We’ve certainly be hearing that the recession is over, but I for one have yet to personally experience that first hand so in the meantime I’m going to continue advocating pork butt. I mean, I bought an 8 pounder last week and it fed three adults for several dinners and as many lunches—and cost only $40, at Whole Foods no less. Of all our meals, my favorite was this incredible Carnitas Salad with Warm Cherry Tomato-Jalapeño Vinaigrette we had on Friday night. The inspiration came from the Jimtown Store Cookbook, which features a similar salad, but I think a copy editor was asleep at the wheel since several ingredients and steps are missing from the recipe as printed (but in general, this is one of my very favorite cookbooks). Never mind! Here’s our version, based on what we had in the fridge and a few blanks filled in, and it was fantastic.
Carnitas Salad with Warm Tomato-Jalapeño Vinaigrette
Serves 4 as main course
1 lb leftover carnitas from enormous slow-roasted pork butt
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
1-2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined, and chopped
3/4 lb red-skinned potatoes
1 yellow pepper, finely diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup corn oil
1 jalapeño, seeded, deveined and finely chopped
1 lb cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Add green beans and cook until beans are tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to bowl of ice water. When cool, drain and pat dry.
In another pot, cover potatoes with cold water and bring to boil. Lower heat and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and cut potatoes into chunks.
While potatoes are boiling, make vinaigrette in a skillet. Heat oil over moderate heat, add tomatoes and jalapeño and cook, stirring once or twice, for 4 minutes. Add vinegar, cilantro, salt and pepper, and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring once or twice, another 3 to 4 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine all vegetables, pulled pork and toss with warm vinaigrette. Serve. Leftovers of salad are great rolled up in a tortilla with avocado slices for lunch the next day!