Old Faithful strikes again….
Working in the arts often means keeping strange hours. Lately I’ve been getting home from work between 10:30 and 11:30pm. The typical nightly ritual of nine-to-fivers who come home, eat dinner, watch some TV, and go to bed is pretty much out the window in my house since by the time I get home I’ve already eaten dinner. If I’m lucky, I have enough energy to drink a beer and fall asleep on the couch to the first 15 minutes of Project Runway on the DVR… Anyway, my co-worker Tony was gloating on Friday about his ingenuity in reshaping the theater schedule to include more home-cooked meals.
Enter, once again, the magical slow cooker.
I’m all about multi-tasking, and what better way to multi-task than to cook dinner for tomorrow while you’re sleeping! So, instead of the aforementioned 15 minutes of Project Runway I threw the typical meat-veg-liquid combination in the slow cooker and this morning I’m greeted by this:
Friday nights just got a little crazier in my house. I might be doing this often…
Overnight Pork Roast
- Pork Shoulder (with or without bone)
- Vegetable of choice (something sturdy like carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery), cut into big chunks
- Liquid (water or broth)
- S & P, or, a seasoning mix like Adobo
Loosely place the veggies on the bottom of your slow cooker and rest the meat on top. Rub salt and pepper or spice mix onto the pork shoulder and cover with liquid. Set cooker on low to cook overnight and grab a beer.
In my household, football is a big deal. My coping mechanism has been to come up with meal ideas that celebrate what I consider to be the best part of football season: food, beer, and the occasional social gathering. I first got the idea of pulled pork in the slow cooker from our friend Mandy Love in Gillette, WY (who’s kids made it for dinner, I might add (that’s how easy this is)). I paired the sandwiches with a delicious slaw of my own invention. I’ve tried out this cabbage slaw on three people who “don’t like coleslaw”… and it’s worked every time.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Pork Roast (approximately 3 lb.)
- 1-2 C. Chicken Stock (homemade, of course)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- Salt and Pepper
- Mandy’s Special Sauce*
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Onion powder
- *OR* pre-made BBQ sauce
Put the sliced onion on the bottom of your slow cooker. Rest the pork roast on top and pour chicken stock over it. Season with salt and pepper and cook on low for 5-7 hours.
Remove the roast from the cooker and dispose of the liquid and onions. When cool enough to handle, tear into shreds and return to the cooker. Add sauce and heat on low or warm setting until ready to serve. Mandy didn’t give me specific quantities for her ingredients, and I have to imagine that this sauce can be made a thousand different ways and still be good. So play around with it until you find the combination you like.
Not-from-the-Grocery-Store Cabbage Slaw
- 1 small head cabbage (red, green, napa, no matter), cut in small strips (chiffonade)
- Big glob of mayo, light mayo, or Miracle Whip
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add-ins: my favorites include shredded carrots, diced tart apple (like granny smith or macintosh), walnuts, dried cranberries, and grapes (sliced in half). Pickled beets are also a great treat in this recipe.
Fluff cabbage in a bowl and mix in mayo and salt and pepper. The amounts of these ingredients is kind of up to you, but I suggest not going too heavy on the mayo… that’s what makes it taste like it’s from the grocery store. Just enough that the cabbage isn’t dry. Fold in the other ingredients and enjoy, or chill and eat later once the flavors have combined. Eat as a side, or mix in some protein like leftover chicken or pork and take it for lunch in place of a sandwich!
Since December 2, I’ve been living the fantastic life of a housewife. Working occasionally, blogging frequently, and cooking constantly. Today, that all changes as I go back to my typical 60-hour work week.
When I get nervous, I prepare by cooking lots of food. That way, even if nothing goes according to plan, at least I’ve got dinner. It’s winter, so, naturally that means lots of soup. Lots and lots of soup. My hope is that these two beauties will last all week and next for dinners.
That’s Hearty Black Bean Slow-Cooker soup on the left, and Winter Ham and Beans on the right. I’ll get you those recipes later in the week.
I was hoping to get a third pot going too, but it wasn’t in the cards today.
That’s right; I said it: we have three crock pots. When it comes to crock pots, you can’t just have one. Plus, we have a chili cookout every Halloween and so all those slow cookers come in quite handy.