RSS Feed

Tag Archives: slow cooker

The Grand Finale

DSCN5810

Are you tired of seeing this picture yet?  We hope not, but if you are never fear!  Because today is the third and final day of our pulled pork feast trilogy, and of course we are ending with the grand finale, the pièce de résistance, the big kahuna…

DSCN5801

The pulled pork!

DSCN5807

Now, we told you yesterday about the inspiration behind this meal, but we have not actually explained the circumstances with which it came about.  To give you the full story, we have to go all the way back to ancient times to last summer when we made these pulled chicken tacos:

You see, neither of us are very big pork fans, so last summer we thought we’d cheat a little and use chicken instead.  They turned out to be delicious, so we thought “who needs pork anyways, when you can just make these?”  But after that meal the idea of making real pulled pork started marinating (pun intended) in our minds.  Fast-forward several months to our family raving about this Memphis Barbecue place and the whole idea was brought back to us again.  The only problem was that since our family doesn’t really eat a whole lot of pork, we never really it in our freezer.  But when we arrived home from school for the summer and found a giant pork rib roast sitting in the bottom of our big freezer, it was like a sign from the universe!

DSCN5802

And you know what?  We’re pretty certain that if pork always tasted like this, we would have no problem eating it on a regular basis, because it was a-maz-ing!

DSCN5800

A little sweet, a little salty, and so tender we couldn’t even lift it out of the crock pot without it falling apart!  And you know what the best part is?  You hardly have to do anything- just throw it all in the slow-cooker and walk away.  No muss, no fuss!  And with all that extra time, you can make some delicious pumpkin corn bread to go along with it (trust us, it is the perfect final addition to this meal!)

So there you have it, folks!  A pulled-pork feast for a crowd!  Great for a Sunday dinner, but if you make the coleslaw and corn bread in advance, you could even have this on the table in 20 minutes for an easy weeknight meal, too!

Enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

DSCN5801

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:

1 4-5lb pork rib roast
1/2 large white onion, diced

1c. tomato paste
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 c. diced pineapple
3/4 c. water
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin and paprika
1/2 tsp salt
4 drops liquid smoke

Directions:

Trim most of the excess fat off the roast (if you can’t get it all off don’t worry, a little is ok).  Place the pork into the bottom of the slow cooker and sprinkle the onion over top.

In a separate dish, combine all of the sauce ingredients and pour over top of the pork and onions.

Cook on high for 6-8 hours, until the pork tears easily with a fork.

When the pork is done, remove it from the slow-cooker and shred with two forks.  Return the meat to the pot and stir so that the sauce is evenly coating all of the pork.  Turn the pot to low or the “keep-warm” setting if you have one, and allow to sit with the lid on until you are ready to serve.

~twosaucysisters

Do you like pork?  Have you ever had pulled pork before or tried to make it yourself?

Advertisements

The Last of the Cranberries

So we know Christmas is over now, and most of you have probably had your fill of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably eaten your fair share of cranberry sauce and other cranberry-themed dishes as well.

But we’re really hoping you have room in your hearts (and stomachs!) for one more cranberry recipe.

DSCN4317

Because we made this super-yummy slow-cooked cranberry pork that we really want you to try! 🙂

DSCN4320

We’re banking on the hope that you might still have some leftover cranberries kicking around in your freezer for this one 😉

DSCN4318

Normally neither of us are huge fans of pork, but take a nice lean cut and toss it in the slow-cooker and what you get is a tender, flavourful piece of meat that even the most adamant pork dislikers will approve of!

And the cranberry sauce coats the meat and is so good.  It’s quite tangy, but you can add more honey to suit your tastes.

We promise you, this recipe is worth digging out those leftover cranberries for!  And since it’s a slow-cooker recipe, it doesn’t require a lot of work on your part, so you can get started with all those new-years resolutions you’ve made for yourself 😉

Slow-Cooker Cranberry Pork

DSCN4317

Prep: 10 min
Cook: 6-8 hours
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

4 small pork chops (or 2 large ones) with the fat trimmed
2 tsp corn starch
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. diced white onion
1 c. frozen cranberries
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Toss the pork chops in this mixture and place in the slow cooker.

Mix the cranberries, onion, apple cider vinegar, and honey together, pour it into the crock pot and stir.

Turn the slow-cooker on low and cook for 6-8 hours.  When the pork is cooked, remove it from the slow cooker.  Pour the sauce into a pot and place it over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer on low until the sauce thickens, about 4-5 minutes.

Place the pork on a bed of greens (such as wilted kale) and pour the sauce over top.

~twosaucysisters

Race Day Ready

Today is the day! You guys all know that we were at training camp for cross country last week, and this past week has been try-out week. Every year, try outs for the Western Mustangs Cross Country Team end in the intrasquad race around Gibbons Park here in London. It’s a 4k race for the girls and a 6k race for the boys, each with a specific time standard that they have to meet. Not going to lie, it’s kind of weird running a “race” against your own teammates.

Anyways, we thought this would be the perfect time for us to share with you the foods that we find do and don’t work for us on race day!

Don’t:

Meat
Dairy of any kind
Vegetables
Citrus Fruits
Beans

Do:

Bananas
Peanut Butter
Dry Cereal
Granola Bars
Bread/toast
Bagels
Nuts
Dried Fruits

Sounds exciting, right? But we do have one saving grace on race morning, and that is oatmeal!

Slow cooker oatmeal is the perfect thing on race day morning. It turns out thick and creamy with no dairy required! Slow cooker oatmeal is also great because it fits the other requirement for race day: it’s easy, quick and stress-free.  We wake up in the morning, and it’s ready, no waiting (patience is not at it’s best the morning of a race) and no worries. Minimizing stress is key!

We would like to point out that these are the foods that work for  us, not necessarily everyone.  People are different and their bodies handle foods differently.  We know a girl who has to have eggs on race morning,  whereas neither of us would dare to touch them! We’ve also known people who can eat anything – foot-long subs, burgers, hot dogs – and not have a problem. Definitely not us!

Obviously, often when we’re racing we’ve traveled somewhere and are staying in a hotel the night before, so slow-cooker oatmeal isn’t an option.  On these mornings, we revert to bagels or pitas with peanut butter and jam or honey, or bring along with us packets of instant oatmeal, which works just as well.  Continental breakfasts usually have all of the above mentioned items as well. 🙂

The important thing to remember is that you have to figure out what works for you, a process that can really only be done through trial and error. Rule of thumb: if you can’t eat it before a training run or workout, don’t do it. Also, if you’ve never tried it before, do not try it the morning of a race!

Lastly, remember to relax and have fun! Racing is what all those grueling training sessions are for, so enjoy it! If you have a bad race, the sun is still going to rise the next morning, and your friends and family aren’t going to disown you.  A bad race is a bad race, not a death sentence. Pick yourself up, learn from it, and use that as fuel during your next workout and race!

Oh, and give this oatmeal a try, even if its not race morning, because its really yummy! 🙂

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Prep: 5 min

Cook Time: 8 hours or overnight

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c. steel cut oats
2 1/4 c. water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. raisins
2 tbsp walnuts
Optional: peanut butter and jam for swirling (not optional for us!)

Directions:

The night before, combine the first four ingredients (we don’t like putting the walnuts in the night before because we like them to stay crunchy) in the slow cooker and stir.  Place the lid on top, and cook on low for 8 hours or overnight.

In the morning, stir in the walnuts and divide evenly between two bowls.  Into each bowl, stir in a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and a tablespoon or two of jam, if desired, or try adding in any other tasty mix-ins that you would like!

~twosaucysisters

What is your “game day” food?  Are there any foods that you cannot eat the morning of a competition or a big event?

Taco Time

When my dad went to the grocery store the other day, chicken thighs were on sale, so he picked up a package.  Chicken thighs are already cheaper than the breasts, so when they go on sale they’re an even bigger money-saver.  The thighs, however, are often given a bad wrap for being higher in fat than the breast, which of course, is true.  In all honesty I prefer the breast because of that reason- I’m not a huge fan of all the extra blubber hanging off the thighs- gross.  The meat itself is also a bit darker, and I prefer light meat, so the breast is usually my cut of choice.

That being said, there definitely is a place for chicken thighs, even in a healthy diet.  It just takes a little more creativity.

What are those, you ask?  Why, pulled chicken tacos, of course!

As we have mentioned before, both Julie and I are not overly fond of pork.  Our brothers, though, really love pulled-pork, so this is our compromise.  And here, my friends, is where chicken thighs have found their niche!  You see, in this recipe, the chicken itself doesn’t have to look pretty, because you’re going to be shredding it up anyways, so you can rip it apart and mangle it up as much as you want to cut out a majority of that nasty excess fat that has found its way into all of the nooks and crannies of the thigh.  At the end, if your chicken looks like it got in a fight with a lawn-mower, it doesn’t matter!  The process of cutting out the fat is a little long and tedious, but it is very worth it in the end.

Now, some of you may be thinking that by cutting out all of the fat we will lose all of the moisture.  Ordinarily you would be correct, but in this dish, it is the sauce that is the real show-stopper, and completely makes up for any moisture loss.

Before I go any further with the tacos, though, there is one other component of this meal that deserves some attention.  Because what is a good taco without a little salsa?

We served our tacos with peach salsa and honestly, this may have been my favourite part of the meal!  Julie and I both were eating this stuff with just a spoon, it was that good.  The peaches were perfectly ripe, and the sweet juiciness of them complimented the tacos pefectly.  There isn’t really a whole lot I can say to describe how delicious it really was, so you’ll just have to make it yourself!

This salsa was so fresh tasting, and it was super simple to make.  It would be really good with tortilla chips as a snack to bring to parties, if you’re willing to share it 😉

Summertime Peach Salsa

Prep: 10 min

Makes: 1.5-2 c.

Ingredients:

1 tomato, diced

1 peach, peeled and diced

1/4 c. diced red pepper

1/4 c. diced green pepper

1/4 c. diced hot peppers (we used banana peppers)

1/3 c. diced white or red onion

1 garlic scape, diced

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp lime juice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Easy, right?

And now on to the main event!

The first step is making your sauce and pouring it into a slow cooker with the chicken.

   Slow cooker meals are great in the summer time, because when you look outside and the sun is shining, the sky is a perfect blue with hardly a cloud and the thermometer is telling you that its the perfect weather for swimming, the last thing you want to be doing is spending hours in the kitchen.

  The Slow cooker is the perfect solution.  It does all the work for you while you can enjoy the beautiful weather outside.

Julie and I call our slow cooker Ol’ Faithful.  She’s got a few chips and cracks, a few scratches, and is probably older than we are, but she has never failed us.  Never burns our food, never under-cooks anything.  Whatever we put in there always comes out moist and flavourful.  The day this one kicks the bucket will be a day of mourning for us, i’m afraid.

But I digress.

The next step is making your taco shells.  Of course, you can buy taco shells, but we often find them to be too salty.  Instead, we like to use small, 8-inch tortillas. Here’s what we did:

Insert a toothpick into each tortilla to hold them open, then bake them at 350 for 10 minutes.  What we forgot to do: roll up a ball of tin foil and place it inside each tortilla to keep them from collapsing inward when baked.  They still turn out crispy and delicious, you just have to pry them open a bit to get any filling inside.  The tin foil on the inside will help you to avoid any cracked shells.

The pulled chicken is really delicious, and you don’t just have to do tacos.  We’ve made it before and put in on a bun, on salad, in wraps- it’s very versatile!  This is one of our family’s favourite meals, so we hope you enjoy!

Pulled Chicken

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 3-8 hours*

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 c. tomato paste

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp worchestershire sauce

1 tsp chipotle puree (chipotle peppers in adobo sauce blended until smooth)

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp molasses1/2 c. water

1 tbsp corn starch

1 large package of chicken thighs

Directions:

Open up the chicken thighs and remove the excess fat. Place in the slow-cooker.

Combine all other ingredients except for corn starch in a separate bowl, stirring until smooth.  Add the sauce to the slow cooker and stir.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker shred it using 2 forks.

Meanwhile, pour the sauce into a sauce pan and add the corn starch, whisking quickly to avoid clumps.  Bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add shredded chicken to the sauce and stir until evenly coated.  Serve over buns, in tacos, over salad, etc.

Enjoy!

~Brittany @ twosaucysisters

Do you like pulled pork?

What is your favourite slow-cooker recipe?

Pork n’ Beans

Such a classic combination.

Of course, we really like the bean part, better. Actually, we’d prefer the beans sans-pork.  You see, we’re not really pork people.  We don’t like bacon, and we find pork often has just too much blubber, even the lean cuts.

But then, we had a brain-wave! What’s the best way to have meat? In a burger, of course!

A Pork n’ Beans burger. De-ee-licious!

First, let’s talk about the beans. They were sweet, savoury, tangy and rich, while still being entirely healhy, not full of the added salt and sugar of canned baked beans.  They were so buttery tasting, it was heaven! Not to mention they are really easy to make. Toss everything in the slow cooker at noon and you’ve got delicious beans by dinner.

These were so friggin delicious- we wished we had made at least a quadruple batch of them!  We’re pretty certain that we could’ve polished off four times the amount we made between just the two of us.  They were that good.

Slow-Cooker “Baked” Beans

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: ~4hrs

Ingredients:

1 can Romano Beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 c. crushed tomatoes (we used no-salt added)

1/4 c. molasses

2 1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

2 Tbsp Worchester Sauce

1 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Put all ingredients into the slow cooker and stir to mix evenly.  Cook for 2 hours on high and then 2 hours on low.

And now to the burgers!

Oh baby! Now this is how pork should be eaten.

Stacked up…

Squished down!

As it is obvious, we enjoyed these burgers pool-side. Is there really any other way to have a burger in the summer?

These burgers are great because they are purely meat and beans, with some extra ingredients for flavour. No eggs, no breadcrumbs. We are able to do this because of the same burger trick that we used when we made the Curry Burgers. With this trick, our burgers never fall apart on the grill! The trick? Blend half of the meat (and beans, in this case) in the food processor, making a paste-like mixture that acts like glue to keep the burgers together.  You then add the rest of the meat and slightly mashed up beans to the paste by hand.

   

We weighed the batter, and figured out that using 2lbs of ground pork and one can of beans, each patty should weigh 5.5 – 5.6 ounces.

This gave us ten big, delicious burgers. Leftovers, anyone?

Topped with our “baked” beans, ladies and gentlemen, this is summer at it’s absolute finest.  It really doesn’t get better than this- unless, of course, the meal ended with something chocolate… which may have happened 😉

Omnomnomnom

Good to the last bite.

Pork n’ Bean Burgers

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Serves: 10

Ingredients:

2 lbs. lean ground pork

1 can Romano Beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp worchester sauce

1 tbsp molasses

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 clove garlic

Directions:

In the food processor, blend 1 lb of ground pork, 2/3 of the can of beans, the molasses, worchester, maple syrup, and garlic until you have a sticky paste.

In a large bowl, slightly mash up the remaining beans.  Add the other pound of pork, along with the meat and bean mixture and mix together with your hands.

Form into patties (ours weighed 5.5-5.6 oz each)

Grill on low for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Top with slow-cooker baked beans, and any other toppings you desire!

~twosaucysisters

Do you like pork and beans? What’s your favourite  way to eat them?