Friday, January 16, 2015

Love Your Crock-Pot!

When I decided that I really wanted to make 2015 all about entertaining at home often but effortlessly I knew that I would need to engage my old ally the crock-pot.  As I dug through my basement I found it right behind the fondue pot and bread-maker (look for future posts where they will make an appearance).   Crock-pots suffer a bad reputation from too many watery, bland crock-pot chilies that are served at Superbowl parties and church potlucks.  But the crock-pot is not to blame, they just do the best they can with what is put into them. What a crock-pot really is is a convenient heat source that you can walk away from and not worry about burning your house down.  Its a brilliant invention and someday some smart restaurateur is going to make an all Crock-Pot restaurant...hmm...that's a good idea.

A pork shoulder roast is a perfect candidate for the crock-pot.  The long hours of braising will leave me with meat that is falling apart tender.  The ingredients I have on hand help me decide that the pork will take on a Mexican flavor profile:  A Pork & Green Chili Braise

Raw ingredients for Pork & Green Chili Braise include bone-in pork shoulder onion, garlic, jalapenos, Anaheim chili, Poblano chili, cumin, smoked paprika, red wine vinegar and canned crushed tomato

It's a snap to put together:  Rub the pork with olive oil a liberal amount of salt, cumin & smoked paprika
Pork rubbed with olive oil, salt & spices
Combine the chopped onions, chilies, garlic, Add the pork and pour over the combined liquid ingredients. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours.
Onion, peppers, chilies and garlic

Now combined with the pork roast and liquid ingredients poured over

And with no effort at all you get this
Pork Shoulder after braising for 8 hours
I like to serve this dish very simply with a crunchy fresh cabbage and jicima salad dressed with lime juice & good olive oil

 And I love to serve it right on top of the stew with lots of grilled corn tortillas on the side
Pork & Chili Stew with Cabbage Salad
So get your crock-pots out and have some creative, tasty fun this weekend.  See what you have around the house (hey, why not thaw out those short-ribs that have been in the freezer since last June) and maybe go Asian with them with lots of soy, ginger, garlic and Sambal for your braise. And remember to write me back with what you made.  Happy eating and entertaining!


  1. This looks AMAZING!I Have to try this!!!!

    1. Thanks so much! Please do and let me know how it turns out

  2. Yuo make it look easy. the only thing I'd change would be the chilies unless they are very mild.

    1. The Anaheim and Poblano chilies are mild and I just used 1 jalapeno. I took the seeds and ribs out of all of them, so this dish was very mild. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.

  3. I like the entrepreneurial idea of a restaurant where the back wall is lined with three dozen crock pots, all with a different take going on. Hmmm.

  4. Thanks Onil, going to haul out my cooker and make this.
    Sure glad you are doing this blog. This could make a dent in my takeout habit!
    So happy you are doing this blog.

    1. Great to hear, Patti. Let me know how it turns out.
      I am very excited about doing this blog too, it's a lot of fun!