The other white meat, except it’s pink, and it bled all over my refrigerator like a stuck pig. Which I guess makes sense, because it’s, you know, pork.

I know, I know, giant hunks of raw animal flesh above the fold two posts in a row. Suck it up.

You probably already have a sense of how very fun I am from reading me: very, very fun. Just how fun am I? I’m hosting a Scrabble tournament – slash – taco buffet this weekend. You heard me, Scrabble tournament. If you have something to say about that I suggest you don’t, because Scrabble fucking RULES. F-U-C-K-I-N-G = 17 points + 50 point bonus for using all seven letters, take that, muthafucka.

Is anyone else watching Top Chef? I already find at least 60% of these people irritating.*

Of course, taco buffet means I need to make a lot of damn tacos, and that means advance planning. There will be veg coming in the next few nights, but tonight is all about the carnitas: long cooked, tender shredded pork shoulder. I have no pretensions that I’ll be able to produce carnitas as flavorful as my favorite taqueria, but pork shoulder is pork shoulder, and therefore tasty.

I’m using a method I found in Sally Schneider’s Improvisational Cook that calls for a 4 hour roast at 275 in a snug pot. No preliminary sear, no liquids, no braising, just pork, heat and a whole head of garlic. Schneider calls it “close roasting.” Judging from the smell currently emanating from my kitchen, I’d add “really good idea.”

*This isn’t really shocking, because I find 60% of people in general (minimum) irritating.

Not a good picture.

Before banishing the pork to the oven, I gave it a good rubdown – smoked paprika, chili, Mexican oregano, cumin, onion, garlic, a smidgen of cinnamon and some brown sugar. Ideally, I would have liked to have the time to let the pork sit for at least an hour (and preferably overnight) to let the flavors really permeate the meat. But I didn’t, so it sat for the exact amount of time it took my oven to get to 275 degrees (approximately 9 seconds).


It’s going to be late by the time this pot comes out of the oven, and the final product won’t be consumed until Saturday. In the meantime, I’ll be studying up on “Q” words that don’t require a “U.”

0 thoughts on “cliffhanger!

  1. fucking is not in the latest scrabble dictionary – and in the newly revised 4th edition many of the great 2 letter words have been removed…

    qi, qat, qaid, qadi, qoph, qanat, tranq, faqir, sheqel, qabala, qabalah, qindar, qintar, qindarka, mbaqanga, and qwerty

  2. kitty: I just got a fantastic recipe for pork shoulder cooked in a crock pot…in fact I’ll be cooking it up this weekend and it will be cooking away while I am losing a scrabble tournament and eating the pork shoulder pictured above. Let me know if you want the recipe and I’ll send it over.

  3. kitty: we once did a 10-hour smoked pork butt on the grill, but i’ve never tried it inside. and i don’t have a crock pot, how sad is that?

    claudia: thanks. i’ll be writing those along the inside of my arm with a sharpie. i’m the current scrabble master, and i really don’t want to lose the plaque.

  4. Carnitas are my fave!!!!! I will say a prayer that “F-U-C-K-I-N-G” shows up on your letter holder thingy. You should win the game just for that.

  5. Scrabble does indeed fucking rule, as does scrabulous. I was having a seriously crap day yesterday and what does my coworker do? Lays an 86 point smackdown on my ass and then gloats about it. So unfair. But it was a pretty genius move. I think he should apologize to me by fetching me pork for lunch tomorrow. Whaddaya think?

  6. stacey: thanks! i appreciate the prayer.

    mary: i was going to wait until saturday to post the final results, but i’m not sure i can wait that long.

    ann: i’ve always found scrabble-related gloating to be in poor taste, and 100% agree that he should be required to fetch you some pork. i’m happy to tell him so myself, if you’d like.

    i can never start to play scrabulous, because i would instantly fall down the slippery slope and would probably never work again. ever.

  7. Carnitas! That’s something I could eat every single day. I’m a low and slow girl as well. However, I just stick it in the oven uncovered for about 2 hours a pound (but if you want to be more scientific about it, I shoot for 195 internal temp). It’s a test of patience, but the reward is a crispy outside and fall-off-the-bone-have-an-orgasm-when-you-take-a-bite pork roast.

  8. First, what’s up with the doughy Downie having the same hairdo as the dyke? I identify Spike as a Contender.

    Second, why aren’t we BFFs? Taco and Scrabble? Seriously, we are cut from the same cloth. Damn east-side/west-side thing.

    Third, Scrabble-related gloating is acceptable in our household. Dry pork, however, is not.

  9. todd: i actually love getting the Q, and i’m totally with you on faqir. you know, i think you might be my first non-relative male commenter.

    dp: that’s actually exactly how we did it when we smoked a pork shoulder last summer.

    heather: 1. Doughy guy is high on my list of annoyances, although the mini-smoker intrigues me a little. 2. Suck it up and get in line. You can’t always get what you want. 3. Scrabble-related gloating is only acceptable when i’m the one doing it.

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