Some days there is nothing better than having something tasty simmering away in a slow cooker. The house starts smelling delicious about maybe hour two and it just keeps getting better smelling ALL DAY. So wonderful. This is one of those recipes that you definitely want going for 7-8 hours on a cold winter day.
Strangely, I haven’t really done that much with pork shoulder before, just a handful of recipes, but I think this one is definitely a keeper. I chose to use Ponzu Sauce (soy sauce with citrus) because the sodium content was even less than the low sodium soy sauce I had and I thought that the citrus notes would work really well here. I used my Kitchen Ninja for this recipe, in the regular slow cooker setting.
Also I’m trying out a new format here — photos first and then recipe.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder (Slow Cooker)
Adapted from Real Simple Magazine; serves . . . → Read More: Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder (Slow Cooker Recipe)
The main recipe here is originally from the Portland restaurant Meat Cheese Bread. It was in our local paper, in the weekly food section. I saw it, made Homer Simpson type sounds as I thought about how good it must be, and promptly decided to give it a try.
That said, I tweaked it a bit. Not so much for taste or anything, more due to what ingredients I had and the level of time on a Wednesday that I had to devote to this. Mainly, I crock-potted it while working, so that when I came home, the house would smell so good that I would almost fall over after stepping through the doorway.
One Saturday or Sunday, I will try this in the oven but it did work pretty well for me to turn it on low in the AM before leaving for work (7:00 AM) and return around 5:00 PM to a crock pot full of fragrant, porky goodness.
That said, this isn’t a complete ‘pop it in the crock pot and forget it’ kind of thing. Well, okay, actually it is, but you need to do stuff before you get everything in the crock pot. Stuff . . . → Read More: Experiments in Pulled Pork — Sandwiches (and then Enchiladas)
I used the recipe “Super Quick Minestrone” by Michael Chiarello as the base recipe for this. Of course, since it was cooked it the crockpot, it wasn’t super quick. It was moderately lengthy. But so, so, good. Especially as we were in the 30′s last night and I had to put flannel sheets back on the bed. Hello? April? Are you there? Jeez.
Anyway, I added mushrooms and oregano and started with dried beans here. The house smelled wonderful while this was cooking. But really, when you start with pancetta, garlic and olive oil would you expect any less?
1 cup dry cannellini beans
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
6 medium garlic cloves,minced
1 white onion, diced
1 medium celery stalk, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 dried bay leaf
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, diced
12 cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 small yellow or red potatoes, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup tubetti pasta, or other small pasta shape (I used wheat elbow macaroni)
Optional: 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Quick soak your beans — rinse and pick through. Add to a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let sit and hour. Drain and . . . → Read More: Crockpot Minestrone: Because it’s not Spring Yet…
Sometimes I crock pot overnight, which is convenient, but slightly weird in that I tend to dream about food then. It is, however, much better than setting up your George Forman grill the night before to cook bacon, bed-side in the AM. Still my favorite Office episode of all time. The country crock? Nice Dwight? The van with the spray bottles? Ha!
Anyway. Soup here. Lots of beans. Add some bacon. Wine. Broth. Veggies. Cook it while you sleep and dream about beans. Or, cook it while at work and have a nice dinner waiting for you when you get home! Awesome!
My bean mix was 16 17 kinds of beans and some barley (“17 Bean and Barley Mix”, to be exact). I got it at Trader Joe’s. Use any bean/barley combination you’d like. You can even use all white beans and no barley. Or just 16 beans. You get the idea. Just don’t use an actual soup mix that already has seasonings and stuff in it.
Crock pot Bean & Bacon Soup
1 lb dried beans
7 cups chicken, turkey, hen or vegetable stock
5 slices of bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1/4 cup white wine
leaves . . . → Read More: Crockpot Bean & Bacon Soup
This was super good and appropriately Fall-ish. Originally, the recipe called for parsnips and turnips, but I changed the turnips to sweet potatoes. I also added some garlic cloves. I would think you could use any root vegetables you wanted to — potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, etc…
And, I finally mixed up some of this Essence seasoning mix stuff. I used teaspoons instead of tablespoons, though. So, yeah, this is an Emeril recipe. At first, jwa was skeptical, as he is of all things that come out of a crockpot. But, in the end, he was won over. Sweet, succulent pork will do that. Epic win.
My pork loin was on the smaller side (about 2 pounds). Didn’t seem to make any difference. Enough for dinner and lunches later in the week.
Applesauce and Sage Glazed Pork Loin with Sweet Potatoes & Parsnips
1 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pound boneless pork loin
1 medium white onion, chopped
Kosher salt & black pepper
1 tsp Essence, recipe follows
1 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
2 medium parsnips, diced
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves (or . . . → Read More: Applesauce and Sage Glazed Pork Loin with Sweet Potatoes & Parsnips