I’m not new to the slow cooking thing, but I must admit that I’ve only ever used my slow cooker for stews and that has been a whole…five times?
My friend is currently on a slow cooking marathon (because she is crazy like that) and introduced me to a group on Facebook, full of people just like her – crazy slow cookers!
I was amazed at the things people are cooking in their crock pots – cakes, pies, quiches, spaghetti, lasagna and the list goes on. I thought damn. I’m clearly limiting myself by just using mine twice a year for stew.
So I pulled it out – it was a smaller cooker, Home Collection brand – and thought I would try making some cinnamon scrolls.
The scrolls were wicked – the slow cooker, not so much.
I don’t know if it’s just the Home Collection brand, but the ceramic bowl seemed to have absorbed some serious stench from previous cooking, my house smelled like I’d like set a bag of dog crap on fire >.>
Thankfully the scrolls didn’t absorb the stench, but needless to say..the cooker is now resting in piece and awaiting its final adventure to the rubbish tip.
I went out and bought another because reasons.
I picked up this 6L Kambrook cooker from Big W, for $58:
I was after a Sunbeam, but I didn’t want to wait (or drive a million miles to get one) but this one is doing fine 😀
So, first test for my new toy – Pulled Pork.
I’ve always wanted to make this. Every time I’ve eaten it, I’ve never been disappointed.
I took the recipe below from a random Google search which landed me here at 100 Days of Real Food. Seemed like a good a place to start!
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt (if desired, you can cut back on the salt by only using 1 tablespoon)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired, you can cut back on the pepper by only using ½ teaspoon of cayenne)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
- 3 to 3 ½ pounds pork shoulder, cut in half
- In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together the first six ingredients (all of the spices) with a fork.
- Pour in the honey, vinegar, and olive oil and stir to form a paste.
- Place the onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top it with the 2 pieces of pork and then pour the honey paste over all sides of the pork pieces. It’s okay if some of it (or a lot of it) just drips down to the bottom.
- Turn the slow cooker on to low and cook for 7 to 8 hours or until the meat is tender enough to be easily shredded with a fork.
- Serve warm with fixings like homemade cole slaw and cornbread.
Seriously, how gorgeous does that look?!
– Do NOT use 2 tablespoons of salt, don’t even use 1. I recommend no more than half a tablespoon – I used 1 when I made this and it was way too much for my liking.
– Use a full cup of honey.
– Slice the onion into quarters.
Aside from the salty, this was amazing. The pork fell apart as I tried to take it out of the cooker (the second picture shows just a part of the entire shoulder roast). I definitely recommend a shoulder piece of meat – I removed the string net before cooking. I also left the skin on – I figured the fat would dribble and help keep everything moist. Pretty sure I was right.
The meat was so soft and moist, it fell apart with no effort. It smelled amazing.
Taste? I liked it…but it wasn’t perfect. Maybe I haven’t eaten enough pulled pork? What I was dreaming of was that luscious pork flavour without all the rest, I guess. Sometimes when I cook a pork roast, the end of the roast comes out like pulled pork and melts in your mouth – that’s what I was looking for.
Next time I do this, I plan on doing it without anything – just the roast on its own. Maybe an apple or two for good measure.
Heck yes. I doubt I will ever cook a roast pork in the oven again. I am going to remix this until I find the perfect variation and then keep the recipe all to myself 😉