Carnitas and salsa
The summer construction project continues but the concept we dreamt up has been executed on. We are essentially running a small boutique hotel for ourselves. All the amenities including the ultimate shower projects in the outdoor shower down to multiple guests that are our children’s friends. We had dinner for 13 last night around a long outdoor dining table filled with wine, conversation, and carnitas.
Emily noted, “Mom, you still have it” referring to a last minute dinner party for 13. My response was that cooking skills get better with age. It doesn’t hurt that at the end of the summer everything tastes so damn good.
6 lb. pork shoulder
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp. ancho chili powder or one ancho chili (I went with the ancho chili)
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
5 shallots cut in half
Score the fat on the pork shoulder, and if possible cover with Kosher salt and leave it in the fridge for a day. Not essentially but an added bonus.
Preheat the oven to 280.
In a large roasting pan, pour oil over the bottom of the pan and brown the pork shoulder on the stove. If you didn’t salt the pork shoulder in the fridge overnight, make sure to rub kosher salt all over the pork before browning. Brown the entire shoulder. Set the pork shoulder aside when done. Pour out the oil out and then put the shoulder back into the same pan.
Add all of the ingredients above into the pan and pour in water about 2/3 of the way up the sides.
Put in the oven and let it roast for easily 5-6 hours. You want the pork to come off the bone when it is done.
I served pickled red onions (sliced red onions boiled and then simmer for 10 minutes in white vinegar, a bit of sugar and a bay leaf), guacamole, tomatillo salsa and fresh salsa.
Fresh salsa at the end of summer is so good. Chopped tomatoes (including small cherry and golden), chopped cilantro, chopped sweet onions, fresh lime juice and kosher salt. All proportions work.
Such a good night.