DISH | a goodbye + beef carnitas

carne asada-2

You know that person who with but a smile could turn your day around. The one with a laugh so contagious the entire room could do nothing but laugh in unison. That was him. Though a cantankerous old man at times, he was as genuine as they come.  He touched everyone he came in contact with and I am grateful to have been called a friend.

I can vividly remember the first moment we met. It was the season Brent had gone tree planting without me. I had come to visit for the last few days of the contract and, though I had long since given up planting for cooking (best decision ever), I put on the bags one more time. And there he was. Frantically planting in no discernible pattern or rhythm, sweating so profusely I thought for a moment I had missed the rain. Barely looking up to say hi, he meant business. Nothing was going to stop him from planting those trees. 

Now a million trees later, he outlasted many of us.  A lifer to the very end. No doubt he would have continued, travelling in the off season, only to return ‘home’ to the woods each Spring. I think it was there he found himself like so many of us did. 

But his last tree is planted, his life stolen decades too soon.  

A true lover of Mexican, he’d never be without a jar of his trusty Herdez salsa verde, sometimes eating it with nothing but a spoon. Here I am years later, more obsessed than perhaps even he would believe. Though not traditional, this is all the flavour of marinated carne asada meets the tenderness of braised carnitas. I like to think he’d be proud of this one. With a sadness too deep for words, it’s the only way I can think to say good bye. 

Faraz, this one’s for you.  

carne asada-1carne asada-3

beef carnitas
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Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs beef roast (I believe ours was sirloin tri-tip)
  2. salt and pepper
  3. 1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice, about 3 limes
  4. 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
  5. 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon corriander seeds
  7. 4 cloves garlic
  8. 3 jalapeños
  9. 1 onion, diced
  10. 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toast the seeds in a frying pan over medium high heat until fragrant, about 5 min.
  3. Process the jalapeño and garlic in a small food pro or simply chop. Add toasted seeds. Pulse once or twice to lightly break up the seeds.
  4. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Rub on the spice mix. Place in a Dutch oven or medium oven safe dish. Add remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and bake at 375 about one hour. Reduce the temperature to 300 and continue to bake until the beef is tender and pulls apart easily, about 2-3 hours.
  5. Pull the beef apart, mixing together with remaining juices in the pot.
Notes
  1. Fold into tacos or burritos with all your favourite toppings. We used corn tortillas, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream mixed with a touch of maple and chipotle.
eathalifax http://eathalifax.ca/

8 Comments

  • December 5, 2013

    Aimee

    Beautifully written, Kathy. I love how food can be associated with memories of loved ones! Sorry for your loss, and for the world’s loss, by the sounds of that laugh. xo

    • December 5, 2013

      Kathy Jollimore

      Thanks Aimee. We have lost one of the best.

  • December 5, 2013

    Dorothy Rafuse

    Sorry for your loss. Who was it that died? Sorry, but I don’t know who he was.
    Be strong, life goes on …………………….somehow.

    • December 5, 2013

      Kathy Jollimore

      Thanks Dorothy. He was a friend we had met tree planting. He’ll forever be in our hearts. No one could forget that laugh!

  • December 5, 2013

    movita beaucoup

    Faraz sounds like the perfect dinner companion – I know you’ll hold his memory close. Here’s to a life well lived….

    • December 5, 2013

      Kathy Jollimore

      Thanks Rachel. He lived life to the fullest and we love him for it.

  • December 4, 2013

    Kelly Brisson

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Kathy. Sending warm thoughts and strength. Xo.

    • December 4, 2013

      Kathy Jollimore

      Means more than you know. xo