Monday, January 23, 2012

Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Vegetables

Pork roast, slow cooked in the crockpot and simply seasoned with garlic salt, freshly cracked black pepper, Cajun seasoning, thyme and sage and topped with cream of mushroom soup.

Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Vegetables

While slow braised beef roast would be my husband's top favorite roast, a pork roast rules in my eyes, and the slow cooker is a great vehicle for it for sure. Though most people think of the cut only for smoking or slow cooking for pulled pork sandwiches, I love a good pork shoulder or Boston butt prepared as a roast. This preparation is also great with a leaner pork loin however.

Both the butt and the shoulder are part of the same area of the pig, the shoulder, with the butt simply being up higher on the shoulder than the shoulder and the picnic, which is lower. None of them are anywhere near related to the rear end of the pig, though speaking of a pork butt does tend to bring up a chuckle, doesn't it?

This recipe is excellent as a stand alone roast using only the aromatics, or go ahead and add potatoes along with the onion, carrots and celery in the slow cooker to make it a great, basic meal in one. I personally love to use the drippings to make a great gravy to serve over homemade mashed potatoes or perfectly steamed rice too, but even if you don't, do save those drippings and freeze them. It's speedier to make the gravy on the top of the stove, rather than in the slow cooker, and if you're using the shoulder or butt, you'll want to use a fat separator to get rid of the excess fat before making gravy or freezing it. Remember, vegetables should always be added to the bottom and sides of the slow cooker, rather than on top.

Here's how to make this delicious slow cooker pork roast I think your family will love!

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a stainless steel skillet over medium high. Sprinkle garlic salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning generously on all sides of the roast. If you prefer, you can stud the roast with slivers of garlic, and substitute kosher salt for seasoning.


If you have one, use a stainless skillet to brown the roast in 2 tablespoons of oil on all sides. This will enable you to scrape up the fond - the browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Pour off the excess fat and add 1/2 cup of water to the skillet to scrape up the browned bits in the bottom. If you only have non-stick skillets you can skip this step and simply add the water to the slow cooker.


Meanwhile, add 3 large carrots, scraped and cut into chunks, 1 stalk of celery, cut into chunks, and 10 small new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters to the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker. You can, of course, sub in whatever potatoes you prefer. I like to use the red potatoes because the skins are tender and leaving them on helps to hold them together too. Pour the juices from the skillet over the veggies and sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper.


Make a well in the center of the vegetables.


Transfer the roast, fat side up, to the slow cooker.


Smear the mushroom soup on the top and sides of the roast.


Sprinkle with the thyme and sage. I had some fresh sage so I used that with dried thyme.


Cover and cook for about 7 to 8 hours on high, 9 to 10 on low. Times will vary according to how your slow cooker works. In the end, roast will be fall apart tender.


Remove in large sections to a platter, trimming off any excess fat.


Add the veggies to the platter and tent with foil while you make gravy with drippings if desired. Can also simply skim the fat from the drippings and spoon juices over the roast. Add a side salad or a green veggie, rolls or bread and iced tea, for a complete meal.


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Yum

Recipe: Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Vegetables

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 7 hours | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 (4 to 6 pound) boneless Boston butt pork roast
  • Garlic salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 large carrots, scraped and cut into chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
  • 10 small new red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
  • 2 (10-3/4 ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
Instructions

Heat oil in a stainless steel skillet over medium high. Sprinkle garlic salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning generously on all sides of the roast. Brown the roast in the oil on all sides. Pour off the excess fat and add 1/2 cup of water to the skillet to scrape up the browned bits in the bottom.

Add the carrots, celery and potatoes to the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker. Pour the juices from the skillet over the veggies and sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper. Make a well in the center of the vegetables and transfer the roast, fat side up, to the slow cooker. Smear the mushroom soup on top and sprinkle with the thyme and sage.

Cover and cook 7 to 8 hours on high, 9 to 10 on low. Times will vary according to how your slow cooker works. Roast will be fall apart tender. Remove in large sections to a platter, trimming off any excess fat, add the veggies around the roast and tent with foil while you make gravy with drippings if desired. Use a gravy separator to remove the fat. Can also skim off the fat and spoon drippings over the roast. Add a side salad, green veggies, rolls or bread and iced tea, for a complete meal.

Cook's Notes: Though one can works fine, use two cans of cream of mushroom soup for extra gravy. I used a 6 pound boneless Boston butt, which I cooked about 7 hours. Can also trim some of the fat cap off if desired. Substitute a bone-in pork roast, or a leaner pork loin roast, just keep in mind the size and adjust time appropriately. For a 3 to 4 pound loin, probably about 6 to 8 hours on low. If using a loin, use two cans of cream soup. If you prefer, you can stud the roast with slivers of garlic, and substitute kosher salt for seasoning.

To make gravy, mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water or milk. Use a fat separator to remove the fat from the slow cooker drippings and transfer drippings to a large skillet. Bring to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch slurry; reduce heat to medium and whisk until mixture thickens and reaches desired consistency.

Pork Chop Variation: Substitute 4 to 6 pork loin chops for the roast, cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, depending on thickness of chops, or high 3 to 4 hours.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on January 23, 2012
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