Friday, February 15, 2013

Tangy Slow Cooker Pork with Onion Jam

My friend Amy requested more slow cooker recipes. So, Amy, this one's for you!! (In my mind I'm saying this from the stage like a rockstar. I'm wearing leather pants and lots of sequins. There are lasers and back-up dancers in hot pants. There may or may not be a streak of purple in my hair.)

Back to reality. Let's talk about crock pot cookin' for a minute. I always thought that you could "set it and forget it" when you used a slow cooker. No matter what protein you use. No matter what liquid you put in there. I have learned the hard way...THIS IS NOT TRUE. Some cuts of meat need a looooong time to cook. Like pot roast, for example. But other things can't just simmer away for 10 hours while you're at work. I have burned pork tenderloin and chicken breasts on numerous occasions. It's a bummer, but it's true.

You're thinking to yourself, "What should I do if I have to work from 9 to 5? How can I use my slow cooker for shorter periods of time? Tell me! Please!" Well, if you have a timer on your crock pot, by all means, use it. If you don't have one, I've heard that attaching a light switch timer works well, too. Then you can set your slow cooker to turn on at noon instead of 8:00 a.m. Let me know if you try it. Also, I'm not sure if this is legit or not, but I totally put things in the crock pot frozen or partially frozen. This works particularly well with chicken breasts.

What slow cooker tricks do you have? Please share!

Tangy Slow Cooker Pork with Onion Jam
Adapted from Eating Well
Serves: 8 (or more!)

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced*
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
12 ounces chili sauce
3 pounds pork loin roast
Pretzel rolls or your favorite rolls, for serving

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are very soft and golden, about 8 minutes longer. Add garlic, oregano, chipotle chili, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for another minute until the spices are fragrant. Add vinegar and cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated, 1-2 minutes. Stir in chili sauce.

Place pork in your slow cooker and cover with the onion mixture. Cover and cook on low heat until the pork is cooked through, about 4 hours. Remove pork and shred or cut into bite-sized pieces. Stir pork back into the sauce or, if you have onion-averse people in your group, remove the onions from the sauce and then stir the pork back in. Serve the pork on rolls with plenty of onion jam piled on top (for the onion lovers, of course.)

*Feel free to use more or less chipotle chile depending on your spice tolerance. I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to spice, and one chile was perfect for me.

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