In my Ropa Vieja post, I mentioned that I wasn’t much of a crock pot cooker. However, curiosity and necessity (time constraint) led me to repeatedly test the effectiveness of crock pot cooking. I must say, after three crock pot successes, I may just add the crock pot into my kitchen arsenal.
Let me first introduce you to my crock pot. It’s small and funny and green. It’s lopsided, and I think that may be on purpose (either way, it’s not ever going to be straight). My grandmaw gave it to me before she passed away, so there is no way it’s ever getting replaced with what would probably be a more efficient and attractive model. This funky little creature has been hiding in the corner of my kitchen only occasionally being called into active service as a cheese or soup warmer for a party. No longer, I say! The crock pot has seen new life and new purpose.
While building the shed, I used the crock pot to cook me dinner a couple of times. Unfortunately, I was either too tired to care or ran out of phone and camera batteries; so, I do not have any pictures of the resulting two meals. Luckily, I used a couple recipes I scrounged up on the internet and can steal at least one picture from them.
The first recipe I tried is supposed to be for Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps. Here’s their beautiful picture of the meal they created.
I however, did not make this into a lettuce wrap. Rather, I just ended up with big ole honking slabs of pork. While lettuce wraps were never my intention, this didn’t quite cook like I expected it too. I put 3 pounds of pork shoulder into the crock pot along with the recipe for the sauce. The sauce was really the best part of this meal anyways. Unfortunately, after hours of cooking, my pork was still raw on the inside. So, I cut it into a bunch of big slices, turned the crock pot up to high and let it cook for another hour. This did the trick and we basically ended up with something like Asian Pork Steaks. They were good, although not quite true to the original recipe.
Do Asians use crock pots more than the average person? I only ask because now that I’m writing this, I notice that the other crock pot recipe I tried was an Asian Pepper Steak. Maybe I was just in an Asian mood. Either way, of the two recipes this one came out better. For some odd reason the recipe’s website just has a picture of a crock pot, not of the meal. This post already has a picture of a crock pot, so I’ m going to skip reproducing that one here.
The pepper steak came out great and was falling apart. I substituted Coconut Aminos for the Tamari that the recipe calls for. Also, I actually diced some tomatoes instead of using ones out of a can. It may have helped that this recipe’s meat was sliced whereas the previous recipe’s wasn’t. I highly recommend you check out the Crock Pot Asian Pepper Steak on Mark’s Daily Apple.