, queso fresco, and small cups of sauce. Serve beans with some of their liquid.


Facebook Conversations