Yesterday, I took a risk. Let me tell you how fabulously it paid off!
Awhile back, Buppy and I purchased part of a pig from a coworker of his. Whether we got ¼ or ½ of the pig, I’m not sure. We got bacon, sausage, loin, tenderloin and whole bunch of packages labeled “pork roast”. Hmmmm, how nondescript. While I’m familiar with cooking with different cuts of pork, it gets much more complicated if the package isn’t labeled and you have no idea what cut you’re working with. At least for me.
A month or so ago, I decided I wanted to make a garlic-oregano pork roast like my mom makes. I pulled out a “pork roast” from the freezer, cooked it like normal, and it was tough. Horribly tough. This particular pork roast is supposed to fall apart, and off the bone if there is one in the roast. It was such a struggle to try and get the meat off the bone, and it had almost no garlic-oregano flavor. Ick. Total let down.
While on vacation, I discussed the issue of my mystery cuts with my parents, and we decided that I should try to cook one in a slow cooker and see what happens. So earlier this week I pulled out another roast, thawed it and plopped it in the slow cooker yesterday morning before work. I added some water to the bottom, sliced up about ½ a large onion and threw that in, then rubbed all sides of the roast with hickory smoked salt. I sprinkled pepper on top, put the lid on, turned that baby on low and left for work.
Buppy didn’t get home much sooner than I did last night, and both of us agreed the house smelled very tasty. The meat was fall-apart tender. The onions were absolutely fabulous. I think I could cook a whole field of onions in that juice and call it a meal. Serious yum-age. While it didn’t have a whole lot of hickory smoked flavor, that was alright because we added some to our sammies. I was careful when I rubbed it on because I once-upon-a-time way over salted some pork chops with it. Good flavor, but it’s important to remember it’s salt and not seasoning.
I shredded the meat and we both had sammies on whole-wheat buns for dinner. Buppy mixed some BBQ sauce into his meat before loading it onto the bun, but I just built the sandwich with the pork, a little more hickory salt, some of the cooked onions and then added some of the juice from the meat. A side of fried potatoes and onions rounded out our meal; corn on the cob was scheduled to make an appearance too, but it had dried out and looked too pathetic to even attempt to cook.
So there you have it. Cook mystery meat in the slow cooker and you shall be rewarded. And don’t forget to add lots & lots of onions! Enjoy!
*Linked to Life as Mom’s Ultimate Recipe Swap today, 3/10/11, for slow cooker recipes.