I love a good Crock Pot recipe.
Who doesn’t? The idea of crossing multiple items off my to-do list while my supper cooks sends me into a cloud nine euphoric state. I have tried, tested (ruined), and critiqued numerous crock pot recipes over the years and in the process, have learned a few truths that preside over the each of the ones I keep coming back to again and again.
Those same truths have allowed me to experiment with creating my own recipes. That’s how I came up with this simple, decadent, Coconut Milk Braised Pork Shoulder. A fusion of beloved Thai flavors and my Texas roots, this is a dish I will be serving friends and family for years to come. you can adjust the seasoning to your preference. I think I may try adding lemongrass or fresh ginger in the future. Some fish sauce would compliment this, as well.
Before we dive in, here are the truths that apply to a dish when it’s going to be cooked in a crock pot.
1. Not everything has to go into the pot at the same time!
Seriously– You can start or roast at 7am, toss in your veggies at noon, and then add the fresh herbs the last 1/2 hour it cooks, around 4:30. This let’s the ingredients break down properly, or on the contrary, keeps them from getting lost in the dish. Like herbs, for example, they don’t turn limp and bitter. They stay vibrant, they brighten the dish.
2. You absolutely should place a folded dish towel under the lid to prevent condensation from gathering, hence, diluting your dish.
Don’t care what kind you use. I recommend a thin, cotton cloth– but that’s just what works for my crock pot. You do you.
3. Save the juice.
In the matter of roasts and braises, don’t dump the juice! You can serve it alongside the dish or with a side of crispy bread. You can chill it in the fridge overnight, in an airtight container, and then skim the fat from the top first thing in the morning. That shizz is liquid to solid to liquid cooking GOLD.
A trusty slow cooker
Tongs to turn meat intermittently during the braise
a large spoon for basting
a casserole dish
3-5 lb pork shoulder with good marbling
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock (organic, not from concentrate)
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp red chili flakes
10-15 peeled whole cloves of garlic, crushed
6 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh basil, cilantro, or parsley stemmed and chopped– Chef’s choice
I served this with sliced citrus, chopped green onion, and sliced avocado. You can enjoy it with whatever you’re craving– this shizz is versatile
bacon fat fried cauliflower rice
stir fried bell peppers
what to do:
- Place all ingredients save your fresh chopped herb of choice into the pot and braise for 7 hours, turning every 2. Baste and redistribute garlic cloves and bay leaves atop meat.
- The last 1/2 hour, toss in your fresh herbs and check the braise for seasoning. Add sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
- Remove pork shoulder from pan and set in a glass baking dish. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before shredding with two fork
Serve alongside braising liquid with fresh herbs, sliced lemon or lime, veggies, crusty bread, whatever. And (if you can find it) Aardvark Secret Sauce.
Save your meat and use it throughout the week in stir frys and taco’s. The braising liquid can be strained and stored. The fat can be skimmed and saved for future use (like the fudge recipe I’m going to link to– here in a few weeks), the broth served over cauli-rice, with basmati and veggies, stirred into soup, or mixed into stir frys.
Happy wellbeing ❤