There’s so much going on during the holidays that many find it impossible to find time to cook for themselves and their families. But there are easy ways to make meals that are healthful and delicious. Look no further than a crockpot to easily cook roasts, soups or stews.
Benefits of crockpot cooking include that you can assemble the recipe in one step and let it cook while you work, shop or are simply out of the house for the day. Also, you can make multiple recipes at the beginning of the week (also known as batch cooking) and freeze them for another day. (Frozen meals can last up to 6 months in the freezer!)
3 Tips for Making Cooking Easier
1. Ask your butcher to cut meat for you to help reduce the work involved.
2. Look for pre-cut fresh vegetables like parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots (you can also use baby carrots), Mirepoix mixes, etc.
3. Store-bought stocks are fine to use. Choose stock over broth – it’s lower in sodium, which allows you to season to your own taste.
This month’s recipe is an easy Pot Roast of Pork for the crockpot.
Crockpot Pot Roast of Pork (6 Servings)
2 pounds pork loin
4 cups apple cider
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 cup onion, cut into chunks
1 cup carrots, cut into chunks
1 cup celery, cut into chunks
1 cup parsnips, cut into chunks
1 cup red potatoes, skin on and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Trim fat off the pork loin. Cut into 6 equal-sized cubes and rub with pork rub (rub is optional – see recipe below). If using rub, let the pork stand for about one hour before continuing.
Put pork in crockpot. Add onions, celery, garlic, cider, stock, thyme, bay leaves, mustard, sage, salt and pepper. Set crockpot setting to medium heat. Cook for 6 to 10 hours.
Add potatoes, carrots, and parsnips about 30 minutes before mealtime or until the vegetables reach desired softness.
Remove pork and keep hot. Set the crockpot to the highest setting.
Stir together cornstarch and water in a separate bowl, and then slowly stir cornstarch mixture into the crockpot with vegetables and liquid to make gravy. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes to cook the cornstarch smooth. If the gravy is not to desired thickness, repeat this step.
To plate the pot roast of pork, place one cube of the pork into the center of a bowl then ladle gravy with the potatoes and vegetables over the top and around the pot roast.
Garnish with a sage leaf.
Pork Rub (Optional)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon mustard powder
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Sprinkle over pork to evenly coat.
Enjoy your holiday season and remember to take some time for yourself and cook some easier and delicious meals like pot roast of pork.