Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Pork

I've discussed many of my cooking fears. Today I'm going to share one of my cooking pet peeves: overcooking things in the crock pot. In my mind, the crock pot should be fool-proof. I want to set it and forget it. I want to leave that sucker bubbling for 12 hours and come home to perfectly tender meat. In reality, this ain't how it works in my kitchen.

Last year, I conquered beef pot roast in the slow cooker. But cooking pork in my crock pot has remained elusive. It's dry. Dry, dry, dry. Now, I should mention that I've always been using pork loin roast. I recognize that this is a leaner cut of meat and that other chunks of pork are more appropriate for my slow cooker. But I'm stubborn, you see. I couldn't leave well enough alone until I'd successfully cooked a pork loin roast.

This weekend, I finally did it. I cooked a delicious pork-based dinner in my handy-dandy crock pot. The clouds parted. Angels sang. I stuffed my face.

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Pork
Serves: 6-8

2-3 pounds pork loin roast
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on your spice tolerance)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger (optional)
2-3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Cooked rice, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving
Chopped peanuts, for serving

Place pork, teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, chicken broth, and ginger in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 4-5 hours or high for about 2-3 hours. (The pork should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees in order to be cooked through.)

Remove pork and shred it using two forks. Stir peanut butter and lime juice into the remaining cooking liquid in the slow cooker until well combined. Stir shredded pork back into the slow cooker. Keep warm on low heat until you're ready to serve.

Sprinkle pork with cilantro and serve over rice. Top each serving with chopped peanuts and an extra lime wedge.

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