I know that it might seem like my SousVide Supreme holds favored appliance status in the kitchen (and it does), but slowly, yet surely, my cheap-ass Crock-Pot is coming in out of the doghouse.
The Crock-Pot was banished to the garage (a.k.a. appliance doghouse) due to it’s inconsistent output but now I think it might deserve it’s own permanent spot on the kitchen counter. Gasp!
Why all the renewed adulation? Recently, my l’il slow cooker has produced quite a few tasty meals with little fuss or muss. Tonight was no exception. I adapted another recipe from Slow Cooker Revolution, the new cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen, and the results were delicious. Plus, I was able to throw it together in about 30 minutes (including clean-up).
*Update 5/14/11: Splashing in some Red Boat fish sauce to the braising liquid before cooking and at the very end really adds a special oomph to the dish. It truly is a secret weapon in your pantry!
Here’s what I assembled to feed 8 people:
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 8 leeks, whites only, thinly sliced (or 2 medium onions, chopped medium)
- 1 small cabbage, cut into eighths (optional)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a few good shakes of Sunny Paris seasoning)
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 1/4 cup organic chicken stock
- 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
- 1.5 pounds of carrots, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 (2-to 2.5-pound) boneless pork picnic shoulder roasts, trimmed and tied or 1 4-pound picnic roast
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons Banyuls vinegar
- Red Boat fish sauce
Here’s how I made it:
I melted the ghee in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. I know I could make my own but I don’t. Here’s the one I’m really digging at the moment:
Then, I added the leeks, garlic, tomato paste, and thyme to the melted ghee. If you don’t have fresh herbs, just shake on some dried ones! I cooked the leeks until they were softened and lightly browned (8-10 minutes).
Then, I added the broth and vermouth to deglaze the pan.
I chucked the leek mixture along with the tomatoes, carrots, and celery into the slow cooker. If you are adding cabbage, tuck it in around the roast. (*UPDATE: 5/14/11: I splashed on some Red Boat Fish sauce before proceeding to the next step.)
I dried off my roasts, took off the elastic netting…
…and seasoned them liberally with salt and pepper. (*Update 5/14/11: I also sprinkled on Sunny Paris seasoning all over the pork. It’s best to season your pork overnight to get the best flavor.)
I tied the roasts up with twine…
…and nestled them into the slow cooker.
I covered the cooker and set it to cook on low for 9-11 hours.
After the roast was finished cooking, I fished out the two roasts and put them on a cutting board to rest.
I removed the thyme twigs from the pot and I used a large spoon to degrease the braising liquid. I added the vinegar, fish sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Then, I shredded up the meat, served it on top of the veggies, and poured on the braising liquid.
This meal was a hit for the whole family (except for Little-O) and I can’t wait to gobble up the leftovers!
*Update 5/14/11: If you have a roast with a nice layer of fat on top, broil it for a few minutes to carmelize the fat! See below for pics and directions:
After I removed the roast from the slow cooker…
…I put the roast on a coconut oil greased rack on top of a foil-lined tray and stuck it in the broiler for about 2-3 minutes or until evenly browned.
Once it’s nice and toasty, I nestled the roast back in the veggies and braising liquid and shredded the meat with two forks.
Definitely do this version if you’ve a nice fatty pork roast!