I’ve been looking for things to cook now that I (a) have time to apply myself to learning, (b) am doing the grocery shopping, and (c) am eating meat so K and I could actually eat the same thing for dinner. The slow cooker is a good option for lazy old me, except that a lot of the time, recipes are all, “It’s super easy! Only a few minutes of prep time and then let it go until dinner,” when in reality, there are vegetables to be sauteed first, and meat to be browned, and a bunch of other pot/pan-using things that take ages! I’m willing to use a knife and a cutting board or two, but I don’t want to be cooking for a long time before the actual cooking starts.
However, while meal planning last week I stumbled across Amy’s recipe for Crock Pot Pork Roast with Apples & Sweet Potatoes, which not only has minimal advance prep but also has only about a dozen ingredients, a good half of which are herbs and spices I’ve actually heard of. Amazing! Thanks, Amy’s Cooking Adventures. You rock!
(Please note! I have not included descriptions of all the ingredients and instructions here – so refer to Amy’s Cooking Adventures for the real deets!)
So, to the cooking! First, you add a layer of apple and sweet potato slices to the bottom of the slow cooker. As foodies will no doubt notice, my knife skills are lacking, but I think in terms of slow cooker cooking, uniform size and shape are not a huge concern. For me, anyway.
Then the meat goes in. I felt like a bit of a dork at the meat counter. I asked for a pork roast of the appropriate size, and the guy was like, “Which one? HUH?!” So I looked at the labels, which all looked very similar and similarly meant nothing to me, and chose the one that was labeled Pork Butt. Because: BUTT.
As you can see, for meat handling, I use Carrie Anne’s patented Reverse Baggie Method.
Not only am I still getting over the whole biology-class-memories-of-dissecting-formerly-living-things thing, I am also really paranoid about germs. Having not cooked meat basically ever before, I have a probably too-sensitive scale for safety when preparing it. EVERYTHING IS CRAWLING WITH SALMONELLA! Hence, baggie hands.
Also, do you notice that grid thingie in the background of the above photo? It’s a strange little net sleeve that was wrapped around the roast at the deli. I cut it off with some kitchen scissors (which were then carefully scrubbed) – is that what people usually do? I assume you don’t want to be picking it out of your food later on.
I actually had to buy Rosemary and Marjoram, but we had Basil already, as well as the other spices in the recipe. So now I’ll be on the lookout for recipes that use Rosemary and/or Marjoram.
After it’s all spiced, the rest of the apple and sweet potato go in, as well as the garlic. Which I used probably two to three times as much of as the recipe suggested. It’s garlic, people! It’s meant to be enjoyed.
I was so anxious to try it, I forgot to snap a photo before we cut into it. It turned out great! The apple and sweet potato were super tender but not quite mooshy, and the pork was still solid enough to be slice-able, but just. I cooked it for 6.5 hours on low in our slow cooker, and it seemed to be the right amount of time.
Even though K was skeptical of having fruit with the meat, he liked it! He does have a deep and abiding love for cinnamon, though, so that might have helped. I liked it too. This was my first time really eating a pork main dish so I was happy to find that I liked it. It’s really autumnal and just super homey and comforting. It would make a good alternative to turkey for Thanksgiving, actually. We each had it for dinner one night and then for lefties the following night, so for us, four servings was right on target.