I have to admit that my crockpot is not an appliance that gets a lot of use at my house. I do use it frequently in the winter to slowly warm heartier soups like chili, but I don't use it very often (if at all) to cook much else. When we were first married, I had a "bad-experience" with a roast that didn't finish cooking until around 11:00PM. It was delicious when it was done, but at that point, it was a little late to eat dinner :)
I would really like to get into using my crockpot more as I know that my year will be getting substantially busier starting in July. Not to mention that slow-cooking all day long usually results in a great meal! This Mexican pork recipe is my first attempt at getting back into the crockpot world. I found the recipe on Mel's Kitchen Cafe, but Mel mentions that she adapted it first from The Sisters Cafe. You can't go wrong with Mexican food in this house, and in her post, Mel raves about how good this pork is. Okay, I'm in.
I am thankful to report that my 2nd attempt at a large chuck of meat in my crockpot went much better than the first! There actually are quite a few steps in this for a crockpot recipe, but Mel explains her work well, and it turned out wonderful. I actually had to shoo my husband away from the crockpot after I shredded the meat because he kept sneaking forkfuls :) Mel states that you shouldn't skip the step about reducing the sauce, and I agree. It helps keep the meat moist and adds so much flavor. The green chiles and green enchilada sauce in there give it just enough kick, but not so much that it ends up falling into the "only for spicy lovers category."
The ingredient list does get a little lengthy, and you might be wondering what I made for 2 people with 5 lbs. of meat? The fun thing about a meat recipe like this is that you can use it in anything. I've made chicken enchiladas and pork tostadas, and have 3 more bags of meat portioned out for us in the freezer. That's 6 meals total (2 meals of the enchiladas). Pretty good if you ask me. We have chile pork tostadas back on the menu this week, and I know we're both looking forward to them. Enjoy!
Chile Verde Shredded Pork
From Mel's Kitchen Cafe
2 Tbsp. canola oil
5 lbs. boneless pork roast, trimmed of as much fat as possible
salt and pepper for seasoning the roast
2 yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
1 (15 oz) can green enchilada sauce
2 (14 oz) cans diced green chiles
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 beef bouillon cube (or 1 tsp. beef bouillon granules)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Cut the roast into 3-4 large chunks. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper on all sides. In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat until the oil is shimmering and hot. Add the pork (in shifts if necessary), and brown on all sides until golden and well-browned, about 30 seconds to a minute on each side. Leave the roast in the pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Place the pork, garlic, and onions in the slow cooker. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.
After the roast has cooked for the allotted time, remove the roast and shred into bite-sized pieces. Set aside, covered with foil to keep warm. Pour the remaining liquid and ingredients from the slow cooker into a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil on the stove, and simmer vigorously over medium-low or medium heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking or burning, until the mixture is considerably reduced and thickened. Add the shredded pork and sauce back to the slow cooker. Stir to coat the pork with the sauce. Turn the crockpot to low or high and allow the pork to heat through again. Serve with warm tortillas or use to fill burritos, enchiladas, etc.