I’m not sure what it is about summer – the sun-soaked time of year that lends itself to bathing suits and other figure-exposing attire – that makes me want to eat heaps and heaps of meat. It’s grillin’ season, and what goes better on a grill than juicy sausages, saucy ribs or cheese-covered burgers? I mean, yeah, vegetable skewers are great and all, but the stars of summer seem to be food that is no friend to a bikini. And it’s not limited to meats – the often mayo-laden cole slaw and potato salads are barbecue staples, and what hot summer night could possibly be complete without some rapidly-melting ice cream? And cold beers?
Now, I know that summer is also the season for great produce – tomatoes and zucchini especially are at their best, especially ’round these parts, and they both are conducive to light, beach-body-friendly meals. Meals which I’ll be making. Eventually.
But earlier this summer, I made these carnitas for dinner with our friends John & Mel, and despite their being an obvious roadblock to having Victoria’s Secret model-esque abs, or whatever people who don’t have crippling cheese addictions aspire to obtaining, they screamed “summer” to me.
Perhaps it was the avocado we ate with them. Or maybe it was the citrusy trio of juices the meat was simmered in. Either way, they were delicious and incredibly easy to make, and lend themselves well to feeding a group. Or, like, four people with a ton of leftovers. Which, rest assured, no one in your household will complain about.
(inspired by Homesick Texan, adapted because I’m just like that.
3 lbs pork butt
7 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp adobo with cumin
1 tsp onion powder
juice from 2 limes
juice of 1/2 an orange
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp salt
Cut your pork into smaller, more manageable chunks, then add to a large pot. Add your fruit juices, vinegar, garlic, adobo, onion powder salt and enough water to cover your meat to the pot, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down low and simmer, uncovered, for about two hours.
After two hours, turn the heat up high and cook until your liquid evaporates and the fat is rendered – about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the pork and stir it a few times to make sure the meat doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of your pot. Once the pork is browned and crispy on the edges, it’s ready. Transfer your meat to a plate and shred it with two forks, then serve in tortillas with avocados, cole slaw, black beans or whatever else your little heart desires.
Or just eat it out of a bowl. By itself. I don’t care. (But seriously, you should throw some homemade cole slaw in there. You’re welcome.)