Who: Friends who couldn’t let go of summer.
What: A Labor Day barbecue that wasn’t quite be a barbecue because our patio isn’t finished.
When: Saturday afternoon
Why: Because we love them, and because we can’t make plans at night anymore.
The thought process: These are the very best kinds of friends; the ones for whom anything goes. So the thought process went something like this. Let’s have friends over. On Saturday. Okay. (And slight kidding aside, I knew this slow cooker recipe was doable whilst also wrangling a child.)
- Food 52’s slow cooker carnitas tacos, with
-corn and black bean salsa
-red cabbage slaw
- redneck lemonade
- blondies with peanut butter cups
What worked: Everything worked. It was a great day with great food and great friends. And I will tell you the pork worked, I think, in large part, to the quick kiss it gets from the broiler. Pulled pork is not always my favorite food; I often find it greasy. But this was not in the slightest, and I’m filing that broiler step away for use with all future pork roasts.
What didn’t: The recipe called for peach salsa, which I had seen at Whole Foods the weekend prior. So I took a shortcut, banking on it still being in the stores. But alas, only mango. I was bummed. My guess is everyone else was just fine.
To make slow cooker carnitas tacos for 6, you will need:
- 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder
- 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Juice of 2 limes plus 1 lime cut into wedges, for serving
- Juice of 1 orange
- 12 ounces beer
- salsas of your choice
- your favorite taco toppings
Place the pork shoulder and chopped garlic into a big bowl. Sprinkle the meat with salt, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne. With your hands, rub the seasonings into the meat.
Transfer seasoned pork to the slow cooker. Add in lime juice, orange juice, and beer. Cover the pot and cook on low for 8 hours.
After 8 hours, transfer the meat to a large bowl and shred it apart using two forks. The pork should fall apart easily.
Next, preheat broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the pork into an even layer and broil for 5 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan, until the pork is evenly crisped. Serve with tortillas and all your favorite salsas and toppings.