Tuesday, January 13, 2009



for christmas, my friend jenn gave me a crock pot--something i have wanted for literally years and have just never gotten around to buying for myself. this weekend was my first foray into the world of the slow cooker, and it was AWESOME. we made a BJ's run on saturday and came home with a lot of meat--a perfect time to bring out the crock pot, right? having no idea what to do, i googled, read a bunch of recipes, and then just made some shit up. here's what i did.

1 4-pound pork loin roast
8-10 shallots
1 cup chicken broth
5 cloves garlic
4 large, lush rosemary sprigs
~1 pound green beans
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

peel shallots and cut each in half. place cut side down in bottom of crock pot until the bottom is covered in shallots. salt and pepper the roast all over and rub in. this would be an excellent time to apply any spice rubs you find intriguing, but i didn't this time. heat some olive oil (maybe 2-3 tablespoons?) in a heavy skillet and brown roast on all sides. (this step also known as--make a big spatter-y mess out of your stove, but whatever.) place roast on top of shallots. pour cup of broth over roast. cut garlic cloves in half and place in a line longways down on top of the roast. lay rosemary sprigs on top. place the lid on the crokpot and cook on low for 8 hours. when there's about 45 minutes to go, add the green beans.

when everything was done, i picked out and discarded the rosemary sticks, put the green beans in their own dish, and pulled out the roast to slice it--little did i know that it was going to fall completely apart. this was ok with me--i am open minded. i used an immersion blender to puree the shallots and garlic with the broth and pan juices to make a gravy, and then added the pork back to the pot. i served this over rice noodles with the green beans on top, but in retrospect, i think it would be better with some wild rice or something with a little more body than the egg noodles. in any event, it was YUMMY! i would definitely make it again.

a note on the immersion blender. i borrowed one from my friend jenn to try it out, and now i need one. it was AWESOME--so fast and not too messy. i am currently lusting after this one. you need one, too.

i have been asking around for crock pot recipe recommendations from people who know from food, and here are my three faves so far, in order of how strongly they were recommended:

fresh from the vegetarian slow cooker (book)
a year of crockpotting (blog)
not your mother's slow cooker cookbook (book)

if y'all have favorite recipes, i'd love to hear them. i am all about trying stuff in this thing now!


gray la gran said...

OMG! you crockpotted! and i was a virgin taster ;)

so yummy! everything you cook is delicious, regardless of the tool(s).

Anonymous said...

I, too, have been coveting an immersion blender. The one you have selected looks quite lovely! :)

We'll have to crockpot something fun next time I see you. :)


Clowncar said...

I think "making some shit up" is the most time honored way of using a crockpot.

Simplest works the best at our house: a layer of potatoes, carrots and celery, a cut of meat on top of that, a diced onion on top of the meat, a cup of bullion, and crank it up.

And the leftovers make a tasty stew!

Your toddler is a cutey.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jackie! I am reading all your blogs and wishing I lived near you because I *love* you! Well, your blogself... ok, this is weird, on to the recipe:
Thai Crockpot chicken w/ sweet potatoes and chickpeas. From Kim J.

(You can cook the chickpeas in the crockpot beforehand if you like--add them (any dry beans, really) to the pot, cover by about 2 inches with water, cook on high until done. OVernight works.)

put in crockpot:
chicken (boneless is nice)
sweet potatoes
chick peas
chicken broth
maybe some white wine
some Thai red curry paste
lemongrass if you have it

cook until done, a couple three hours on high

before serving over rice (we do brown rice), add some coconut milk, about 1/2 a can or so.