Returning home to New York, I found myself back to my basic fridge life – no produce and a ton of frozen meats and skinny cow. Missing those peaches, I ventured out to the Union Square Farmer’s Market and picked up some local peaches and returned home (with another box of skinny cows and box of dots and some Dr. Pepper that I picked up from the grocery too… Don’t judge me it’s delicious). As I attempted to stuff my freezer with yet another box, I began to realize something had to give. It was going to have to happen, I was going to have to start unloading my freezer. My mind started racing. How much meat had I left in here that now would disappoint me with freezer burn? This was the question that always stopped me from emptying my freezer in the previous month or so. It just hurts to find freezer burn all over what you had imagined to be well spent money. I began the daunting task of sifting through my freezer burned money.
As I scrounged around in my freezer, I came across the mother of all pears- a frozen pork shoulder. My mind went back to these carnitas I had, had while in Atlanta. My mother and I wondered the streets of Inman Park in Atlanta one day. The neighborhood, which used to be on the dodgy side of Atlanta, is home to Superica, a new restaurant from Ford Fry (He happens to be one of my favorite ATL chefs). That day Momma and I splurged on margaritas and tacos. I ordered their carnitas, a beautiful succulent balance of pulled pork and a sweet pineapple salsa. It was too good to be true. And I gushed as I ate the tacos. I’m a sucker for sweet and savory, and I convinced myself that I probably couldn’t recreate these ever again. Let’s be honest, I’m no chef and I’m not trying to eat 1000 calorie tacos on the regular either, but I knew I could put my own twist on my own carnitas as I took that pork shoulder out of my freezer. I looked down at my purchases peaches, Dr. Pepper, a Guernica pepper, onions… and dots. Ok the dots were just going to have to sit this one out, but the rest I knew I could work with.
*Pro tip: If you want good peaches look no further than Gaffney, South Carolina. Yes, I know I’m from Georgia and we like to boast about our peaches. Don’t believe the hype!! Seriously Georgia peaches are typically used for canning and South Carolina peaches are perfect for eating. You want that juice running down your arm juiciness of a peach, you gotta go to Gaffney. There’s also a really amazing peach water tower there. America is full of marvelous wonders amiright?
**Check out this beautiful cheese board that was sent to me from Caravan Home. I’m obsessed**
What’s beautiful about this recipe is that it’s really easy. I know, sometimes I say it’s easy and it’s really time consuming. That might be the case here, kind of. I use a slow cooker, and let’s be real these things are a dream if you have the space (unlike me but I’ll crowd my hallway if it means slow roasted meat ANYDAY). The prep for this dish is like a booze cruise on an August night. It’s a pain to get on but once you’re on the boat it’s no fuss. All you have to do is cut up your produce, season your pork shoulder, throw it all in, heat the slow cooker up, and then go dance outside while the wind blows through your hair.
SLOW COOKER DR. PEPPER & PEACH CARNITAS
1 pork shoulder (between 6 – 10 lbs)
Salt & Pepper
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cardamom
2 tbsp chili powder
12 oz Dr. Pepper
1 sweet onion, quartered
1 peach, sliced
1 Guernica pepper, sliced
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
- Layer onions at the bottom of your slow cooker. Season pork shoulder with cinnamon, salt, pepper, cardamom, and chili powder. Place on top of onions. Add peach slices and Guernica pepper. Pour Dr. Pepper around pork shoulder. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (high for 4 hours).
- In the meantime slice up your peaches and toss in a bit of salt, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Once your pork shoulder is cooked (the meat should literally be ready to fall of the bone) take two forks and begin to tear the pork off the bone. You can leave the pork in this sauce.
- To make the taco: add pork with some of your onion and cooked peaches. Top with the peach salsa. Serve with a lime slice.