Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Meal: Italian-Style Slow Cooker Pork

Posted By on March 31, 2014, 3:47 PM

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I recently bought a new slow cooker and I'm really loving it. It's especially great for slow-braising a dish like this: shredded pork in a tomato-based sauce. --- You could also cook the pork in a low oven - about 275 degrees F. 

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless pork loin

salt and pepper, to taste 

2 Tbs. olive or canola oil

1 celery rib, minced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 large onion, diced

1 tsp. fennel seeds

1/2 tsp. crushed chile flakes 

1/2 cup red wine

1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes or tomato puree

3-4 basil leaves

Method: 

Generously salt and pepper the pork.

On the stove in a large skillet, saute the pork in the oil until browned on all sides over medium-high heat.

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Remove the pork and place it into your slow cooker.

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Turn the heat on the stove down to medium and saute the onion, garlic, celery, fennel seeds and chile flakes until softened, 4-5 minutes. 

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Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Scrape up the tasty bits in the bottom of the pan and reduce the wine by about one-half, 2-3 minutes.

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Pour the mixture in the skillet over the pork in the slow cooker.

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Add the crushed or pureed tomatoes and basil to the slow cooker to cover the pork.

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Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours, or until the pork is very tender.

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Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Using a couple of forks, shred the meat.

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Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker and give it a good stir. Set the cooker to warm until ready to serve.

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Serve the shredded pork and sauce on pasta, rice, polenta, etc. with grated parmesan cheese (optional).

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I found that a bottle of Ruffino Modus 2011 from Tuscany was a good match for the Italian-style braised pork.  

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Photos by Ted Scheffler

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