Kitchen Fun: Slow Cooker Pork with Mexican-y Butternut Squash

I’ve made a deal with myself that involves my slow cooker and my gym.  One or two days a week I’m going to get my act together to make a slow cooker meal for dinner so that I can go to a post-work class at the gym.  I love the classes my gym offers, but it’s been hard for me to make them because I always come home and make dinner, which I love doing.  But!  If I do that every night, I miss out on fun classes, which I also love doing.  Boo.  Enter the slow cooker.

This recipe is from Williams Sonoma’s new slow cooker cookbook, which I recently bought to encourage keeping up on my end of my deal with myself (what?).  Oh my, was it tasty.  Mmm…

First you get 3lbs of pork shoulder.  My local Fresh Market, where I buy most of my meat b/c it’s cheaper and better quality than my local grocery store and I can get the exact amount I need/want, didn’t have shoulder.  What is a girl to do? The butcher told this girl to go with pork butt (bad name, meat men) because it allegedly has a similar marbling to shoulder.  It worked very well, I thought.

You brown the pork on all sides:

I know, I was surprised about the second piece of meat that was somehow stuck to the larger piece.  Guess that was why it was all tied up when I bought it.

Anywho, then you put the pork in your slow cooker.

Next, you dice up an onion and saute it up.

Just saute it in the pan you browned the pork in – drain off some of the pork fat, though.

Next, smash four garlic cloves and add that to the onions.

Once the onions are translucent, add 2T of white wine (or sake, as the recipe suggests) and 1/2 C. chicken broth to deglaze the pan.

Add this onion sauce to the pork in the slow cooker, set it to low and leave it for 8 hours.

When you get home that evening, your house will smell amazing and your slow cooker will look like a Monet painting.

Don’t lift the lid no matter how tempted you are!  Promise, it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Dice up a butternut squash – peel it and de-seed it first.

Toss the cubes in a bit of olive oil (or vegetable oil, or PAM or whatever you want!) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Put it all on a baking sheet and pop in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the cubes are soft.

While the squash is cooking, chop up some basil (on the top in the picture below), cilantro (in the middle) and a poblano pepper (on the bottom).  The recipe called for a red poblano, but I could only find green in the store.  No problemo.  Just go with what you can find.  If you can’t find poblano, try another kind of pepper!  You may want to ask a produce person at the store about peppers, though, because you could end up with way more heat than you want…

Once the squash is done, take it out of the oven and transfer to a bowl.

So steamy…

To this, you’ll add the green things you chopped up earlier and an Asian Lime Vinegrette that Williams Sonoma tells you how to make – it’s very simple: lime juice, sherry vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, salt. It gives the whole recipe a punch, so don’t skip that part!

Stir it all up. While you’re doing this, ask your sous chef (aka your husband, boyfriend, roommate) to shred the pork up.

The get our your wide mouthed bowls (mine are new! thanks for the great b-day present, Rosemary!) and put some squash in first, then the pork, then a little of the onion-y sauce from the slow cooker.

Enjoy!

My only complaint about this recipe/meal was that there was quite a bit of work outside of the slow cooker part, which meant we ate dinner later than planned (since I did go to my spinning class, yea!).  Brian said he thought the whole point of doing a slow cooker meal was that I wouldn’t have to cook when I got home and I guess he’s right… but it was definitely worth it.  I will certainly make this again, but perhaps not on my official “slow cooker” night!

What do you think?  Sound tasty to you?

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2 Comments

Filed under cooking

2 responses to “Kitchen Fun: Slow Cooker Pork with Mexican-y Butternut Squash

  1. NatalieBA

    Thanks! Can’t wait to see some of your recipes… mmm…

  2. Maddie

    Looks yummy Natalie!! I have some good (much less-involved!) slow cooker recipes I can share 🙂

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