When my sister hosted us in Charlotte a few weeks ago, she made a delicious carnitas tacos in her slow cooker using pork shoulder she'd bought at their local farmer's market. Inspired to do the same, last Friday I set up a taco bar and let my boys have at it.
Our preferred homemade salsa of choice is a fresh corn, black bean and avocado salsa, and I had all sorts of other garnishes -- chopped jalapenos, wedges of lime, grated cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes and minced cilantro. A taco bar feels like the right kind of Friday night meal. It's fancy enough that it feels like the weekend, but doesn't require me to break out a sweat trying to pull everything together.
Around here, it's sometimes hard to convince the Gravy Baby to eat something other than Asian food, but we discovered that when it comes to carnitas, he digs right in and enjoys the whole, er ... enchilada.
Here's a roundup of some of the more intriguing carnitas recipes I was able to find:
David Lebovitz's Carnitas, with a great observation of why people feel the need to call thirty minutes before they arrive at a dinner party at your house, just as you're frantically rushing around trying to finish everything
Slow Cooker Beer Carnitas, which is very similar to what I did (but notice I'm not posting my own recipe because I basically seared my pork shoulder, then threw it on top of a pile of onions, jalapeno, brown sugar and cumin and doused the whole thing with a Corona)
Rick Bayless's Carnitas, because if it's anyone who can tell us how to do it, it would be him, right?