How is it already approaching the end of December?! I cannot believe how quickly this fall has flown by. I think the unseasonable weather has got us all confused. We actually set a record here in Baltimore last weekend with highs in the seventies! As much as I wince at the thought of global warming being responsible for these warm days, I do have to say I've been appreciating them. I've actually been surprised to find how much these warms days have been affecting what I've been eating. Usually by December I've switched to a diet consisting of mostly everything besides fresh fruits and vegetables. But this year, I'm still really into fresh farmer's market finds! It probably helps that the farmer's market near my place runs until mid-December, unlike the farmer's market I used to go to in my old neighborhood. So, I'm still cooking and eating things that I once only thought of as summer favorites. Don't tacos just make you think of warm, bright, sunny days? That's what I think of at least. So maybe it's the weather, or maybe I just needed a taco kick:)

carnitas tacos with stewed black beans

3 1/2 to 4 pound pork shoulder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup salsa
1 jalapeño, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced

1 can black beans, mostly drained but a little liquid reserved
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste if you like it spicy!)
1/2 teaspoon salt

corn tortillas, sour cream, and avocado for serving

Place the pork shoulder in the crockpot. Mix the spices together in a small bowl and then rub the mixture all over the pork shoulder. Pour the salsa over the seasoned meat, add the sliced jalapeño, and turn the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. The meat is ready when it is easily shredded with a fork. Once ready, remove the meat from the crockpot and shred with two forks. Remove the liquid from the crockpot and place in the refrigerator for a couple hours or overnight so that the fat can separate out. Scoop off the top layer of fat and discard. Return the remaining liquid (though, it will likely be a little jello-y) to a saucepan and simmer for about 20-30 minutes while you prepare the tacos. Meanwhile, add the can of beans to another small sauce pan with the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and salt. Let simmer while you prepare the peppers and onions. Sauté the sliced peppers and onions over medium heat until nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Layer the meat, sauce, beans, and peppers and onions over a tortilla and top with sour cream and avocado (and cheese if you want!) to serve!

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