Slow Cooker Anyday: Cranberry Mustard Pulled Pork
I’ve known Lindsey for a while now, though it’s been mostly virtually. I’m hoping 2012 gives me more opportunities to hang with her in person. She continually amazes me with the healthy-yet-delicious recipes she posts on Cafe Johnsonia. I truly had no idea healthy, vegan-inspired recipes could look so good!
Of course, she’s a fabulous food photographer, so I’m sure she could even make quinoa look delicious. Oh, wait. She just did that in a recent post of her quinoa salad soft tacos. (I’m trying to learn to like quinoa. I really, really am.)
Lindsey was a guest on Mad Libs Monday and I’m happy to have her back on ITRML for a slow cooker feature. Her cranberry mustard pulled pork sounds fabulous! YUM!
This my riff on a recipe my mom makes using a can of cranberry sauce and a package of dry onion soup. It’s delicious, but I didn’t have any of those on hand and my husband casually mentioned he’d like me to make it for him. His wish was my command.
Now, I’ve included three options in the directions. I’ve done all of these ways and they all work out tasting about the same. I do think you get a richer flavor from browning the onions first and searing the roast. One more little tip. I’ve had good intentions of getting the pork and everything into the slow cooker first thing in the morning and then…life happens and it’s lunch time or later. No worries. You can cut the pork up into smaller pieces or cook it in the oven in a Dutch oven. I have a slow cooker that has a stovetop and oven-safe insert, so I’ve done both ways and they work equally well. If you notice the pork doesn’t give off a lot of liquid as it cooks, add a little water so the sauce doesn’t burn.
This is a fabulous recipe and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.
Cranberry Mustard Pulled Pork
3-4 lb boneless pork roast (can use boneless pork chops or country ribs), trimmed of most of the fat
2 cups whole cranberries (mine were frozen)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 medium onion, diced
Juice and zest of 1 large orange
1 T fresh ginger
1 tsp or more spicy brown mustard
A little olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
A pinch of cloves or nutmeg (this is great at Christmastime), optional
A little water, if too dry
Option 1: Put everything into a slow cooker and let it cook on high for 4-5 hours or low 8-10 hours, or until the pork shreds easily. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Option 2: Heat a little olive oil in a skillet. Add the onions and cook until they start to turn golden. Season the pork roast with salt and pepper and sear it in the pan with the onions. Remove pork from the skillet and put into a slow cooker.
Add the orange juice to the pan and scrape up any browned bits. Pour into the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
Option 3 (if you have a slow cooker that can also be used on the stovetop or oven): Heat olive oil in the stovetop-safe insert. Add the onion and cook until golden. Season the roast with salt and pepper and sear well on all sides. Add the orange juice and remaining ingredients. Either cook in the appliance on high for 4-5 hours, low for 8-10 hours. Or heat oven to 350 degrees and place the insert with lid on into the oven and cook for about 3 hours, or until pork can be easily shredded.
Serving suggestions: Eat with rice or potatoes or use as a filling for soft tacos (trust me, it’s good). Most recently I served this with roasted red potato wedges, braised chard, corn and homemade biscuits.
Previous Slow Cooker Anyday recipes: