Crockpot Recipe: Asian Pulled Pork

As the weather gets warmer, I like to use my crockpot to help keep the kitchen cool.  This recipe came about when I had a full day scheduled at work but wanted to have something delicious and easy for dinner… enter my handy-dandy crockpot!AsianPulledPork CP

I created a sauce to pour over a large pork loin, using a varying amount of the following ingredients:  James River Cellars Montpelier wine (NOTE: This a Cabernet Franc blanc/rose’ wine that smells like strawberries and tastes of cranberries – I love this wine with pork recipes.  You could also use Boordy Landmark Dry Rose’ which has the same sort of properties but is a dry wine), hoisin sauce, soy sauce, blackberry jam, garlic, honey, salt and pepper.  

I started dinner by slicing a large sweet onion and layered the onion on the bottom of the crock pot.  I then laid the pork on top and poured the sauce over everything and set the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours.

Once the pork was completely cooked, I removed it and put it into a bowl to shred, using two forks.  The pork is now ready for the addition of a delicious sauce to make it into a yummy dinner for my family.

I ladled the cooking liquid out of the crockpot and warmed it in a small saucepan.  As yet, I hadn’t added anything more to the liquid than what I’d poured over the pork earlier in the day.  The sauce was too thin for my taste, so I mixed up a slurry of cornstarch and Montpelier wine to thicken the sauce as it cooked a bit.  Once the slurry was added to the sauce, it took about 5 minutes to tighten up and become wonderful.  NOTE:  If you prefer to add some more spices for the pulled pork, this would be a great time – you could add a pinch of Five-spice powder or use more of the original flavors.  Have fun and be creative!

After the sauce was thickened, I tossed it with the pulled pork and served it on homemade rolls (only cuz I had them on hand…. I could have easily picked up some rolls at the local grocery store on the way home if needed).    This recipe ended up being a huge hit with my family and I hope it will become a favorite of yours as well!

Crock Pot Recipe: Pork Roast

This recipe was so ridiculously easy that I’m almost embarrassed to post it… almost.  I was on the schedule to work earlier this week and decided to through a few things in my crock pot to see how dinner would turn out.  The meal was filling and flavorful, just what I needed after a busy day, but it came together so simply that I just had to share it with you.

CrockpotPork

I found (literally… my husband defrosted our freezer over the weekend) a lovely 2-3 pound pork loin that needed to be used and decided to be a bit creative in what I was making that evening.  To the bottom of the crock pot, I layered 2 sliced onions, 1 sliced apple, 1/2 cup James River Cellars Rad Red, and 1/2 cup James River Cellars Reserve Chardonnay.  I un-bagged the pork loin, placed it on top of the vegetables, seasoned it with garlic salt, pepper, and herbs de provence.  I realized that I wouldn’t have time to cook and make mashed potatoes, so I popped 4 small potatoes in the same pot and cooked everything on low for 6-8 hours.  By the time I got home, the house smelled amazing!

Adding the finishing touches on dinner was fairly simple.  I pulled the potatoes out and mashed them in a bowl.  I added some of the liquid (along with the cooked veggies) from the pot to the potato mixture to smooth everything out, then added a touch of margarine (or butter), salt, and pepper before serving.  I sliced the pork, which honestly was falling apart at this point, and served dinner in under 15 minutes after my arrival home.  It was simple, tasty, and satisfying… three things that I look for when trying to come up with a work-night recipe.

I hope you’ll consider trying this recipe or a variation thereof… making dinner doesn’t have to be a huge production… it can be as easy as thinking ahead.  Enjoy!

Crock Pot Recipe: Red Wine Pulled Pork

I have been asked about crock pot recipes and thought I’d post my version of this recipe from the blog, “100 days of Real Food”, that states that it’s The Best Pulled Pork Recipe In A Crockpot.  I started with the author’s recipe but ended up tweaking it so much that it became a version of my own.  Don’t get me wrong… this recipe that I’ve linked is stellar.  If it looks like one you’d prefer to use, go for it.  That’s the beauty of cooking and creating recipes – if you find you’re missing an ingredient, or your family has particular tastes, then by all means alter the recipe to suit those you’re feeding.  Remember, there are NO food police… NO wine police… just enjoy the process and have fun creating something tasty!

Here are the Red Wine Pulled Pork ingredients I used yesterday:RedWinePulledPork

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 square garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried lemon thyme
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup red wine (I used a Malbec, but James River Cellars Rad Red would be great here) 
  • 1/2 cup Chambourcin Wine Jelly (made by a former employee at James River Cellars – any of her red wine jellies would work well in this recipe)
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 3 to 3 ½ pounds pork (I used a Boston Butt), cut in half, excess fat removed

Directions:

  1. Mix all spices together in a small bowl and then add the honey and wine.  Mix to make a paste and set aside.
  2. Put onion in the bottom of your crock pot and place the pork on top.
  3. Pour spice paste over the pork and allow pork to cook for 6-7 hours, stirring occasionally, until cooked thoroughly and shreds easily.
  4. Add wine jelly to the shredded meat and allow it to cook for 10-15 minutes to incorporate the flavors.  We found the cayenne pepper to be a bit too spicy in this recipe, so the jelly added a bit of sweetness that really made the flavors pop.
  5. Serve warm on rolls with coleslaw, if desired.  Also tasty on a salad with some “southwest” flavors added (corn, black beans, cheese, etc).

This was an incredibly easy recipe and one that really didn’t need any BBQ sauce or ketchup for flavor.  The meat was tender, the onion thoroughly incorporated into the meat, and it got rave reviews in my house.  Definitely a KEEPER recipe for me!  Hope you’ll consider trying it the next time you want to make a simple, easy dinner.

Recipe: Summer Crock Pot Roast

I’ve been rattling off the basics of this crock pot dinner to people for about two years now, but always forgot to take photos along the way and didn’t want to post this meal without proof of how yummy it looks.  Forget the taste… this dinner just looks tasty.  Add some crusty bread, a fluffy snowstorm, a warm fire, and this meal becomes the start of…. oh, wait… it’s JUNE!   I’ve been using this recipe as my favorite winter pot roast dinner for my crock pot, so I thought I would see how it would work if I “summer-ized” it by switching out the deep red wine I usually use and replacing it with white wine…

Summer Pot Roast

As it would happen, this dinner was really good with white wine!  Nothing like having an experiment go well, eh?

Ok… let me tell you about this simple dinner.  I started with a large bulk roast that I picked up on a huge sale at my local grocery store.  I honestly don’t remember what cut it was or just how much I had… I just remember that it was almost half of the original cost and “looked like a pot roast” to me.

I pulled out my crock pot and started the assembly of dinner before I left for work one morning.  I sliced up four golden potatoes into quarters, length-wise, and then added one thick sliced vidalia onion.  I separated the onion pieces and placed the veggies into the bottom of my crock pot before placing the frozen roast on top.  I had a quarter bottle of James River Cellars Chardonel and a quarter bottle of James River Cellars Gewurztraminer white wines in my fridge, so I poured the  ends of both bottles over the meat and potato/onion mixture.  I doused the meat liberally with garlic salt and some freshly ground pepper before I turned the crock pot on for 8-hours and left for work.

When I came home that evening, the house smelled wonderful.  I’d forgotten to add garlic to the roast, but it still smelled really tasty.   Now was my chance to finish the meal and pull everything together. I ladled out two cups of liquid from the pot and, using a whisk, blended in 3 Tablespoons of flour.  I poured this back into the crock pot and stirred in about a half bag of frozen peas.  After letting this cook for a few minutes, I realized that I needed something bright to make this dish really shine, so I quickly cooked some baby carrots in the microwave before stirring them into the thickening stew as well.  A quick taste of the broth gave me the chance to adjust the seasonings before dinner, then I let the crock pot work it’s magic for another 10-15 minutes.

To plate this meal, I carefully removed the roast from the stew and gently shredded the beef.  I ladled stew into a shallow bowl for each of us and added a portion of meat to top off our summer dinner.  If I’d had some crusty bread (or had taken the time to pick up bread sticks or make crescent rolls) this meal would have been over-the-top good… I wouldn’t have had to resort to using a spoon to sop up the ends of the stew!  This is another meal that will continue to taste wonderful as you warm up bowls over the next day or two, so feel free to make extra to share.  Your friends and co-workers will thank you!