This recipe is as old as your slow cooker itself, older by far, if you assume that the recipe was adapted from a stew or actual roast recipe. Introduced sometime in the 1960's by the Naxon Utility Corporation of Chicago, the slow cooker is a wonderful way to make cheaper cuts of meat into something amazing. Who doesn't love that idea?
The total cost of this recipe is a bit higher for a single meal (about $12) than I usually go for, but for a special occasion, or a splurge, it's definitely a favorite. The per-person cost is roughly $3, before salad and rolls. Remember, any veggies you put into a slow cooker don't really count toward your veggie intake for a day, so a salad with this meal is probably a good idea. I know that you're getting more than enough starch with the potatoes in this recipe, but I have to admit that I serve yeast rolls with this meal as well, for sopping up juices.
4 hours, 15 minutes
- Dissolve Pork Bouillon Cube in Hot Water.
- Place Baby Yellow Dutch Potatoes in bottom of slow cooker.
- Place Pre-Sliced Roasting Vegetables on top of potatoes.
- For dryer pork: Place meat in center of crock pot, atop the potatoes and veggies, fat-side down.
- For juicer pork: Nestle the meat in the center of the crock pot, between the veggies and potatoes, so it is touching the bottom of the crock pot, and is simmered in the Pork Bouillon.
- Pour Pork Bouillon over everything.
- Turn slow cooker on High for four hours or Medium for eight hours.
- After approximately one hour, flip roast fat-side up.
You may call it a crock pot or a slow cooker, I call it a mid-century torture device for foodies. In any case, for this recipe, you'll need the big one; I use my 6.5 quart Rival brand Crock Pot. Make this recipe once, and about one hour after plugging it in, you'll understand why I consider it a torture device!
Alternatives: Use "New Red Potatoes" or slice "Yukon Gold" potatoes into 1 x 1 x 1 inch cubes. If using sliced potatoes, reverse the veggie/potato order, putting potatoes on top of veggies. Otherwise, you may end up with sloppy mashed-potato yuckiness.
Pre-sliced roasting or stewing veggies are a seasonal (fall and winter) item available in most vegetable sections with other prepared veggies. If you can't find them: 1 yellow or red onion, sliced in half, two handfuls of "baby carrots" and one or two sliced stalks of celery will suffice. I prefer to buy the pre-sliced veggies a few days before they expire. This gives the onions, carrots and celery time to soak in one another's flavors and the difference is definitely noticeable. A similar effect can be obtained by slicing your onion and putting it in a gallon zip lock bag with the carrots and celery for 3-4 days before you make your roast. I prefer to spend a little bit extra on the ingredients that I will use, rather than letting "extra" go to waste in my fridge.
If you're going to set this up in the morning and leave for work, I suggest initially putting the roast in fat-side up. The reason I initially put the pork in fat-side down is to "seal" the fat with the steam and force it, when it starts to melt away after being flipped, to run down through the meat, rather than down the sides. It really is a personal preference kind of thing.
Really, any bouillon or stock will do, I prefer to use pork or vegetable stock. By pouring the stock over all the veggies and meat, you season them with the stock, resulting in less salt needed at the table.
The leftovers (because there's only two of us) from this make a great lunch for the next day or two, whether you eat it warmed up with all the veggies, or use the pork separately to make some of the best pulled pork barbecue sandwiches you've ever had! If you use the pork separately from the veggies and sauce, I heartily suggest boiling up some egg noodles and adding them to the leftover sauce and veggies for a quick, easy and very satisfying "Pork Noodle Soup".