Slow Cooker Italian Braised Pork

One night a week, my son has a taekwondo class that starts at 6 p.m., and there’s a possibility of that going to two nights a week in the near future. We have been going out to dinner after every class because it’s easy.

It’s expensive for us, but by the time we get home and I try to cook a quick meal, it’s past TJ’s bedtime. And neither my husband nor I want him to eat dinner and then go right to bed. I don’t know about you, but I need some time to let my dinner settle.

Using my slow cooker kind of solved this problem for us. I can prepare dinner either in the morning or while TJ is napping in the afternoon. I turn on the slow cooker and dinner is ready to eat when we get home.

This is what I made this week and it was a hit! It’s adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe to suit our tastes. You can serve it with any side dish: pasta, couscous, polenta, or mashed potatoes. Our favorite is couscous that has been cooked in either chicken or vegetable broth. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 2.5 lb pork shoulder or pork butt 
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot

Directions:

Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper. Then, in a heavy pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once the pan is hot, sear the pork on all sides; just a couple of minutes per side. I love to use my cast iron skillet for this.

Some slow cooker fans will argue that this searing step is not always necessary. I think it adds some really nice flavor to the pork. Plus, it doesn’t take THAT much time to do. To me, that sizzle is quite satisfying.

Add the meat to the slow cooker.

Turn the heat down to medium (I let my pan cool down for a few minutes, off the heat, since it is cast iron). Add the chopped veggies and sauté for about six minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another two minutes.

Pour in the wine and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan while the wine is cooking. Let it reduce for about two minutes.

Pour the veggies and wine into the slow cooker along with the crushed tomatoes.

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

When it’s done, remove the meat from the cooker and break it apart into shreds with a couple of forks. Then add the meat back into the yummy, tomato-y mixture. Serve over your side dish.

I love serving it with couscous and TJ loves to eat the “little baby noodles” with his pork. 

Bon appetit! 

Slow Cooker Italian Braised Pork

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Ingredients
2-2.5 lb pork shoulder or pork butt
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup dry red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot

Instructions
Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper. Then, in a heavy pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and sear the pork on all sides, just a couple of minutes per side. I love to use my cast iron skillet for this. It will be loud and oil will likely splatter a bit.
Add the meat to the slow cooker.
Turn the pan down to medium (I let my pan cool down for a few minutes). Then add the chopped veggies and sauté for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the wine and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan while the wine is cooking. Let it reduce for about 2 minutes.
Pour the veggies and wine into the slow cooker along with the crushed tomatoes.
Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
When it’s done, remove the meat from the cooker and break it apart with a couple of forks. Then add the meat back into the yummy tomato-y mixture.
Serve over rice, couscous, polenta or pasta.

Adapted from from Martha Stewart
Adapted from from Martha Stewart
Mama Say What?! http://www.mamasaywhat.com/

 

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