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.
Savory Latin flavors infuse this slow cooked pork and cilantro lime rice. Easy to make, easy to eat!
3-4 pound pork shoulder
3/4 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 cup)
Juice of 1 lime (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1 onion, quartered
1 jalapeno, halved
1 head of peeled garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves
2 cups water
1 cup long grain rice, rinsed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
Place all of the pork ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
When it's finished, remove the pork to a bowl or cutting board and shred with two forks. Remove as much of the solid fat as you can.
Remove the cooked garlic, onions, and jalapeno to a blender. Add 1 cup of cooking liquid (more if desired). Blend to a smooth consistency. Mix with pork.
Place water, rice, oil, and salt into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for about 15 minutes or until rice is cooked.
Add lime juice and cilantro. Stir with a fork to fluff.
Serve shredded, saucy pork over rice, topped with more cilantro. Other topping suggestions include lettuce, corn, guacamole, pico de gallo, queso fresco, and Cuban-style black beans.