Peach-Chile Carnitas Tacos

I’m beginning to think I drive my husband nuts with my obsession with food.  We’ll be out running errands, discussing our list of stuff to accomplish and I’ll randomly start asking him what he thinks about the X, Y, and Z ingredients prepared in any particular manner, which almost always results in him replying with, “And the non-sequitur award of the day goes to…Malia Kirby!  Congratulations, honey!”

Fortunately for my personal hobby of food hedonism, Shawn tends to smile, nod his head, and tell me, “Whatever you want to make sounds fine.  Have fun!”  The following recipe listed was last weekend’s non-sequitur, which successfully made its way into our kitchen this week.

Peach-Chile Carnitas

4-5 lbs bone-in pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat

1-2 T sea salt

1 T vegetable oil (or other neutral flavored oil)

1 onion, chopped

2-3 peaches, peeled and sliced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1 T ancho chile powder

1 T cumin, ground

1 c tequila


2 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

1 T ground cumin 2 fire-roasted chiles, chopped

Rub the pork shoulder with the sea salt and refrigerate overnight.

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat and sear the pork shoulder until evenly browned.  Remove the pork from the pot, pour out any excess rendered fat leaving 1 T remaining, adding the chopped onion and sliced peaches.  Sauté until onions are translucent, approximately 3-5 minutes.  Add the sliced garlic, ancho chile powder, and ground cumin, continuing to sauté until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.  Return the pork shoulder to the Dutch oven and add the bay leaves, the cinnamon stick, the white wine, and enough water to cover approximately 2/3 of the roast.  Bring the mixture to a slow boil.

Place the lid on the Dutch oven and place in the oven.  Braise in the oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, turning the pork roast once or twice during the cooking time.  Remove the pork shoulder from the oven when most of the liquid has evaporated and the pork is falling off the bone.  Lift the pork out of the liquid, setting them on a platter to cool.  Strain out the cooked onion and peaches, skim any excess rendered fat from the cooking liquid, reserving the liquid.  Shred the pork into bite-sized pieces, removing any large chunks of fat.

Return the cooking liquid and the shredded pork to the Dutch oven, placing it uncovered until the liquids have evaporated and the pork has caramelized.  Serve warm with Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Slaw (recipe follows), diced tomatoes and/or tomatillos, crumbled queso fresco, and warmed corn tortillas.

Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Slaw

4 c green cabbage, thinly sliced

1 c radish, shredded

1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves

4 T mayonnaise

2 T lime juice, plus zest of 1 lime

1/8 t celery seed

1/4 t ancho chile pepper, ground

1/4-1 t Cholula (or hot sauce of your choice)

pinch habanero pepper, ground (optional)

Toss the sliced cabbage, shredded radish, and cilantro leaves.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, celery seed, ancho chile pepper, Cholula, and the habanero pepper, if using.  Scrape the mayonnaise mixture onto the cabbage mixture and toss until fully coated.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Meat Dishes, Pork, Side Dishes


Once upon a time, Malia tossed a coin in the air to choose between two new career paths: become an acupuncturist and herbalist, or become a chef. Chinese medicine won that day. After graduation, however, a funny thing happened. Her love of cooking--and eating--began to weasel its way into how she practiced the medicine, and over time, what once appeared as two different paths heading in different directions suddenly revealed itself as only one path after all.


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