One might think I would be excited about the longer, warmer days here in Dallas. And I am, but it’s a little bittersweet, because it means slow cooker season is coming to an end for me. For some reason, I have no interest in the slow cooker during the summer. I like light, clean & refreshing, and it’s tough for the slow cooker to produce a meal with that outcome. So it’s almost time for it to hibernate for a few months.
But before it does, I have one last winning meal for you. It’s worthy of a slow cooker season finale. I promise.
I found this recipe from the LA Times, and it was exactly what I was looking for. The outcome was juicy, flavorful pork shoulder that could easily be served in taco form, but I chose more of a layered dish (rice, beans, pork then avocados & cilantro on top). The result was nothing short of soul warming. Another home run from my best friend, the slow cooker.
9 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ground chile pepper
2 dried bay leaves, finely crumbled
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 pounds pork shoulder (I asked the butcher to cut it into cubes for me!)
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth
black beans & rice, tortillas, avocados & cilantro (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, black pepper, chili pepper, crumbled bay leaves and orange zest. Stir in the vinegar, orange and lime juices to make a coarse paste. Add the pork pieces and toss until the pieces are evenly coated with the spice paste. Set aside to marinate while you finish the other preparations.
Trim and cut the onion lengthwise into 1/4 -inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices in an even layer on the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Pour the broth over the onions. Arrange the pork in an even layer over the onions, pouring over any reserved marinade.
Cover the insert and place it in the slow cooker. Set the cooker to high heat and cook 4 to 4 1/2 hours until the pork is fork-tender. Remove from heat and crack the lid to allow the mixture to cool slightly. Gently stir the pork with the onions and serve.
Serve with tortillas or over black beans & rice. I like to add avocados to everything, and this was no exception.