Thursday, November 3, 2011

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms

Crock pots make meals very easy.  You spend a minimal amount of time in the morning gathering the ingredients, and then you combine them all in the dish.  When you get home from work 8 hours later, it is like magic has happened in your house.  The aromas are to die for, and your food slowly cooked while you were at work resulting amazingly juicy meats.

A lot of crock pot recipes that I've found are for the same types of things over and over again: pot roast, pulled pork sandwiches, and soups.  I found this recipe for Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms and figured that if it turned out good, I'd have a new recipe to add to the few crock pot recipes that I had. Not only did it turn out good, both Jacob and I talked about how great it was the entire time we ate it.

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms
slightly adapted from Skinnytaste
2 lb lean boneless pork roast 
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons Splenda
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice  (I couldn't find Chinese Five Spice, so I used Jamaican Five Spice)
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
3/4 cup of water
8 oz baby bella mushrooms

1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup green onions

1)  Season pork with salt and pepper.
2)  Turn a skillet onto medium-high and place olive oil in the bottom of the skillet.  Brown pork on both sides approximately 7-8 minutes.
3)  Combine chicken broth, soy sauce, vinegar, splenda, sesame oil, five spice, crushed garlic and ginger root, and water in the crock pot.  When the pork is browned, place into the crock pot.  Cook on low for 8 hours.
4)  About an hour before you're about to serve, remove the pork and shred it.  Put the shredded pork back into the crock pot with the mushrooms until the mushrooms are soft and have absorbed some of the liquid.

5)  Set crock pot mixture atop rice and top with cilantro and green onions.

This is an excellent dish for anyone who has a busy day and needs an easy crock pot meal.  The meat browns while you're throwing all of the liquid elements into the crock pot, so browning the meat doesn't take any extra time out of your getting ready routine.

The pork shredded with one fork, it was so juicy and soft.  The soy sauce, sesame oil, and balsamic vinegar created this great sauce that the rice absorbed and made the meal even more amazing.  We removed the mushroom stems, but put them into the crock pot whole.  The result was these amazingly juicy mushrooms that burst with liquid in your mouth.  The green onions provided a little bit of crunch and the cilantro that extra bit of freshness and flavor.  It was so hard to keep myself from going up for seconds. .

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