Have you ever felt just really blah about cooking pork roast in the crockpot (or any kind of roast really)? To me it sometimes feels so very… been there, done that, own the coffee mug. I love my crockpot but sometimes I just feel like I’ve cooked just about everything I can in it. Recipes like roasts bore me to tears and there’s always leftovers that no one seems to want to eat. WASTEFUL.
I don’t consider myself one of those amazing food bloggers who come up with ridiculously awesome recipes but sometimes I surprise myself in the kitchen. When that happens, I feel like everyone needs to know.
This is one of those times.
My biggest struggle here in Alaska has been to stretch our food dollar. Meats are insanely over-priced vs the lower 48 and the quality is subpar. So it’s been my mission to find good meat at prices that don’t make me want to cry.
About a month ago I was told about a grocery store a little over an hour away. It was suggested that this was the place to go for decent meat. If what I was told was true, I knew where my next paycheck was going.
Turns out I wasn’t disappointed but I did find it ironic that I traveled over 4,000 to shop at a store name that I avoided like the plague when I lived in Ohio. What was more ironic was that the store was in about the same condition the one 4,000 miles away was and about the same size (Seriously. Am I getting punked? Was this a dream?)
Most meat was under $3 a pound and ran numerous BOGO Free specials (and the bacon!! Thank all the stars for for affordable TASTY bacon).
For about $100, I’m able to buy just about all the meat we need for two weeks. Every time I shop there I almost cry from sheer joy.
One of the biggest scores was a 10 pound pork butt roast. It was under $2 per pound so I snagged one and took it home to cut it into smaller roasts. That was four more meals and a huge stretch to my food budget.
But alas, how many ways to cook a pork roast?
The answer is… lots but I lack the patience to track them all down.
I’m down to my final pork roast in the freezer and in an effort to save dinner and not bore the family with yet another roast dinner, I scoured the internet for some new recipes. I came across recipes that I either didn’t have all the ingredients for or had an insane amount of prep.
I ended up finding inspiration from a couple of potential recipes and came up with this sweet and tangy (and easy) crockpot pork roast using pantry items I know you have on hand (I know you have them on hand because I have them on hand and I currently have the saddest pantry in Alaska.)
Hope you enjoy it!
SWEET AND TANGY PORK ROAST
You’ll have to credit my husband with our pantry ingredients; if not for his forward thinking I would’ve bought about a month of frozen pizzas on our first Alaskan grocery trip.
Lightly browning the roast beforehand releases natural juices and gives the roast a nice final color after all those hours of cooking. Kind of like putting on your makeup before you leave the house. You just want to leave the house but it’s a bonus if you don’t look like a pale death eater before you do.
I now lightly brown just about any roast I put in the crockpot. I didn’t used to be this way but the internet has corrected me of all my wrong doing when it comes to roasts and cooking. Thank you interwebs.
Onions are totally optional. I go with half an onion because half of my house loves them and half does not. Seems fair right?
Mix your liquids and spices together and set them aside.
No picture here because I slacked. Basically if you have a nice brown liquid that’s not lumpy (no reason to have lumps. Not one), then you’re fine.
Layer your sliced onions in the bottom of the crockpot. (My crockpot is a 6 quart but I guess size doesn’t matter in this case so long as your roast fits it. Also, insert adult humor here.)
No one will judge you if you don’t have a nice even layer of onions. The goal will be to simply get the roast on top of them when it’s done browning.
With your onion sliced and your liquids mixed, place the roast on top of the onions and pour the liquid over the pork roast.
Cover and cook the pork roast on low for about 6-8* hours. Don’t peek or check it but do walk by occasionally and inhale. My husband did and I got a “smells good in here Big Momma”. I don’t know why he calls me that, I suspect it has something to do with my supreme roundness when I was pregnant with Bebe.
*6-8 hour cook time is an estimate. My crockpot is a jerk and cooks things faster than it should, even on low, so I’m always scrambling and begging the side dishes to HURRY UP ALREADY(!!) because of course the roast is done.
Homemade Mild Fresh Salsa
* I added 1 1/2 tsp of salt but you could add less depending on taste.
As you pulse the salsa in the food processor, stop every 30 seconds or so to check consistency and taste. If you think it needs more cilantro, onion, or garlic, feel free to add more! Note that the flavors will strengthen upon sitting.
The recipe makes eight cups of fresh salsa. You could easily halve the recipe or be someone's new best friend and give them a jar.
Fresh salsa will keep in the refrigerator for up to seven days in air tight containers.
To add some heat to this salsa recipe, you can add in some red pepper flakes, jalapenos, or a dash of cumin.
- 2 cans whole tomatoes
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1/2 to 1 whole onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or roughly chopped
- 1 TBS lime juice
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp parsley (optional)
- Salt to taste*
- Open cans of tomatoes and dump into your food processor.
- Add in chopped onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, oregano, parsley (optional), and salt.
- Pulse food processor until salsa is the desired consistency.
This turned out perfectly (no seriously, I’m totally shocked)! I may have loved it so much (and completely amazed myself at dinner) that I overshared heavily via instagram.
We served it with sauteed spinach with bacon and garlic, warm bread and rice. Sometimes it’s good to be in my kitchen.
You can easily adjust the ingredients to taste, add in more honey for a sweeter flavor, or more hot sauce, for a bigger kick. You could also include red pepper flakes or some cayenne if that’s what tickles ya.
If you make it, I’d love to hear what you you think!
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