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.”