Tuesdays are crazy for us. The kids come home from school, grab a quick snack, maybe glance at their homework and then off we go! I go from mild-mannered Mom to a crazed bus driver in a matter of minutes. Tuesdays must run like a well oiled machine for us or else everyone is a mess by bedtime, parents included. I’ve been trying to take full advantage of my Crock Pot on days like this! Throwing something simple into the slow cooker and knowing that dinner is one less thing I have to think about as I’m shuffling people around makes me a happy girl.
The one thing that bothers me about slow cooker recipes is, most of them end up tasting alike. I’ve tried more recipes in my faithful cooker than I can count, and only a few have made it to “Let’s Have That Again” status. This recipe is one of the keepers. Everyone in my family enjoys it, leftovers are great, it freezes well, I’ve served it to guests and it was even the requested last meal at home before my husband left for Iraq last time he deployed. I would have made him anything and he asked for something simple from the Crock Pot! That’s love, right there.
Start by rubbing a mixture of aromatic Chinese five-spice powder and kosher salt over a Boston Butt pork roast. If you don’t have five-spice powder in your spice rack, don’t worry. You can find it in the Asian section at your local grocery store.
Slice up some green onions, a bit of fresh ginger and then slice a full head of garlic in half, skin and all. I know, that sounds gross, but you’ll strain all of this stuff out later. It helps make a wonderful sauce for the pork.
Add all of this to the Crock Pot along with a few other saucy ingredients and that’s it. Simple!
After six hours or so, you’ll remove the pork from the slow cooker. Let it sit out for a little while as you strain, and skim, the sauce. Just a head’s up, there is a lot of sauce! You will not need all of it for dinner, but if you feel so inclined, you can save the extra and use it for poaching fish or chicken. Or, thicken it up with a little cornstarch and use it as a stir fry sauce. Like I said, the meat and sauce freeze well. We usually eat half of the roast for dinner and freeze the rest for another Tuesday.
So, break out that beloved Crock Pot and try something new! I hope you’ll be able to add this to your family’s “Let’s Have That Again” list really soon.
SLOW COOKED CHINESE PORK
Adapted from The Food Network Kitchens
- 3 lb. Boston Butt roast
- 1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup soy sauce (low sodium is just fine)
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 4 green onions, sliced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 head of garlic, halved
- 1 2-inch piece of unpeeled fresh ginger, sliced thinly
- Hot cooked Chinese egg noodles or rice, for serving
- Mix together the five-spice powder and kosher salt. Rub the mixture all over the pork roast and set aside.
- In the slow cooker, mix together the chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper. Stir until the brown sugar dissolves. Add the green onions, garlic and ginger. Add the meat and turn it over in the sauce a couple of times to coat.
- Cover the cooker, set it to HIGH and cook for 4 hours. Reduce the heat to LOW and cook until the meat is very tender, about 2 more hours.
- Transfer the pork to a platter and cover lightly with foil. Let it rest about 10 minutes. Pour the cooking liquid through a strainer into a large bowl and discard the vegetables. Skim off the fat that rises to the surface. Slice the meat and serve with the sauce over rice or noodles. Serves 4-6.