I’m re-embracing the slow cooker as a method of easy cooking.
The first time around, I kept forgetting that one needs to PLAN a slower cooker meal–you can’t throw it into the pot at 6 PM and be eating at 7. Additionally, while the cooking is easy, prep can be involved, so it’s not ideal to for a not-morning-person like me to try to throw something together before running (late) out the door in the morning.
I’m getting around that. One: Planning. I’ve learned that if I don’t meal plan the week, we eat…mostly pasta. Also probably pizza. This way, I can work around Robby’s unpredictable schedule (who doesn’t love shift work?) Two: The fridge. By that, I mean that I can prep everything the night before, put the slow cooker insert into the fridge, and then pop it into the slow cooker in the morning and leave. I was a little concerned that the cold-to-heat transition would be bad for the insert, but I’ve seen no evidence so far. I highly recommend this technique (if it can be called that) for non-morning-people.
I went looking for a mojo pork recipe because Robby and I ate recently at a new local place called Caribe Blu. It’s a small family-friendly place that does FABULOUS Latin food, leaning towards Cuban but with Puerto Rican and other island influences. They serve a mojo dipping sauce, which is basically cilantro and garlic, held together with oil. As soon as I got home, I googled “mojo.” I came up with this different-but-no-less-delicious slow cooker recipe.
It does have a lot of garlic, along with onion and jalapeno. I noticed when I took the pork out of the slow cooker that those other amazing flavors were still in the pot. I took advantage by blending them up with some of the cooking liquid and stirring that sauce into the shredded pork (make sure you remove the bay leaves first!). I also saved a few onions for garnish, because you can never, ever go wrong with slow cooked onions.
It’s served over cilantro lime rice, because of course it is. I tend to be wary of both cilantro and lime in high doses, but the proportions here are excellent–it’s more like a strongly scented rice than a flavored one. It’s great on its own, and it’s a perfect base for this tender mojo pork. And though I went minimal with the toppings, the sky’s the limit–pico de gallo, cheese, corn, lettuce, whatever your happy heart desires.
Recipes very slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.