Smoked Carnitas ((pork butt)) Tacos

Every year at this time, the clan heads to the lake. Our lake is Table Rock – we spend 51 weeks out of the year counting down to the one week we are ‘home’. There are 26 of us in total, well – this year there are 27.

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We play hard all day – family style. Some are observers, some are drivers, some tube, others ski ((me)), wake board & slalom – others cruise of the wave runners. We have ‘our’ spots – the best coves on the lake and we swim – all of us, together. We also eat family-style and after 55 years of heading to the lake the same week every year…this clan has family-style eating down to a fine art.

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Each individual family joins with another family & are responsible for 2 entire dinners in the week. This means that there are 5 nights we all have a ‘break’ from cooking. It works out great.

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This year, I tagged teamed on ‘Mexican Night’. David & I started our work early by smoking 10 lbs of park butt & freezing it BEFORE we hit the road. With the main dish out of the way all that was left were the sides and dessert.

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Along with the tacos, we served, flash-pickled peppers, onions & tomatoes, Mexicali style cream corn, queso with a secret ingredient, a simple fresh guacamole & homemade vanilla strawberry ice cream and birthday cookies for dessert. Here is a link to my recipe for flash-pickling veggies. ((Along with my all-time favorite ‘pin’ ever))

image This pork butt is something David & I do once or twice a year – usually once in the summer & once on Christmas Eve. Typically, I heavily season the meat with Lawry’s seasoned salt. But this time, I decided to add lemon pepper and Montreal style steak seasoning to the mix. It was a hit. The lemon pepper added that extra ‘something’…and will now be a permanent ‘go-to’ when seasoning pork for the smoker. 

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 This is a little glimpse at our ‘lake food’ – that makes up our family’s favorite part of Food for a Year. Many more recipes to come!

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Smoked Pork Butt ((Carnitas Tacos))
Serves 30
Mesquite smoked pork butt, well seasoned with a special blend of pantry staple seasonings. Perfectly smoked, shredded and turned into carnitas tacos. Perfect lake food -- well perfect anytime food!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 - 5lb pork butts ((AKA pork shoulder))
  2. lemon pepper seasoning
  3. Lawry's seasoned salt
  4. Montreal style steak seasoning ((I like McCormicks))
Tacos
  1. Flash-pickled veggies (recipe linked in the blog)
  2. this time, I used bell peppers, onions, tomatoes & cilantro
  3. hand-shredded cheese
  4. sour cream
  5. salsa
  6. corn & flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. Prepare smoker ((we used a charcoal smoker)). While smoker is reaching temperature, soak mesquite chips in water.
  2. Season all sides of the pork generously with all 3 seasoning types. Keep in mind, this is the only seasoning this pork will receive - so do not skimp on seasoning.
  3. Smoke pork for 6 hours. Once smoking is complete, preheat oven to 325°. Remove from smoker, place in a large roasting pan, cover with foil. Place pork butt is oven for 3 hours. Remove, shred & serve.
  4. If making tacos, I serve in an assembly line style & let people make their own.
Notes
  1. I used two pork butts, but the same instructions apply for a single pork butt, up 7 lbs. Once the size exceeds 7 lbs, add 45 min on the smoker for every 2 lb increase in weight. Three hours in the oven will stay constant regardless of the size.
  2. This is a glimpse at lake food for the Schuermann Clan, hope you enjoy!
Food for a Year: http://foodforayear.com/
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