Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spicy Pork in the Slow Cooker

Last night I had a couple of extra helpers getting dinner on the table:

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Slow cookers are great - not only can you get meals prepped way in advance, you can also get some amazing flavors with minimal effort.  The rice cooker is a newer addition to my kitchen, and it is a gluten-free girl’s dream!  It does take longer to make rice, but as long as you measure correctly it is impossible to mess it up.  This Zojirushi cooker also has a feature that lets you set it up in advance and just tell it what time you want it to be done.  Love it!

Last night’s featured protein from the slow cooker was spicy honey soy ginger pulled pork, modified from myrecipes.com’s Honey-Soy Braised Pork Shoulder.  Modifying for gluten-free was simple, the only substitution necessary was GF soy sauce.  I also substituted a pork loin rib end roast for the shoulder since I found it at a great price.

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I liked this cut better than a huge shoulder, it’s much more manageable for a household of two - having tons of leftovers of such an indulgent meat is not a good idea.  Plus it was less fatty, making it easier to trim down and resulting in a less greasy cooked product.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for future sales!

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Slow-Cooked Spicy Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 1 pork rib end roast, approximately 1.5 lbs
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free reduced-sodium soy sauce (I like San-J brand)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp sriracha hot chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (tip – when you buy fresh ginger, peel it and cut up, then store chunks in the freezer.  It lasts for ages and you can grate it while frozen)
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch

Directions

Trim pork loin and cut into 2-inch pieces.  Spray slow cooker liner with cooking spray and add pork. 

Whisk together soy sauce, honey, sriracha and ginger in a small bowl.  Pour sauce over meat and stir to coat.  Cook on low until tender, about 6 hours.

Remove pork with slotted spoon and shred with two forks.  Remove about 1/2 cup of sauce to a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch until smooth, then return the cornstarch slurry to the sauce.  Cook, stirring occasionally, another 5 minutes or so until thickened.  Serve sauce either on top of pork or alongside, depending on how spicy you like it – there’s a lot of heat in the sauce thanks to the sriracha!

I served it up with brown rice, green beans and a fresh tropical fruit salsa consisting of champagne mango, pineapple, bell pepper, scallions and cilantro. 

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Both Hubs and I really enjoyed it – the fruit salsa was really what brought the whole plate together, it added both sweetness and texture that complemented the spicy meat.

I did my planned workout yesterday, including the flow yoga workout I skipped out on earlier.  It felt great, although today I definitely am feeling the soreness in my back and triceps – payback for all that inactivity!  I am still going to work out today, no excuses – but I’m going to ease up a bit and just do some stretching after my 2 miler instead of something more intense. 

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