Spicy Pork Shoulder, Potato & Eggs

Pork, Potatoes & Eggs

Pork, Potatoes & Eggs

For football season I love to make some breakfast dishes – east coast games are sooooo early dammit.

Breakfast dishes are difficult, so am always looking around for another way to make some eggs & whatnot – sorry, I’m just not an oatmeal or cinnamon roll person – I go savory all the way. If you want sugar, check Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, Pinterest has up-voted one of my crocks quite a bit (thanks Sonja!).

I digress, ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 cup salsa (suggest, medium or hot…)
  • 1 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lg russet potatoes – peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 green or yellow chile peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican 4 cheese
  • avocado slices for serving

Make it happen:

Pork, Potatoes & Eggs

Pork, Potatoes & Eggs

Cut the pork into 1 inch pieces (I used 4 lb shoulder & used rest for another crock), place in sealable bowl, add salsa & diced jalapeno – marinate in fridge overnight.
Lightly grease crock with olive oil or use spray.
Mix onion, potatoes, chile peppers, garlic & salt/pepper.
Place pork marinade (from overnight) in bottom of crock & add in onion, potatoes, chile peppers, garlic & salt/pepper.
Cook on HIGH for 3.5 hrs.
15 mins before serving – make 6 indentions in crock mixture & crack eggs into each indention (closer to edge cooks faster).
Lightly shake the cheese over mixture, cover & cook.
Make sure egg whites are solid or you can serve sooner if you like over easy… Serve with avocado slices on top & a crumpet!

Wow, this dish was pretty amazing. Potato mixture came out just soft enough, but not too mushy (with crocks it is tough cause you can get a lot of moisture that might ruin the veggies). The eggs cooked way faster than I was expecting, but were eggcellent (see what I did there). Lastly, the pork was so incredibly tender & had just the right amount of kick – I could use more kick, added some hot sauce. Avocado on top – great for a bit of cool & color.

Done & done. If you cook one of my breakfast crocks – try this one.

One final note: get everything ready the night before & that way you can just throw in the slow cooker early & go back to bed  for a bit (unless you have kids, you’re on your own at that point).

Spicy Hot & Sour Soup w/ Pork & Mushrooms

seaweed

seaweed toasted

So, had been kicking around idea of making some soup w/ crock this Sunday since the Seattle gray has descended.

Settled on doing this hot & sour soup. Made a trip to our asian market to pick up some ingredients & spent $75 more than I should have buying a bunch of crap that I can’t even read the package. Don’t be daunted – you can pick up most all of these ingredients at any large grocery store.

Here are the items (enough for 4 people):

  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms (slice up in strips – I buy dried, so you’ll need to drop them in hot water for 30-45 mins)
  • 4 ounces oyster mushrooms (sliced – these are kinda hard to find, so you can double the shiitakes)
  • 1 -2 tablespoon chili paste  (1tblsp – for semi hot & 2 for a nice heat)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste (or minced ginger)
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced/smashed
  • bamboo shoots (small can)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (more about this later)
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 lb pork, thinly sliced (used small pork shoulder & cut off as much fat as possible & then cut as thin as possible – takes a sharp knife or you’ll struggle)
hot sour soup

hot sour soup

Put the chicken broth in crock w/ soy sauce, rice vinegar, pepper, bamboo shoots.

Mix ginger, garlic, pork, 1/2 of the green onion & lightly cook til pork is just cooked on outside.

Set the crock for low 6hrs.

At about the 3hr mark add the mushrooms, then at the 4hr mark add the cornstarch mixture (1/4 cup cold water & 3tblsp cornstarch) & dump in crock.

Finally, about 30 mins before serving slowly spin in the 2 eggs. This doesn’t work very well. If you’ve had egg drop soup you need the broth to be almost boiling & put in the eggs so it cooks on putting in…sadly, in crock it doesn’t get hot enough to make the great egg, but you do get the eggs to cook in broth. Maybe, put in diced hard boiled eggs?

I have to say (besides the eggs not cooking correctly) this was a great soup. The pork was tender, mushrooms still meaty & the spice (to me) was just right – not too hot, but just hot enough. Again, if you can’t take heat, just use 1 tblsp of chili paste.

Serve w/ spring rolls or rice crackers & top w/ rest of green onion. I thought soup was enough & just served w/ toasted seaweed (I know fancy!)

Crock soups for winter are amazing & this one was fantastic & inventive – two paws up.

Carnitas

carnitas

This is Carnitas

Well, I’m finally getting back into the swing of things as end of summer approaches. May have posted another carnitas recipe, but so what.

Who doesn’t have a pork butt on hand? This is a super simple recipe & is good for having nice meal then leftovers for the week or nice for potluck. Just a pork butt & tortilla – you have a meal.

I won’t get all up in your grill about this dish as it is my first post in a while & I need to work up to being witty / funny.

Just want to say that this is a  – drop it in & leave it meal.

  • 4 lbs pork butt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 onion – diced

Mix all ingredients & pour on top of the pork butt.

Set the crock to 10 hrs, but will most likely only take about 8 hrs. Don’t want to let it go too long, as the meat will turn into mushy meat mess.

Serve this amazing meat concoction on small tortillas w/ shredded lettuce or cabbage. Please don’t add a bunch of cheese/sour cream or whatnot, that is so taco bell.

I served w/ good dollop of guacamole/chips & corn on cob (yellow & white for good measure) on the side.

Hell yeah, back the crock up!

Enjoy.

Easter Ham

ham_plate

Easter Ham Plate

I have to say, with my kid getting older – miss the simple easter egg hunt. He’d be all excited & hunt out in the yard, it wasn’t much, but there was always one or two that got missed & then we’d have to scout around or we’d have a troublesome smell in a few days. Also miss dying the eggs – guess I should have done anyways, yet my laziness trumps nostalgia.

You, yes you – try to find a good ham that weights under 12lbs! The only ones that I could find were the compressed crappy turds that look like an oversized football. Thanks big agra. But, finally decided on a 9lb ham that had to be cut up some just to fit in the crock. When adding the wine & water – well, lets just say there wasn’t much room left. Somehow got the ingredients in & was able to get lid on with a bungie cord.

With the help of the leftover white wine was able to power through & get this one in before taking a fantastic motorcycle ride out to some waterfalls & some Eagles club awkwardness. (I’m not suggesting drinking white wine before motorcycling – that would get your ass kicked @ a Harley rally)

Ingredients:

  • 2 gran smith apples – sliced kinda thin (with skin)
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 3/4 bunch parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 4-5 lb bone in ham (um, if you can find one)
  • 4 turnips – peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups dry white wine (fume)
  • 1 cup water

Make it happen:

  • Put the ham in crock then top with the apples, garlic, thyme, parsley & pickling spice
  • Pour in the wine and 1 cup water
  • After 2hrs add the turnips (that way they don’t turn to mush)
  • Cover and cook on low – 8hrs

Weee – who wants some gravy? Me thats who:

  • Pull about 1 cup of wine/water broth out, put in sauce pan & bring to slight boil
  • Put few tablespoons of flour in mixing cup & add enough water to make paste, spoon into sauce pan
  • Mix until the gravy thickens then pour over them taters
ham_plate_close

Ham Close Up

The two guests & I barely made a dent in the massive ham, but made a good dent in the Rose / red wine. And everyone was able to take home some leftovers.

My grandma(s) could bake a good ham (pour a 40oz out or some ham drippings), but this swine slab just fell apart. Could barely get large chunks of the meat out w/o it completely falling apart. Hand to God, once you’ve gone crock ham, you’ll never go back (to baked ham that is). The turnips were really delicious too. Rarely buy/eat them, but cooking them down in the apples/wine created a super taste.

Other 2 cents – skip the brown sugar / pineapple, that is for pussies. Just let the ham be all it can be, amazingly salty good. The apples added just the right amount of sweet/sour to the meat.

Coerced into finishing off  the meal with strawberry rhubarb w/ rosemary over vanilla ice cream (thanks to Josephine).

Good day to you Easter, I said good day…

Pork & Vegetable Hot Pot

Pork & veggie hot pot

Pork & Veggie Hot Pot

Swine is fine.

Had this one in my recipe folder quite a while & visited the international district in Seattle to shop for some ingredients. Of course this was after the kid & I gorged ourselves on some serious dim sum – if you haven’t done it – do it.

Very tough to find some asian slower cooker recipes as most of those are super thick & heavy on the gravy end. Also kind of lost, cause there is no more football & didn’t have my cavalcade of folks coming over to imbibe. I forged ahead anyways.

So here it goes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped (bigger pieces work best) carrots
  • 2 medium white turnips, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 3-3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, (picnic or Boston-butt), trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons medium or dry sherry, (just used a bit of red wine)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2-4 teaspoons Chinese chile-garlic sauce (used this instead: spicy chili crisp – it is the bomb)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 star anise pod, (see Ingredient Note) or 1 teaspoon aniseed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds for garnish (forgot)

Directions:

  • Put carrots and turnips in slow cooker
  • Add pork and scallion whites
  • In sauce pan bring broth, water, soy sauce, wine, ginger, vinegar, chile-garlic sauce & garlic to a simmer over medium-high heat – then pour over the pork and vegetables
  • Push star anise and cinnamon stick in mixture – meaning shove in bottom
  • Cook on LOW for 6hrs
  • Remove the star anise pod and cinnamon stick
  • Skim or blot any visible fat from the surface of the stew (eeewyheew)
  • Serve sprinkled with scallion greens and sesame seeds (Oops, forgot this step – will do so on leftovers)
Pork & Veggie Hot Pot Plate

Pork & Veggie Hot Pot Plate

Serve over rice – um, I screwed up rice. How can this happen, seriously – messing up rice… So, I made some noodles to make up for it (this was for the best actually). You can do rice or egg noodles – I think rice noodles would work best.

Have to say, was just expecting this to be a decent dish – my expectations were exceeded. This dish was (expletive-ing) amazing! Throughout cooking you could really smell the star anise & cinnamon, but at end there is just a hint of taste & maybe it just takes edge off the spicy chili… BTW, it really isn’t that spicy so the kids can eat too.

This is definitely in my top 5 of crocks.

Black-Eyed Peas – Lucky!

black_eyed_peas_1

Can you see Fergie in there?

Supposedly black-eyed peas are good luck for the new year – I’m willing to put this to the test. There are an ass ton of recipes out there about this dish & I hated them all for the most part (jk). Like my other dishes try to find something that can be altered, changed or updated. For instance: one of them mentioned DelMonte – haven’t seen that label/company since moving out to PNW, so must be a midwest thing.

A lot of them called for ham hocks (which were a staple while growing up), but had done this already & wanted to take the “hock” level down a notch.

Here goes:

  • 1 (16 ounce) bag dried black-eyed peas (pre-soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 pkg hardwood smoked chicken sausage (hillshire one that looks like horseshoe turd)
  • 1 can ro-tel (diced tomatoes & green chilies)
  • 1/2 (3 oz?) can pickled jalapeños
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 2 stalk celery, chopped (seriously, if you didn’t chop it walk away from kitchen)
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, diced up (see above)
  • 1/2 tblsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a few dashes of hot sauce (frank’s red hot)

To cook:

  • This is where it gets tough – combine all that shit & put in slow cooker – set controls for the heart of the sun, wait that is something else, set on LOW for 8hrs.
collard_greens

Greens, Greens, the magical...

Side dish:

  • Collard greens w/ bacon – freaking delicious. Recipe here.
  • There was a mention from the cheap seats that a nice crusty bread should have been involved for sopping purposes. That was quickly waved off as – next time bring your own damn crusty bread.

My hopes weren’t to high for the black-eyed peas (insert joke about the hip-hop group here), but damn if this didn’t turn out excellent. The dish had JUST the right amount of kick from the jalapeños to make it spicy, yet not too spicy. In layman’s terms –  got a bit of sweat on the brow from eating, but not enough where a dish towel was needed to catch the flop sweat.

Lastly, honorable mention goes to: Pussy Liquor, my new favorite drink.

  • 2 oz Seagrams 7
  • ice cubes
  • Squirt – didn’t even know they made this anymore
  • mix it in a glass
  • drink

Hope this finds you all well & sticking to your revolutions (joke – google it)  for the new year. Mine are to do all the bad things from last year ten fold!

On serious note, one of mine is to put up some videos of the crocking process that we do here at Casa del Crockhole. Watching 8hrs of simmering is as compelling as it sounds & its gotta be funnier than drunk kitchen girl (faker).

Rock Out With Your Crock Out, please.

 

Ham Hocks & Beans aka Pig Knuckle Delight

ham hock

ham hock rockin'

Saw the pig knuckles in the store & couldn’t resist. This one took me back to my youth & staring at the hock & saying to my parents “That is so, so very gross!” – but, then proceeding to eat it anyways.

Super easy recipe – beware this meal will backfire on you later that is for sure. Just when I thought that enough time had elapsed & was out of the so called dutch oven phase, bam. Pull out the heavy artillery & prepare for even the dog to look at you sideways.

Here is the lowdown to the swine meal:

  • 2/3 large smoked ham hocks
  • 8oz great northern beans, dried
  • 8oz pinto beans, dried
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup vegtable broth
  • pepper to taste
Get beans ready by washing off – then filing large pan w/ water 2 inches over beans. Boil for 3-5 mins. then cover & let sit for one hour (don’t pull the lid off damn you!). This softens them up w/o letting them sit over night.
Throw all of this in cooker for 6 hrs on high (your place will smell like a fart before you even eat it).
Would have served w/ biscuits or cornbread, but alas, had none – so just did up some classic spinach for side.
This one was nothing fancy & pretty darn easy & super cheap – think w/ total cost was about 8 bucks – plus had tons of leftovers – keep in mind to skim the fat off top before putting in fridge or you’ll find some hock smegma when you lift lid off.
Crock out.