November 10th, 2011
With autumn arriving and the weather turning cooler, it instinctively feels like the right time to dust off the crock pot and start enjoying some delicious, slow-cooked meals.
Slow cooking can be achieved a bunch of different ways: in a slow cooker or crock pot; low simmered on the stove top; or low and slow in the oven. One of the best things about slow cooker dishes is that they are the perfect way to utilize tougher cuts of meat, which are typically big-flavored, but easy on the wallet. Think juicy brisket, flavorful chili or a delicious curry.
With busy fall schedules, work, school activities, shorter days and holiday planning, a slow cooked meal popped in the crock pot before you head out for your day can be just what the chilly weather ordered. And crock pot cuisine has evolved – it’s not just a pork roast and a can of soup these days. Today, it’s Chili & Lime Slow Cooked Pork with Red Onion Escabeche and Warm Tortillas for an easy weeknight nosh. With a little planning, you can put the crock pot on in the morning and have dinner ready to go when you get home.
And the best part? Slow-cooked dishes are even better reheated because the ingredients have had extra time to get to know each other. Yummy leftovers are always welcome!
So turn on your crock pot and let dinner simmer away while you enjoy your autumn!
Chili & Lime Slow-Cooked Pork with Red Onion Escabeche and Warm Tortillas
Makes 6 hearty servings
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp coriander seed, crushed
1 Tbsp salt
1 boneless pork butt (shoulder), about 3 pounds, cut into 2 pieces
2 large tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 large carrots, julienned
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsps corn or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch)
1 tsp salt
Warm corn tortillas
Salsa or freshly made pico de gallo
Queso fresco (Mexican-style fresh cheese)
Fresh cilantro sprigs
To prepare the pork, mix the chili powder, coriander seed and salt in a large, shallow bowl. Roll the pork in the mixture, taking up all the seasoning.
Put the pork in a slow-cooker, add the remaining ingredients and set the cooker on high. Let cook for 8 hours—or up to 10 hours if you’re still at work!
When ready to serve, mix the escabeche ingredients well then place in a serving dish. Shred the pork and place in a large serving bowl with some of the cooking liquid.
Serve the pork with the escabeche and accompaniments. Diners build their own “soft tacos,” then squeeze lime juice over the filling before folding.
Chef’s Note: To heat tortillas, place them, one by one, on a dry skillet over medium-high heat and turn frequently. As they are heated, slip them between the folds of a clean dish towel or cloth napkin. Wrap the towel in foil (or put into a small casserole dish and cover) to steam in their own heat and moisture. Or, microwave the tortillas very briefly and put into a napkin as above. Or, wrap several tortillas in a foil packet and steam them in a steamer until just heated through; use directly from the foil or wrap in a towel as described above.
Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Copyright © 2006 by Kathy Casey.