I’ve mentioned every once and awhile that I’ve stopped eating meat or that I don’t eat much meat, but I’ve never really explained why. I think I’ve avoided writing about it because it can be a bit of a controversial subject, but since food is obviously a driving force behind this blog (duh), I thought you might want to know smidge more about my sometimes irrational, ever changing, food philosophy. Or if not, there is a tasty meat centric recipe waiting for you at the end of this post!
- I decided to go full vegetarian last spring. Well, technically, I was a pescatarian because I still ate fish, but no need to get into a crazy labeling game. I guess I was just tired of being hypocritical–I disagreed with so many of the meat and animal raising policies but wasn’t doing anything about it. Plus, I was judging other people for their decisions when I really wasn’t any better. Watching too many cute animal movies may have done it too!
- After the change, I started to eat out. A lot. Jeff wasn’t really interested in always cooking two meals or vegetarian meals and I was really busy, so we just didn’t cook much. It soon became clear that something had to change in order for this to work, so I started introducing a little meat back into my diet as a compromise
- Mainly, I just want to eat healthier and to me, cutting back on meat is one of the ways to do that. There are so many great substitutes like quinoa and beans, and god knows I like both of those enough to never eat meat again!
So, as of now, I’m eating a little chicken, turkey, and fish and I suppose, a little beef and pork once in a blue moon. And when I do eat meat, I try to purchase free range, organic, grass fed options whenever possible. Eating less meat=being able to afford higher quality options when I do, who knew? Ideally, I’d love to find a local farm to buy from, but for now, this will have to do.
With all of that said, who knows what I’ll be thinking next year at this time, but for now, this is where I am. So don’t judge too much, if I change my mind, k? Thanks.
Now back to the more interesting part of this all–the carnitas! Funny that a post about limiting meat intake would include a recipe on carnitas, right? See what I mean about confusing!
After making out epic New Year’s meal and pork sausage (add link), we had about half a pound of pork shoulder left. I didn’t want to waste it (rational in my mind!), so we decided to use it to make one of my favorite things ever–carnitas. The pork shoulder actually broke down quite a bit more quickly than I was expecting and was super tender and delicious. We also added beer to the recipe, because, why not?
Carnitas with a Spicy Chili Sauce Recipe
1.5 pounds pork shoulder
1 onion, chopped
1 head garlic
1 cup beer (citrusy, hoppy IPAs work best)
1 lime, halved
4 sprigs fresh oregano
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon peppercorns
Pre-heat to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a dutch oven. Add water until it almost covers the top of the meat. Bring to a boil then remove from heat, cover, and place in oven.
Bake for 1.5 to 2 hours, for until pork is cooked through and tender.
Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, and shred.
Time: 2-2.5 hours
Spicy Chili Sauce:
6 guajillo chilis
3oz tomato paste
2 cups carnitas stock
1.5 cups water
Place chilis in small sauce pan with water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer, allowing to cook for about half an hour. Let the mixture cool a bit then remove stems, cut into smaller pieces, and blend into a thick sauce.
In a frying pan, add guajillo chili paste, tomato paste, and carnitas stock. Reduce on high heat until thick.
Add carnitas and reduce further until sauce becomes like a coating on the carnitas (about 5 minutes).
Time: 35 minutes