Mess Hall Diaries: Carnitas and Corn Salad

I’d meant to write this last night in the Best Western in Grand Haven while eating cheap Chinese food from a place next to a Car Dealership…but Windows 10 was updating and that took about FOURTEEN HUNDRED HOURS…so I fell asleep.

Instead, I’m writing this at a really cool coffee shop in Grand Rapids “MadCap”. It’s a really good cup of coffee, but instead of a little piece of chocolate it comes with free WiFi and a feeling that this place is probably way too cool for me.

My mom, for as long as I can remember participated in Packer Parties back in Wisco. Every week she or one of the ladies would watch the game and make food for everyone else. Potluck style normally, but eventually my mom would just start using it as an excuse to cook a ton of food.  One time, for a game near Thanksgiving, she made a cornish hen for everyone who came…it’s ridiculous.  This is my recipe for last week’s game. It’s not a cornish hen and it only fed three people, but it was a solid meal.

Ok, Pork.

This is a simple recipe in a crock pot, so prep is quick and easy.

THE MEAT!!!!!2016-09-18 11.05.36

Normally, you should do this with a pork shoulder. I did it with a pork roast, so the outcome wasn’t as “pull apart-y” as Carnitas normally are.

First, rinse and dry the pork and season it with Salt and Pepper.  Make sure you season the fat heavily. When it’s in the Crock Pot the fat drips down and seasons the rest of the meal so you’ll want it super tasty and shit.

2016-09-18 11.10.09


From there, you sear that mother. It seals in the flavor and makes sure that you have nice color and texture on your meat…(insert joke here).

Now it gets really simple.

Dice your jalaps and garlic (I de-seed one of the J-peps to reduce heat) and rough cut your 2016-09-18 11.15.33onion. Place the onion across the bottom of the crock pot and place the meat on top.
Cover the pork in your J-pups and G-ric and squeeze your orange over top. Now, just like Michael Corleone, drop the rinds into the pot and walk away. Well, don’t walk away, first squeeze a lime in there and then walk away. Well, first set your crock pot to 8 hours on low…then walk away.


Ok, now…do nothing for 7 hours.

2016-09-18 18.27.02

After 7 hours, start getting your corn ready. Drain the canned corn and rinse with cold water to wash all the icky bits off. You can use fresh corn but canned is ok with fresh veggies added in. Dice your J-poop, onion and red pepper, get that pan supes hot and dump it all in. Toss in the tomatoes right at the end.

Once the dish has cooled a bit, toss it in some balsamic vinegar for extra flava.

The final piece is to pull the pork apart. If you’ve got a pork shoulder it should shred super easily. However, if you’re like me and you use a pork roast you’ll need to do some knife work.  After it’s shredded, get your fry pan super and put a little crush on yer meat. You can spoon in some of the juices from your crock pot to add additional face punching goodness.

And that’s it, super simple stuff. If you do it right, or at the very least get Stacey to take a good picture, it can look like this!

2016-09-18 18.37.19

Yes, those are homemade tortillas, I ran out of store bought ones and was too lazy to go out. No recipe here, just a simple corn tortilla. I add lime juice for a little extra bite, and my wife liked it…so there.

Next week? I dunno, probably something. Feel free to make suggestions of what you’d like to see me cook.

Ingredient List:


1.5lbs pork shoulder

2 jalapenos

1 medium yellow onion

6 cloves garlic

1 large orange

1 lime


Corn Salad

1 can sweet corn

1 Jalapeno

1 medium red pepper

1/2 red onion

2 small tomatoes

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar




Mess Hall

toddagarcia View All →

I’m an acting/improvising optimizing son of a gun.

I’ve been living and working and performing in Chicago since 2005. I love to eat, travel, talk and make people laugh. So for me this blog stuff is pretty neat.

I also like you. Whoever you are. I like you. For coming to my blog and sharing in my thoughts. I appreciate you. And I think you’re hot. So here’s to you, readers of my blog. Thanks for being awesome. Share and share a like!

Follow me on Twitter @toddawatomi and listen to my podcast with my besticle Ethan at!

1 Comment Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: