Monday, May 4, 2015

Clean Crock Pot Pork Roast with Pineapple Slaw

I like to make a lot of barbeque stuff in my crock pot and I am always drawn to recipes that include liquid smoke as an ingredient. This is something I never really heard of so I figured I would throw it on my list and check it out in the store. When I did, I decided that it was not something I was comfortable feeding to my kiddos. It was full of corn syrup, caramel color and a bunch of other stuff I try to avoid as much as possible. I figured I would just make do without it. Because I never really used it, I never really missed it.

But lo and behold another thing I was dying to make and there it was again. Liquid smoke. Ugh. So I decided to first figure out if it was possible to get liquid smoke that wasn't just chemicals made to add smoke flavor to your food. I stumbled upon this little clip (skip ahead to 9:07 for the bit about liquid smoke) showing how Alton Brown actually made his own. So if it can be can be made without chemicals and gross stuff right? In theory. So since I didn't have a smoker to collect smoke drippings from, I set out to try and find a liquid smoke that didn't make me gag reading the label. The stores here really only carried one or two options so to the internet I went. After some searching I ended up ordering some Cedarhouse liquid smoke from Amazon. It only had three ingredients: water, mesquite smoke and hickory smoke.

It turned out pretty awesome. The smokey flavor was really subtle and didn't overwhelm the flavors of the dry rub.

Here's what I did:

For the pork--

1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups stock (I used homemade chicken stock)
1/2 of my pork dry rub mix recipe (or your favorite dry rub)
Pork Roast (I used a 2 lb roast)

For the slaw--

3 cups of shredded cabbage
1 cup of broccoli slaw mix
1/2 cup of homemade mayo (or a clean mayonnaise)
1 1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar
2 cups finely chopped pineapple
salt and pepper to taste

Rub the pork roast down with the dry rub. Place in slow cooker. Add stock, vinegar and liquid smoke. Cover and let cook 8 hours on low or 4 1/2 hours on high or until pork is cooked through.

Combine cabbage,slaw mix and pineapple in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix apple cider vinegar and mayonnaise.  Add to cabbage mix until it is evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I served the pork alongside the slaw but it really and truly would make a really awesome sandwich.

21 Day Fix Containers used:

1 red
1 blue
1 green
1 purple

Saturday, May 2, 2015

My Very Favorite Pork Rub

Before I started reading and learning about food and where it comes from, my spice cabinet was pretty basic. Salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, basil maybe some paprika or rosemary. In the summertime, maybe some cilantro. I didn't branch out too much and I rarely used enough of a spice before it was brown and sad looking in its little jar.

Since then I have discovered things like that I love turmeric, cumin and coriander and that I would much rather have fresh herbs then dried. BUT those dried herbs do have an awesome place (other than being super handy when I can't find fresh ones or am feeling too lazy to mess with chopping them.) They can all come together to make a killer dry rub.

I have typically use this dry rub on pork but have used it on everything from pork tenderloin on the grill to a pork roast in the slow cooker. It is killer and totally my favorite.

Plus if I am following the 21 Day Fix I just cut the salt way back.

Here's what I did:

1 TBS coriander
1 TBS cumin
1 TBS ground fennel
1 TBS ground mustard
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS salt (I use pink himalayan salt)
2 TBS paprika
1/2 TBS black pepper

Mix all spices together in a small bowl. Rub all over the meat.

This blend usually makes enough that I can halve it and store the rest in an airtight container for next time.

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