my favorite meal for entertaining

carnitasCooking for people is an Angotti tradition and I love a dinner party.  For Valentine’s Day, instead of going out, we invited a few people over for carnitas.  This is currently my favorite meal for entertaining because it’s delicious and easy.

Pork Carnitas


2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chile powder, coriander, cumin, chipotle powder
3 cups of water
1 Mexican beer
Fresh cilantro sprigs

The night before: Season pork shoulder with salt, pepper, chile powder, coriander, cumin and chipotle powder.  Leave in refrigerator overnight.

The day you’re serving carnitas:  Preheat oven to 260. Rinse pork shoulder.  Put in dutch oven. Pork shoulder should barely fit in dutch oven.  Add water, beer and cilantro.  Cook for 6 hours.  Once it’s done cooking, remove from oven.  Pull pork shoulder from dutch oven and put on a cookie sheet.  Shred pork on cookie sheet.  Pour half a cup of cooking liquid on top of shredded pork.  Broil in oven for 5 minutes or until pork has crisped slightly.  Serve immediately on a platter with corn tortillas.

Carrot Slaw

12 ounces carrots (preferably assorted colors), peeled, julienned (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, minced
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Freshly ground black pepper

Toss carrots, oil, lime juice, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and jalapeños in a large bowl. Let marinate for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add cilantro and coriander; toss to evenly incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Chill 1 hour or more.

Black bean, tomato and pineapple salsa

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 pineapple, cored and diced
1 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine tomatoes, pineapple, black beans, onion, cilantro, salt, red pepper flakes, jalapeño, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl.  Chill.

For carnitas, assemble on a corn tortilla:  pork, carrot slaw, and salsa.  Add whatever condiments you like: avocado, salsa, sour cream or cheese.  I’m a purist and just like the pork, carrot slaw and salsa.  Enjoy!



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