We had some people over for the Super Bowl tonight. We had plans to be out and about in Manhattan all morning--taking Ruby to the Chinese Lunar New Year family festival where she was mesmerized by the drums and lion dance--so we wanted to keep the food we served easy. Jude's idea of easy, of course, is slightly skewed in my opinion, but he decided on making a full taco bar.
Jude went out and bought a pork shoulder (the last one they had at our local butcher!). First, he seared it to get a nice golden-brown crust all around and then smoked it (yes, we have a smoker in our tiny apartment thanks to our friend Emily who bought it for us and our friend Josh who carried it as a carry-on bag from Wisconsin for us) for about 45 minutes or so with hickory wood. Then he braised it in a sauce of charred tomatillos, charred scallions, garlic, oregano, cinammon, honey, cumin, coriander, onions, chili powder, bitter orange juice, vinegar, and a little bit of beer. After it was braised for about 5 hours, he shredded it and had a big pot of juicy meat on warming on the stove for tacos. He also had black beans warm on the stove and he pickled a bunch of red onions for some tang. To pickle the red onions, he heated up water and vinegar together to dissolve sugar with a couple crushed garlic cloves and bay leaves. He poured that over the sliced red onions and--voila!--a delicious and simple concoction!
Our friend Tamy (also a great cook: check out her blog) brought homemade guacamole and we had other friends bring corn tortillas, salsa, limes and cilantro for the taco bar and a pineapple that Jude grilled slices of.