Saturday 7 January 2012

Slow Cooker Pork Roast With White Bean Ragoût

A slow cooker is a budget conscious cook’s best friend.  The less expensive cuts of meat tend to be those that are less tender; the kind that respond to long cooking at low heat.  That’s just the kind of cooking a slow cooker is made for.

Today I cooked a pork shoulder roast in my slow cooker.  It’s a lot of meat for just two people so I planned our meal with leftovers in mind.  Some of what I cooked tonight will be used to make tomorrow’s dinner.  Some of it will be frozen.  Some of it will be made into soup.

I started tonight’s dinner by mincing 4 cloves of garlic and chopping two small onions, one very large carrot, and a stalk of celery.  I put them all in the slow cooker and stirred them together.

I had some white beans in the freezer that had been cooked in pork stock.  I thawed them in the microwave and then stirred them in too.  (They measured about 3 cups.)

The pork shoulder roast was still slightly frozen but since meat actually cooks more quickly than vegetables do in a slow cooker, I knew it would be completely cooked by suppertime.  I salted it generously all over and then set it, fat side up, on top of the vegetable and bean mixture.  I sprinkled it with some fresh rosemary.

I put the lid on the cooker, set it on “high,” and let it cook for 5-1/2 hours.  When it was done, it looked like this:

I transferred the roast to a cutting board and removed most of the rosemary leaves.  I stripped the fat and skin from the meat and set them aside for later use. 

There was quite a lot of liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker so I drained the vegetables and beans in a sieve and then set the liquid aside for soup.

To serve dinner, I put the vegetables and beans in the center of a large platter.  I cut the pork roast from the bones and placed it on top of the ragoût, with the browned side up.  We sliced and plated the roast at the table.  It was a lovely presentation and made dinner feel like a special occasion.

The pork was very moist and the bean ragoût tender and flavourful.  I’ll be using both as ingredients in tomorrow night’s dinner.  I’m sure we’ll enjoy them tomorrow just as much as we did tonight.

This post has been linked to The Hearth and Soul Hop with Premeditated Leftovers, Delicious Dish Tuesday with Coping with Frugality.

Premeditated Leftovers

Coping with Frugality


Alea Milham said...

What a delicious and easy meal! I am adding this to my menu plan next week. Thank you for sharing your recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

Aunt B said...

Thank you Alea. :) I enjoy many of the posts on Premeditated Leftovers. I've found many good recipes and a lot of interesting information there.

April J Harris said...

I cooked my first slow cooker dinner last week and it was pork shoulder. I like your recipe with the white beans and veggies - it sounds scrumptious and I am looking forward to trying it. I am sure the soup made from the liquid was delicious too! Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

Aunt B said...

Thank you so much for the kind words. :^) I love my slow cooker. It's one of the hardest working tools in my kitchen.

Alesha @ Full Time Mama said...

This looks so good! Never knew I could cook a pork roast in my slow cooker!
Thanks for linking up to Delicious Dish Tuesday! Please join us again tomorrow!

Aunt B said...

Thank you. I will. :)

Amanda said...

That looks so good, and so simple. What soup do you make with the broth?

Aunt B said...

Soup is rarely a recipe thing with me Amanda, more a means of using what's on hand, but I often use this broth and whatever leftover bean mixture I have to make a variation of pasta e fagioli. Sometimes I make a simple pork and vegetable soup using the leftover meat, the cooking liquid, the leftover bean mixture and whatever vegetables I have in the fridge. In either case, I usually find that I have to add some extra stock to get the right proportions for a good soup. I usually have homemade vegetable stock on hand but boxed vegetable or chicken stock work well too.