Slow Cooked Saucy Pulled Pork

Ah yes, it’s another slow cooker recipe! I love the concept; I really do.  I pulled this one from TV, yet again, while watching Kelsey’s Essentials – but, of course, omitted the brown sugar to make it 4HB-friendly.  It still tasted very rich and yummy to me! Now, if only I could have piled it up high on a bun to make myself a pulled pork sandwich… Oh well – baby steps (I’ll save that one for a cheat day)! I will say, however, that it tasted very delicious on its own.  I’ve also found that it’s pretty versatile.  For one, it is pretty terrific as a meat sauce on squash noodles or spaghetti squash noodles.  My goodness, how things are coming together!

One big reason that I like this particular recipe is because the spice combination gives you good pulled pork flavor, without making it taste too much like a Mexican-style pulled pork.  Which, of course, I also love (ahem, slow cooked carnitas, anyone?).  But it’s always nice to have some variation up your sleeve for meals! Plus, this version is super saucy – rich and flavorful.

That intro kind of reminds me of this recipe: sort of a long process, but with an eventual outcome of pure delicious satisfaction!

Hey, let’s crock it to the pot!

Ingredients:
1 pork shoulder or butt (3-4 lbs)
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp crushed red pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

Directions:

  • Combine the tomato sauce, chili powder, coriander and cumin in the bottom of your slow cooker.  Stir to combine.

  • Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker.

  • Using tongs, flip the pork around in the pot a bit to evenly coat with the tomato sauce and spice mixture.

  • Mince and dice the garlic and onions.  Add to the slow cooker and toss the meat, again, with tongs to evenly distribute its contents.

  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours until the pork is tender and beginning to fall apart.

  • Remove the pork and place in a large bowl or plate.  Let it sit and cool for a few minutes.(As you can clearly see below – my pork turned out so tender that I had to take it out in several large clumps! Was falling apart at the touch.  That’s some quality tenderization, there!)
  • With 2 forks, pull apart and shred the meat.  Remove and discard any excess fat.

  • Skim off any excess fat from the sauce that is left remaining in the pot.  Stir in the lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The purpose of the lime juice is to tame, slightly, the boldness and richness  in flavor that is ultimately created from the slow cooking of fat in the sauces.  Delicious flavor, already, but the citrus flavoring creates a product that really works well for the overall pulled pork flavor).

  • Add the shredded pork back into the slow cooker and toss with the remaining tomato sauce and meat juices.

  • Scoop generously onto plates!

Leftovers? Good news! The pulled pork can be stored in its sauce and refrigerated for a few days.  In fact, the next evening, it went quite well on zucchini and squash noodles! 

Sweet porky victory!

Slow Cooked Chuck Roast

Slow Cooked Grass-Fed Chuck Roast & Veggies, with a side of Rainbow Chard Salad

Link to:  Rainbow Chard Salad

Slow-cooking is a relatively new thing for me.  I mean, the slow cooker has been literally sitting in my kitchen, readily available to me, all well-intentioned, for about a year now, just begging to be used.  But I can’t believe it took me this long.  So much easier just having some contraption sitting on the counter, cooking for me while I’m slaving away at work – and a great method for ye ‘ol 4HB lifestyle!

So, if you don’t mind, allow me to mildly deviate here and talk for a second about meat.  The husband and I have been frequenting this fantastic butcher shop in La Jolla, CA for the majority of our grass-fed meats lately: Homegrown Meats.  We never quite know what we’re in the market for when we enter…just depends what kind of sweet meats they have on display that day! Some things standard; some things new.  But we stock up…and we stock up well. This time I went for the chuck roast. Never having actually cooked a roast before; I was fully aware that, in the day of the internet, it is easy enough to pull up a well-enough reviewed, and easy-enough, bare-boned recipe off of which to base my own concoction.

So…without further adieu, I present to you – Chuck Roast.  Melt-in-your-mouth, fall right off the bone (if your meat even HAS a bone), style.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds chuck roast
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
Directions:
Take the chuck roast and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
In a large skillet over high heat, brown on all sides.
Place into the slow cooker and add the chopped veggies, onion powder, paprika, liquid smoke, and beef broth.  Place the quartered onion pieces on top of the meat and sprinkle with minced garlic.
Cover the crock pot and cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.  And…
Remove the meat and vegetables from the pot, reserving some of the remaining liquid for gravy.
And that, my friends, is the recipe to a melt-in-your-mouth, slow cooked hunk of meat, that is so tender and moist, it will just fall apart with the slightest touch of your fork.  And the veggies are so soft, yet not too soft where they just turn into a big pile of mush at the bottom of the pot.  Pretty much the whole package here, folks.  And as I always say, feel free to add some red pepper flakes or other spices if you crave that extra bite.
Work all day, home-cooked comfort food ready for the table just in time to welcome you back home.  Thanks for all your hard work, ol’ crock.