Over the weekend I put up a facebook post offering up my old slow-cooker, because my life is a non-stop rollercoaster of excitement and laughs. And people LOVED it. They are so surprisingly interested in slow cookers – and rightly so, slow cookers are Da Bomb. It’s like Past You has cooked Present You dinner – bloody amazing. A big step up from their normal game of leaving you hungover and skint, with your bike 5 miles away. Anyway – for Kiran, who was the triumphant winner of the slow cooker, and Becca, who is already the proud owner of a slow cooker and wants recipes, here’s one of mine. It is absolutely. Sodding. Brilliant.
This is not a “classic” slow cooker meal, in that there is some faffing about at the end and you have to sort out sides, you can’t just come straight in and fall into it. So think of this not as a weeknight, come home after work and greatfully spoon stew into yourself while watching Endeavour (it is REALLY good btw) kind of recipe. Instead, it is a performance meal – the kind of thing you cook for celebrations – but with a significant whack of hard work taken out.
Last time I made this, Dad was staying for the weekend. We stuck this in the slow cooker in the morning, then pottered off to the bookshop and the pub for a few hours before returning home. The rest I prepared while chatting through the kitchen door/drinking wine on the sofa. It’s THAT kind of recipe. For perfect Sundays.
You will need
- A pork joint – one of the ones with skin on, tied with string
- A couple of onions
- A few cloves of garlic
- Salt & pepper
- Bay and rosemary (optional tbh)
- 3-4 potatoes each
- Greens of your choice – Broccoli and peas, say.
Takes 6-12 hours, of which you must be present for an hour and a half, and actually cooking for about 20 mins.
- First, season and sear your pork joint all over. My fancy-ass new slow cooker has a sear setting so I did it right in there, but a frying pan is also fine.
- Peel and roughly hack up your onion and garlic and put them in the bottom of the slow cooker along with the bay and rosemary, if using.
- Perch your pork joint atop the aromatics, skin side up.
- Put your slow cooker on low and go about your business for the day. May I suggest you visit a bookshop? And a pub? Or just sit around in your pants playing Fallout, I don’t care, it will not affect the quality of the meal.
- About an hour and a half before you want to eat, stick the oven on to preheat.
- Peel as many potatoes as you want to collectively consume and cut them into roast-potato sized chunks. Bring them to the boil in salted water.
- Prepare a roasting tin. If you have one of those silicone liner things, now is the time to dig it out, because the washing up on this can be a bit murderous. If not, slosh a little veg oil around and hope for the best.
- Now attend to the pork. Lift the lid of your slow cooker and carefully snip the string. Remove the fat from the meat and lay it in your roasting dish.
- Stab at the fat a bit so it is in crackling sized pieces and pop it in the oven.
- Are your potatoes parboiled yet? You want them to allow a fork to be stabbed into them, but not be falling apart. If they are, drain them and leave them to steam dry for a bit, if not, give them another few minutes.
- When the potatoes are cooked to your satisfaction, take out your crackling tin. It should have crisped up a little and let out some fat. Pour the potatoes into the crackling and stir everything together so the potatoes are all covered in pork fat. Back in the oven.
- For the next 45 mins-1 hour, go into the kitchen every 15 mins and stir the potatoes about. Turn the oven down if they look like they’re catching, and up if things are not getting crispy enough for you.
- Five minutes (or whenever appropriate) before serving, sort the veg out.
To serve – this is the kind of thing where it’s best if people can help themselves, and come back for seconds with ease. The potatoes can be put on the table in their roasting dish – and they will stay piping hot for ages. Veg can be served in a bowl, obviously. For the pork – shred it with porks and spoons and serve all falling into its own juices. Yesssss.
This made enough for a massive dinner for three plus like 3-4 more meals for two.