Crockpot Pineapple Pulled Pork

Crockpot Pineapple Pulled Pork

It’s hard to believe I never used a crockpot until a few years ago. I was totally missing out. There are some things that are just so much easier to cook in the crockpot, meat being the first thing that comes to mind. It’s my go-to method when I need shredded chicken, beef, or pork.

I have been experimenting with different ways of preparing pork roast in the crockpot. This one turned out well. The pineapple juice made the meat even more tender and the sweetness complimented the flavor of the pork (I think pork need a little sweeness).

I pulled the pork and made sandwiches with it on Rosemary Focaccia and topped with Pickled Collards for crunch and acid and a drizzle of BBQ sauce. So good. It would have been better if I hadn’t totally mucked up the focaccia (I ran out of flour and subbed whole spelt flour….turned out very dense), but even good cooks mess up sometimes. It’s OK. Learn and move on.

Crockpot Pineapple Pulled Pork on Rosemary Foccacia with Pickled Collards

Crockpot Pineapple Pulled Pork

1 4 – 5 pound Boston butt pork roast
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple with juices
Favorite dry rub (or use recipe below), about 1 tablespoon per pound of meat

Rub the pork roast with the dry rub. Layer the sliced onions on the bottom of the crockpot. Place the seasoned pork roast on top of the onions. Dump the pineapple and juices over the pork roast. Place the lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 5 hours. The meat should be very, very tender.

Remove the cooked pork from the crockpot, leaving much of the pineapple and onion. Remove any fat. Shred the pork with two forks.

Crockpot Pineapple Pulled Pork Spice Rub

Dry Rub

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients. This makes a perfect amount for a 4 – 5 pound roast.


Ribs in the Crockpot

Ribs in the Crockpot

This is an incredibly easy way to prepare tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs. This recipe works well with many different types of ribs. I have prepared baby back, spare, country-style, and rib tips in the crockpot with great success.

I’m from Texas, and I like my ribs wet, sopping with tomato based BBQ sauce. If you like dry ribs, you don’t have to add the BBQ sauce.

Ribs in the Crockpot

package/slab of ribs (baby back, spareribs, or country-style)
favorite dry rub (see a recipe for one I’ve used below)
favorite BBQ sauce

Cut the ribs into 3 – 4 rib sections (if need be).

ribs raw

Rub the seasoning all over the ribs and place them in the crockpot. Spraying the crockpot with cooking spray before adding the ribs makes clean-up easier.

Seasoned Ribs

 

Crockpot Ribs

Cook the ribs on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Add BBQ sauce to coat the ribs about an hour before done cooking, if you wish. Once done, let the ribs rest 10 minutes before serving.

Rib Rub

2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients. Store in an air-tight container.


Roasted Pork Loin in the Crockpot (With a Vietnamese-Inspired Variation)

Crockpot Roast Pork

Happy New Year! I wish each and every one of you peace, happiness, love, and good health in 2015.

I am extremely happy to see 2014 go. It was the worst year. Ever. My oldest son said I say that about every year, but 2014 was truly a shit year. Good riddance! I am looking forward to better days in 2015.

What are your New Year’s Day food traditions? I have eaten black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for as long as I can remember. Greens (either spinach, collards, or cabbage) have become a tradition as well. Hey, I need all the luck and prosperity I can get. Pork is a commonly eaten food on New Year’s Day. I’m not a huge fan of pork, so I don’t typically include it in our New Year’s food tradition. Pork loin was on sale at Publix for $1.99 a pound this week, so we are having roasted pork loin today.

The crockpot is the easiest way to cook large chunks of meat and ensure they come out tender, like fall apart tender.  I almost never cook meats in the oven anymore. Plus, the crockpot is so easy. Did I already mention that? : )

Crockpot Roast Pork (640x480)

Roasted Pork Loin in the Crockpot

Pork loin
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Place in the crockpot. Add the garlic, balsamic vinegar and water. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the pork from the crockpot and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.

Meanwhile, you can make a gravy with the juices in crockpot. Whisk in a slurry of cornstarch and water (about 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and enough water to make it pourable) into the leftover liquid in the crockpot. Let cook and thicken while the pork is resting. It won’t get very thick. Alternatively, you can make a gravy on the stovetop using the liquid from the crockpot.

Variation: Roasted Pork Loin in the Crockpot with Vietnamese-Inspired Flavors

Roasted Pork Loin in the Crockpot with Vietnamese-Inspired Flavors (640x507)

One of my very favorite Vietnamese dishes is Bún thịt nướng. Bún thịt nướng consists of rice noodles topped with grilled pork and served with a fish sauce and a variety of veggies, peppers, herbs, etc… When I make Bún thịt nướng at home, I marinate the pork in brown sugar, garlic, and fish sauce. The marinade not only makes it taste good, but helps the pork to caramelize when it’s cooked. It’s delicious! Bún thịt nướng was my inspiration for this wonderful way to prepare pork loin in the crockpot.

I don’t usually make a gravy for the pork when I do this version. I strain the leftover liquid from the crockpot and serve it alongside the pork.

Crockpot Roasted Pork Loin with Vietnamese-Inspired Flavors (640x444)

Roasted Pork Loin in the Crockpot with Vietnamese-Inspired Flavors

Pork loin
salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water

Season the pork loin with salt and pepper. Place in the crockpot and cover in brown sugar. Add the garlic, fish sauce and pepper flakes. Pour the water around the pork loin. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.


Bahn Mi Burgers

These flavorful burgers are inspired by the Vietnamese sandwiches, Bahn Mi, and are a nice change from hamburgers.  Depending on how big you make the patties, this recipe makes about 8 burgers.  They freeze well.  The left-over burgers can also be cooked, sliced,  and put on top of a bowl of rice vermicelli (bun).  Serve the noodle dish with the pickled carrots and radish, cilantro, bean sprouts, cucumbers and fish sauce (nuoc cham).  Delicious!

Bahn Mi Burgers

for the burger:
2 pounds pork (sirloin tip, butt, or other lean cut) cut into 1-inch chunks (or use ground pork)
1 – 2 tablespoon(s)lemongrass, finely minced
3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced (or grated)
1 jalapenos, seeded and finely minced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
freshly ground pepper

buns (French style, Kaiser rolls,

for the toppings:
English cucumber, thinly sliced
pickled carrots and diakon radish (recipe follows)- made the day before for best flavor
fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
Sriracha-lime mayonnaise (recipe follows)

Cut the pork into 1 inch chunks and grind it in a food processor with the blade attachment.  Place the meat in a large bowl and mix in the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper. Form patties and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld.  While the meat is resting, make the Sriracha-lime mayonnaise.
Fire up the grill and grill burgers to desired doneness. Grill buns.

Alternatively, cook patties in an oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat until done and juices run clear. Toast buns.

To assemble, spread Sriracha-lime mayonnaise on each side of the bun. Place the cooked pork patty in the bun and top with the pickled carrots and diakon radish, cucumbers, cilantro and jalapenos.

Sriracha – Lime Mayonnaise

1/2 cup mayonnaise
juice from 1/4 lime
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce (or other chili garlic sauce)
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients.

Pickled Carrots and Daikon

4 cups daikon radish, julienned
about 1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 cups carrots, julienned
1/4 cup white vinegar

Place daikon in a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons sugar. Set aside for 30 minutes. Drain off liquid. Add 1/3 cup sugar and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Toss carrots with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar in a separate bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Drain the liquid and toss with 2 teaspoons sugar.

Drain the daikon and carrots again. Toss daikon and carrots together and add another 1-2 tablespoons of sugar to taste. Add 1/4 cup vinegar. Toss, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Keeps in the fridge for about a week. Store it in the liquid but remove from liquid before serving.


Pork Chops with Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce & Garlic Orange Spinach

Valentine’s Day Dinner

.Pork Chops with Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce
.Garlic Orange Spinach
.Baked Potatoes
.Chocolate and Coconut Cream Fondue

This is the meal I made for Valentine’s Day.  It was a nice, as well as easy meal.

Pork Chops with Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce

4 pork chops, trimmed of fat
1 T. oil
salt and pepper to taste

2 T. finely chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 12 oz. bag frozen raspberries
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
2 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse pork chops and pat dry.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 T. oil in a skillet over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking.  Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook, turning once until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Remove pork chops to a plate and cover with foil; set aside.

Add shallots and garlic to skillet and saute for about 30 seconds (you may have to add a dash of oil).  Add the raspberries and cook, stirring for another 30 seconds.  Add the red wine, scraping any bits on the bottom of the pan.  Reduce the mixture over high heat until about 3/4 cup liquid remains.  Add the stock and chipotle.  Reduce over high heat until about 2 cups of liquid remains.  Strain the mixture into a clean saucepan and heat to boiling.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon some of the sauce onto a plate and place a pork chop over it.

Garlic Orange Spinach

1 10 ounce bag of spinach leaves, washed with stems removed
1  clove garlic,  thinly sliced
2  T.  olive oil
3  T. fresh orange juice
1  T. orange zest
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot heat oil over med. high heat, add garlic and cook stirring constantly until it begins to brown, about 30 seconds.  Add orange juice and cook until reduced about 30 seconds.  Add spinach and orange zest and saute until spinach wilts.  Remove from heat and season with salt & pepper.