I have missed blogging so much over the last week. Feels like I’m out of the loop and haven’t connected in ages. Nevertheless I am glad that our power is back on and things are returning to normal. My weekend was busy and adventurous. Saturday I spend most of the day cleaning. The house badly needed it, Kurt kept joking that it looked like squatters lived in our house for a week. Keeping it clean in the dark was pretty tough. I also rummaged through our closets to find clothing we do not wear and donated it to the people that lost their homes and had nothing to wear. It felt good to do a good deed. Saturday night we ventured out to look for a grocery store that had a fresh delivery of meats and produce. Most of NJ lost power when Hurricane Sandy hit and subsequently most of the stores and of course our fridge lost all the meats and produce. I had to throw everything away, so sad. Hundreds of dollars worth of food. But I am not complaining, small price to pay in comparison to others who have lost all.
I spend most of Sunday in the kitchen. Boy, did I miss cooking. I was also glad to finally have a wholesome home cooked dinner as we spend most of the week eating whatever was easy, convenient and did not require cooking in the dark. I wish I took a picture of Kurt grilling up some burgers in the dark with a flash light in his mouth. It was pretty funny and cute.
I want to share this fantastic pork recipe with you. Pork shoulder or pork butt works best here as it does need some of the fat from the meat. This takes about 2 hours to prepare so its best to be made on the weekend. The great thing is it can be frozen and used over a few weeks for an array of fantastic dinners. Of course tacos is the number 1 choice for this recipe, but it can also be served with some rice and salad, or on a hoagie and even mixed with beans and cheese to make a delicious burrito. Possibilities are endless. Beer and orange juice create a flavor combination that is simply out of this world.
Did I mention how simple it is to make? Brown up seasoned pork chunks.
Combine beer, orange juice, onion, garlic, oregano and cumin. Bring to a simmer, return pork to the pot and braise on medium low for about 1 1/2 hours.
To finish it, remove the pork and pull into small pieces. Meanwhile, reduce the liquid that the pork cooked in to about 1/2 cup. Return pulled pork back to the pot and let it brown undisturbed only on one side. Doing it this way results in crispy but moist pork. Insanely good. You’re going to find it hard to fight all the fingers that might try to steal a few pieces before dinner.
Kurt and I love tacos. We set our home bar up with everything we needed and watched a great movie – Water for Elephants. I love Reese Witherspoon.
I also had a great beer. It was the first time I tasted it and since I am not much of a beer drinker it had to be flavored. I really liked it. Perfect for a non beer drinker like me.
This storm has taught us a lot. It was very eye opening for our 5 year old as well. Some things we will never take for granted ever again.
Beer & Citrus Pork Carnitas
- 2 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt
- 2 tbsp pork rub (1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp dried garlic, 1 tbsp onion powder, 1/2 tbsp salt, 1/4 tbsp pepper)
- 1 1/2 bottle light beer such as Coors or Budweiser
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/2 tbsp oregano, preferably Mexican
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 large bay leaf
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1. Cut pork into 1 1/2 inch chunks and rub generously with pork rub.
- 2. Preheat olive oil in a heavy skillet or a Dutch oven, working in batches brown pork chunks a few min on each side. Set aside.
- 3. To the same Dutch oven, add beer, orange juice, onion and garlic. Season with oregano, cumin and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and return pork.
- 4. Cook on medium low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Add salt if necessary.
- 5. Remove pork from the pot and pull it into small pieces.
- 6. Meanwhile, reduce the cooking liquid to about 1/2 cups. Return pulled pork.
- 7. Let brown, undisturbed, about 3 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy