Fall is my favorite season, and October is my absolute favorite month. The heat clicks on, the sweaters come out, and now it is time to crank up the oven.
We'd been kicking around the idea of making carnitas since the middle of summer, but we kept putting it off. Once we experienced our first cold snap, the idea of pork quietly simmering all day sounded like just the thing. We developed a somewhat-Mexican-inspired menu around the carnitas.
October Dinner Party Menu
- Smoky bacon pumpkin soup
- Pork carnitas with green chile
- Apple crisp
- Cocktail: golden watermelon margarita
The smoky bacon pumpkin soup was thick with a creamy texture and sweetened with a bit of maple syrup. We topped it off with crumbled queso fresco and finely chopped cilantro.
I got my very lovely DeLonghi slow cooker almost a year ago, and although I use it regularly to prepare meals for my family, this is the first time we've ever used it for a Two Tarts' recipe. A crockpot is perfect for a dish like carnitas which needs to simmer slowly for hours. We threw the meat under the broiler just before serving to brown it up a bit.
Slow Cooker Carnitas
- 3 1/2 pounds pork shoulder
- 2 oranges
- 2 limes
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoon cumin
Mix salt and cumin together and rub all over the pork shoulder. Place the pork shoulder into the slow cooker, along with the whole garlic cloves. Squeeze the oranges and limes and add the juice to the slow cooker. Pour the beef broth over the top, and cook on low for 10 hours. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and turn on the broiler. When the carnitas has cooled a bit, gently shred with your fingers. (Remove all the fatty bits and discard.) Place the shredded carnitas onto the baking sheet and broil until the meat starts to caramelize and brown around the edges, about 5 minutes.
- 1 cup beef broth
We topped our carnitas tacos with a delicious green chile (recipe forthcoming!) as well as queso fresco, cilantro, and chopped white onions. We finished our meal off with individual ramekins of apple crisp topped with vanilla whipped cream. Not a very Mexican way to end the evening, but I had a bag of lovely, tiny apples from a friend's apple tree and they were just begging to be placed in a crisp.
The same gentleman who gave us the tasty little apples gave us a golden watermelon. We whipped up a cocktail which is essentially a watermelon margarita. It was awesome, and the recipe is right here.
We listened to: