slow-cooked carnitas tacos

Friends, I’d like to take you back.  Way back to a time when New Kids on the Block played almost exclusively on my boom box and my scrunchie collection numbered in the hundreds.  A time when women wore shoulder pads and had asymmetrical haircuts, and glasses were required by law to cover at least three-quarters of the wearer’s face.  I’m talking, of course, about the early 90s.

It was sometime during these formative years that I first tried those ubiquitous cafeteria tacos.  You know the ones.  Made from god-knows what part of the cow, they were mysteriously greasy and unadorned, and always served with a churro (cultural awareness at its finest).  It was during this time that I decided I hated tacos.  Nothing good came in those stale yellow shells.  Nothing.

And then, sometime during high school, I decided to give them another try.  I was out to dinner with friends (a rare treat on my babysitter’s salary), and I tried carnitas tacos with fresh guacamole and salsa.  It was like the Tex Mex heavens had opened.  It was glorious and I would never look back.

Last week I found a recipe for carnitas tacos that reminded me of that life-changing meal.  Made exclusively in a slow-cooker (also known around the condo as my “BFF” and “Katie’s Little Helper”–yes, Nate’s a wee bit jealous), the meat is flavorful and falls off the bone, and tastes great combined with fresh avocado, sour cream, and tomatillo salsa, and wrapped in a warm corn tortilla.  And if you want to set the mood for this special dinner, Please Don’t Go Girl is excellent background music.

You know, so I’ve heard.

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