If you're feeling social this weekend, you may have a choice to make...Cinco de Mayo or Derby? Or maybe you will be celebrating both! Either way, pork plays a big role in the dishes for these days.
Chorizo and Carnitas are staples of a Cinco de Mayo celebration. There are so many ways to serve them that fit any need...tacos, nachos, enchiladas, the list goes on and on!
On the other hand, there's no more iconic food than a Hot Brown to go with your mint Julep on Derby Day. Turkey may be a part of the dish, but everyone knows that the bacon is the real star!
Chorizo may be the simplest of these. All you have to do is purchase the chorizo and cook it into crumbles. You'll want to strain off any excess grease before throwing them into some small corn tortillas to make street tacos, or adding them to your favorite melted cheese to make some Queso Fundito. See the simple queso recipe below.
Carnitas made from a pork Boston butt aka pork shoulder isn't too difficult either and will be another great addition for street tacos. You can even make carnitas using your instapot if you want to speed up the process a bit. Check out this great recipe.
But don't forget to get the pork out of the freezer and allow it to thaw at least a day. A rule of thumb is to allow meat to thaw in the refrigerator for 6 hours per lb.
The classic Hot Brown originated in the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY and has been a staple that's linked as closely as a the mint Julep to horse races. A hot brown is basically an open-faced Sandwich that starts with white bread toast, is topped heavily with sliced turkey, tomatoes and a creamy Parmesan sauce, and then broiled in the oven. Bacon is the cherry on top...two slices of perfectly crisp bacon should cross the top of the sandwich. Here's a recipe of the classic Hot Brown. But if you want to make it more of a finger food, then I would suggest making mini builds, piling all the ingredients on toasted crostini bread and broiling it briefly to get the cheese to bubble and brown.
P.S. Great Food starts with great ingredients. You can get your butts, bacon, and chorizo through our website or If you're local to central Ohio, visit one of the shops that sells our product!
Sarah grew up raising pigs on her family farm. She has spent most of the last 15 years studying and teaching about meat, animal welfare, and food safety. She has a passion for pigs, pork chops, and teaching. It is her goal to help meat eaters understand what they're buying and how best to cook it, all the while getting into the nerdy nitty gritty details about meat and animals.