I only post recipes I love. And in this case I really really LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this pork recipe. There isn’t much to it. Excluding the pork, all of the ingredients I had on hand and you should too.
I’ve made it pretty clear how much I love using my crock pot. It makes my life so much easier. I like to put the meal together the night before so it hangs out in the fridge over night. In the morning after I walk the dog and make my coffee, it’s time to grab the crock pot and turn it on. I’m out of the house for the day but dinner will be ready when I get home.
The first thing I do when I come home from work is take a deep breath — the smell coming from the crock pot fills the whole house. When I walked in on Tuesday, I was happily overwhelmed by the smell of brown sugar pork. I ran to the kitchen and took a little bite. I seriously almost melted. The pork was so tender! And the sauce, oh my… it’s a combination of brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard. All pantry items and it made the most divine tasting sauce. It’s sweet with a touch of acidity. Perfection!
To round out the meal, I whipped up some sweet potato mash. It’s super easy — peel and dice a couple sweet potatoes, boil for 15 minutes and drain, add some butter and brown sugar and skim milk, mash until you get the right consistency. This was an easy week night meal, but I’d make this any day of the week! It’s a great recipe to use if you have guests coming over for the holidays. It makes a lot and leftovers taste better the next day.
I really wanted to name this recipe “OMG Pork.” It’s all I could say when I was eating it. I hope you’ll love love love it as much as me.
Brown Sugar Crock Pot Pork
- 4 lb pork loin (or your favorite cut of pork for a crock pot)
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 cups brown sugar
- 2-3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Equal part cornstarch and cold water (slurry)
- Remove excess fat from pork. Using a fork, stab/make holes through out the pork. Season with salt & pepper. Spray crock pot with cooking spray and add onions. Place pork on top.
- In a bowl, combine garlic, brown sugar, mustard and vinegar. It will be a paste like consistency. Spread all over pork. Cook on low for 8 hours.
- When the pork is done cooking, take out of the slow cooker and let it rest for 10 minutes. (cover pork with foil) Strain the liquid in the slow cooker into a sauce pan. Save onions. On a medium heat, cook and stir in slurry. The slurry will thicken up the sauce. You may need to repeat this step a few times to get the consistency you want.
- Place onions on top of pork and cut into pieces. Serve with sauce drizzled on pork pieces.
I’m pretty sure most people like me because of this pulled pork recipe. I’ve brought it to football parties, potlucks and picnics. It’s always a hit and I rarely have leftovers. As someone who complains about leftovers, I get a little sad when all of the pulled pork is devoured.
I made Root Beer Pulled Pork for The Bears Monday Night Football game last week. I was looking forward to having a lazy night on the couch and eating a couple pulled pork sandwiches. I got a call from my hubby mid-morning asking if he could have a couple of friends over for dinner. I hesitated slightly. I wasn’t worried about not having enough pork, but I wasn’t totally thrilled about not having a pork sandwich for lunch the next day. But I decided to put my greediness aside and said of course he could have friends over. I love entertaining and pulled pork is perfect for a Monday night meal.
However, I didn’t get enough pulled pork for my liking. So over the weekend, I made more. It was a nice break from the massive cheesy meatball lasagna I made on Friday night.
I know there are a lot of root beer pulled pork recipes out there… but dare I say, this recipe is the best. Root beer provides some flavor, but I want more. So I like to add additional spices to turn things up a notch. Trust me, you don’t even need BBQ sauce. (but you still can if you want. I won’t judge you.)
And since this is made in a crock pot, it’s the perfect meal for any day of the week. It requires no attention until it’s time to shred the pork.
So to all of my friends, here is my recipe. I guess I’ll need to come up with another recipe to get me invited to shindigs. 🙂
Slow Cooked Root Beer Pulled Pork
- 1 cup root beer, additional might be needed
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp grill seasoning
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 lb boneless supreme pork roast
- 4 to 8 buns
- BBQ sauce, if needed
- Pour root beer into slow cooker. Add all the spices, seasonings and garlic. Gives everything a good stir. Add onions and pork. Add more root beer if needed. You don’t want the pork to be submerged, just nicely floating.
- Set the slow cooker on the lowest setting. Cook for 5-6 hours.
- When the pork is cooked, shred meat in the slow cooker. Turn the setting down to warm and let the shredded pork hang out for 20 minutes. Serve on buns and BBQ sauce.
Tacos al Pastor is by far my favorite type of taco. Sadly, I didn’t know about this delicious tasting taco until a year and a half ago. While I was in culinary school, I had a Taste of Mexico class. It was taught by one of the best Mexican Chef’s in Chicago, Chef Carlos Gaytan. He LOVES Tacos al Pastor, so he was excited to share with the class his recipe. My team of 3 made his recipe, and when it came to taste test time, I was completely blown away. The pork was so spicy and tender, however, there was a lot of sweetness from the pineapple. If I could fall in love with a taco, this would be the one.
If you’re like me and you don’t have the time to tend to roasting pork for hours, I offer you a cheat method to make Tacos al Pastor in your home. Get out that crock pot and put it to work for you. I cooked a pork tenderloin in a slow cooker for 6 hours on low and when it was time for dinner, I couldn’t believe how flavorful this recipe came out. Sometimes cheating does win 🙂
Crock Pot Tacos al Pastor
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 lb pork tenderloin
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 20oz can crushed pineapple, with juice
- Chipotle peppers in Adobo, up to 6 whole peppers
- 1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 lime, juices
- Corn tortillas
- Place the first 11 ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. Please note, you can go easy on the chipotle peppers if you aren’t into spice. They do pack a lot of punch, so if you want a hint of spice, you can put in 2 or 3 and still get the flavor. Do not chop them up, just put the peppers in whole so you can fish them out.
- Shred pork in the slow cooker. Combine the chopped pineapple, cilantro, onions and lime juice to make salsa. Warm the tortillas. On the tortilla, put the shredded pork and top with salsa.
I started thinking about dinner by 8am on Tuesday. Don’t judge me. I was up at 4am to get to a client by 5am. (I know, it’s early but its the life in produce.) I’m usually thinking about dinner a couple of hours after being awake, so I guess my early morning thoughts weren’t that strange after all.
I stumbled across a new blog today. I saw a posting on Facebook about a new avocado slicer. Being intrigued by any kind of kitchen gadget, I found myself on Very Culinary. After making a mental note of “I NEED that avocado slicer,” I surfed through some of Amy’s recipes. She had so many delicious looking posts. I probably drooled a couple of times.
There was a post on Very Culinary I kept coming back to… Crock Pot Sesame Chicken. I’m always looking to use my crock pot, it does the work for me. I had almost all of the ingredients on hand and by adding vegetables, I could stretch out this meal for a few days.
Another reason why I loved this recipe – I was done with dinner and clean up by 6:30. That NEVER happens! I love making a great a meal, but nothing is a bigger drag than having to clean up. This recipe will not turn your kitchen into a disaster zone. All I used was my crock pot, a pot to cook the rice and a cutting board. Between the time I saved my using my crock pot and 5 minute clean up, I felt like I had my whole evening ahead me. It’s a good feeling.
Ok, so if you have left overs of this meal, I think it would make an excellent wrap! There are a lot of places in Chicago which specialize in Asian Style Chicken and making wraps. You can do this, too. All you need is a large tortilla wrap, cabbage and your sesame chicken & rice left overs. It’s like a whole new meal and requires no effort. Love that!
Crock Pot Sesame Chicken & Mushroom Cilantro Rice, serves 4
(inspired by Very Culinary)
- 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
- 2 carrots, sliced in rounds
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon (or more) sesame seeds
- 3 scallions, chopped
- cilantro, for garnish
- Mushroom & Cilantro Rice (recipe follows)
- Lightly season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, put into crock pot.
- In a medium bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic, pepper flakes, Sriracha (if using) and lime juice. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.
- Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Add veggies. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Shred chicken into bite size pieces. Then in individual bowls, place chicken pieces over cooked rice and spoon some sauce on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, chopped scallions and cilantro.
Mushroom & Cilantro Rice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups instant brown rice
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Bring stock to a boil. Add rice, mushrooms and cilantro. When the rice mixture starts to boil again, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10 minutes or until all of the liquid has disappeared. Fluff with fork before serving.
Hi!! Things got pretty busy for me last week…. I started a new job at a fresh herb company, Infinite Herbs. I’ll be doing sales & business development for their Mid-west clients, handling social media & recipe development. It’s the perfect job for a girl like me!
I’ll be traveling a couple of times a month but I’m still going to try to post 3 blog entries a week. That’s my goal and I hope it’s a realistic expectation.
There are a few things I find more convenient than a slow cooker. I love coming home from a long day at work and my dinner is ready for me. One less thing to do when I get home!
Tonight’s meal — Very Veggie & Chicken Tortilla Soup. I find restaurants that make this soup miss so many elements I love. Spice & veggies. This soup has a variety of vegetables, so you could omit the chicken and make it vegetarian. I included several layers of spice to this soup by using enchilada sauce, a jalapeno with the ribs & seeds and some spicy seasonings.
Every spoonful had so much flavor!! Have fun with the garnish for this soup. Bake your own tortilla chips, squeeze some lime juice into it, sprinkle cilantro or add a dollop of sour cream… or do it all!!
This soup was a delicious way to enjoy my dinner while watching E! news and get my Oscar red carpet recap. (Emma Stone was my favorite! J-Lo, a close 2nd.)
Have a great week!!
Very Veggie & Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 (14 oz) cans of chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 can red enchilada sauce
- 1 (4 oz) can green chilis
- 1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes
- 2 cups black beans, rinsed & drained
- 2 cups pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 10 oz frozen corn
- 2 chicken breasts, uncooked and cubed
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbs cumin
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 1 tps salt
- garnish – tortilla strips, avocado, sour cream, cilantro, lime wedges
Everything goes in the slow cooker except for the garnishes. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Eat & enjoy.
If you’d like to “make” your own tortilla strips, all you need are corn tortillas, cooking spray & salt. Cut the tortillas into strips, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes (or until crispy) at 350 degrees. I made strips & chips!