Recently, my friend The Persnickety Pleb was cleaning out her house in preparation for a move and gave me one of the slow cookers she and her husband received when they got married. I have all manner of cook- and bakeware but surprisingly, there are no slow cookers in my arsenal, so I was all kinds of happy when PP sent hers to me.
I haven’t had lots of experience with slow cookers except when I made kalbi for my BFF, and I was/am looking forward to the challenge of mastering this doodad. It’s not all that different from making stew in the oven, and after using it a few times, I can understand the attraction: it doesn’t heat up the house, which is perfect for summer use, it’s safe to leave unattended all day, and cleanup involves just your dinner plates and the crock. I’ve heard it’s even easier if you use a crock pot liner, though I have not yet tried one of those. I will, don’t you worry!
What did I make on my maiden slow cooker voyage? Pork shoulder with Mexican flair. This was seriously one of the easiest things I’ve ever made. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the pork in its slow-cooked glory, which makes me sad because the meat just fell apart when I stuck my meat thermometer into it. I took that as a sign that the meat was done. 😀
I wound up making a burrito out of the Mexican-ish pork butt using Damascus Bakeries’ Flax Roll-Ups and then creating a bento with it. People, I can’t tell you how much I love these wraps. I mean, there are NINE grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein in this thing! I’m not always smart about what I fill these wraps with (see The Crack) but I do try, and it makes me feel a little better knowing I’ve gotten some fiber; it keeps me feeling fuller longer, which means I’m less likely to eat like a pig. It also makes me feel better about eating a burrito. 😀
The unfortunate thing about being a fiber-watcher is feeling like I’m one step closer to shaking my cane and croakily yelling, “You kids get off my lawn!” even though getting enough fiber is something people of all ages need to do. If not for fiber, our bodies wouldn’t be able to function so well and you could develop diverticulitis (inflamed holes/pockets in your colon). Like that wrestler dude who had to have 12″ of his colon removed because he ate too much protein and nowhere near enough fiber. Look it up on You Tube; watching a few short vids on this has made me recommit to getting lots of fiber in my diet.
I prepared yellow rice from a mix and then jazzed it up a little with a little sofrito and green peas. Yes, I used a boxed rice mix. Remember, we’re going for quick and easy here!
After rolling up my wrap, I cut it in half and put one half on my dinner plate and the other in my bento:
Mexican-Inspired Pork Butt
- 1 boneless pork butt (you can use bone-in if you like)
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes
- 1 can black beans
- 2 TBS sofrito (I used the kind from Goya, but if you have a different brand or make your own, feel free to use those)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- Thinly sliced green onion
- Fresh cilantro
- Cilantro Crema (recipe follows)
Place the pork butt in slow cooker and pour in Rotel, sofrito, bay leaf, chopped onion, garlic, and broth. Set cooker on low and allow to cook for about 8-10 hours. Don’t peek. Pork is done when meat thermometer stuck into center of roast (not touching bone) reads 140F.
- 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- 2 TBS cilantro paste* (sold in tubes in produce section and has a hint of lime in it)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and chill in fridge for at least two hours.
*If you don’t have cilantro paste, substitute with enough finely minced fresh cilantro to make about 1/8 cup (3 TBS) and a teaspoon of fresh lime juice.
- 1 box of Goya Arroz Amarillo (yellow rice)
- 1 TBS sofrito
- 1 cup frozen peas
Cook the rice according to package directions and add the sofrito. In the last minute of cooking, stir in the frozen peas and cover for about five to ten minutes; peas cook really quickly and you don’t want it to be dull green from overcooking.
Layer some of the rice along the bottom of the wrap, about an inch from the edge, then shredded pork (with some beans and onions) before topping with a bit of the crema. Roll up snugly, tucking the sides in as you go.