Happy pigs are delicious

17 08 2011

I love carnitas.

(Stupid blurry close up with my iphone.)

I first moved to the Mission neighborhood of  San Francisco when I was a vegetarian and though I never partook of the delicious smelling pork (there was the occasional lard laden refried beans, but we all have our vices, yes?), I loved the smell of it. I would come out of the BART station at 16th and Mission and where most smell pee, my nose would tick up to the sky and I would take in deep breaths of the smoky, charred, amazing smell, of pork. Beautifully fried pork. Some of it fried in orange juice, some in coca cola, and some simply in it’s own fat.

When I started eating meat, carnitas was absolutely on the menu. Oh. My. Goodness! Carnitas!!! Is there anything better than a taco truck carnitas taco? Covered in tomatillo salsa and onion?

Anyway. There is a part of me that feels guilty about all this pork love. About the carnitas eaten at random food joints where the tacos are $1.50. And so, I ordered a pork shoulder from our meat CSA last month and set about researching recipes.

Now, I’ve tried the orange juice thing. And I just can’t bring myself to do the coca cola recipe. But I found this one online and it seemed right up my alley.

I cut it up and salted it overnight and then followed the recipe as best I could, turning the oven temp down at 1.5 hrs to 325, and then pulling the pork out with a dry pan at 2.5 hours. I shredded it but there were no juices in which to crisp it. I suspect our oven is out of whack. Stupid oven.

Anyway. The pieces came out and were beautiful:

And I shredded them:

And we enjoyed them on tacos with a bit of red onion, salsa, and lime.

The next day we had salads with carnitas, tomatoes, cucumber, and blue cheese dressing thinned with lime juice. A. Maze. Ing.

And then tonight we had nachos with cheddar and carnitas, dipped in salsa and/or yogurt. Holy crap.

Life sure is good when you’re eating happy pigs.





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