Friday, May 4, 2012

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Pork

I picked up a great deal on pork shoulder ($1.67/lb) at Meijer several weeks ago.  I bought a family pack of western ribs with an even bigger price discount which meant that I could have multiple meals of pulled pork.  I froze the meat into 3 pound packages.  Our family loves my slow cooker pork carnitas, so I thought I'd give this Medieterranean Pork recipe I try.  I first read this recipe on What Megan's Making.  She had received the recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe.  If you have time to poke around on the computer, check out both their sites.  They both have some really great recipes, and their photography skills far exceed mine!

Nonetheless, this Slow Cooker Mediterranean Pork was a big hit around our table.  I love the ease in which this meal comes together.  It took about 5 minutes to prep the meat in the morning before adding it to the slow cooker, it cooked all day while we were out and about.  When we came home, the house smelled delicious!   Then I shredded the tender meat separating out the bits of fat and bone and cooked a box of couscous in less than 10 minutes at dinner time.  Add in some steamed broccoli and fresh fruit, and we had the perfect meal.  The meat was flavorful, tender, and very moist.  The leftovers will make the perfect filling for a pita wrap sandwich topped with feta cheese, olives, and tomatoes.  I also thought that it might make for an interesting pizza topping, kind of like something you'd find at California Pizza Kitchen. 

I made a slight alteration to the recipes referenced above.  I did not happen to have rosemary, marjoram, or thyme in my spice rack.  I have been waiting for a sale on spices and haven't seen one in awhile.  Rather than go and out and purchase new spices, I just added a teaspoon of Italian seasoning which contains rosemary, marjoram, and thyme.  I'm not sure what their pork tasted like, but I can tell you even with this adjustment, it was very flavorful and worthy of sharing on this blog.

Here's the recipe:

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Pork
3 lb pork shoulder roast (or western ribs)
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp paprika
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup of broth or water
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Drizzle olive oil over the meat on both sides.
2.  Combine all the spices in a small bowl.
3.  Pat the spice rub into the meat on both sides.
4.  Place seasoned meat into the slow cooker.
5.  Add 1/4 cup water or broth to the bottom of the slow cooker.
6.  Cook 6-7 hours on low until pork is tender.
7.  Remove the pork from the crock pot and let cool to the touch.
8.  Shred the meat with a fork separating out the bits of fat and bone (if any)
9.  Pour some of the juice from the crock pot over the meat to give it a little extra moisture.
10.  Taste the meat and season with salt and pepper to your taste.  (I think I added about 1/2 tsp of salt and a few large shakes of pepper)

Serve with rice or couscous and your favorite steamed green vegetable.  It would also make a wonderful filling for a pita bread sandwich.

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