Dear Slow cooker,
Will you ever forgive me?
I know, I know ... I've said a lot of mean things about you over the years. I've chuckled in agreement when others have complained that their success rate with you rarely tops 4% and I've dined out endlessly on the story of a whole family cheering when Mum had a mishap in the kitchen and smashed the slow cooker pot into a million pieces. Yes - it's fair to say, I haven't held back.
But you and I both know there have been some good times. That Red Lentil and Bacon Slow Cooker Soup was a spectacular success and has a firm place in our family's repertoire and as for the No Fuss Chicken Stock - well that, my friend, was a game-changer.
But there's been nothing else. NOTHING AT ALL. And it hasn't been for want of trying. And that's because I have constantly been telling myself, "This should work. This should be a kitchen saviour in a busy life. This should be my best friend."
But all that trying has been fruitless ...
Just when I was on the verge of giving up on you - it happened. A gem. A beauty. A triumph of a slow cooker meal. And its name? Slow Cooker Spanish Pork. Pork shoulder gently braised in a tomato sauce, spiked with sweet paprika, taken to the next level with a touch of chorizo and turned into a meal in its own right with some baby potatoes and a couple of red peppers.
I'll admit ... the first time I thought it may have been a fluke ... a trick of the eye ... a teasing of the tastebuds. But the second time, it was still spectacular. And the third time, just as good as the first.
And what is it about this Slow Cooker Spanish Pork that turned my head?
- This is a proper, easy slow cooker dish - no browning, no pre-cooking, no nothing. Just chop, chuck it in, turn it on and go off to enjoy the next 6½ hours.
- It's seriously tasty - the chorizo performs its magic again (I've talked about the power of chorizo before here) and combined with the pork and the tomatoes gives a sweetness with a smokey edge.
- The pork came out beautifully tender - melt in the mouth stuff.
- And I could up the vegetables even more - by adding 2 or 3 handfuls of spinach just before serving. It all helps.
- It looks fantastic too - no brown sludge here. In fact, it's certainly pretty enough for a dinner party dish.
- If anything it tastes better the next day - and that's saying something.
- It makes the house smell good enough to eat.
So thank you my new best friend. Let's hope this proves to be more than a fleeting fling and that we can continue to make sweet music together.
Lots of love, me xxxx
PS I think I may be on a slow cooker roll now...Print
Slow Cooker Spanish Pork
Pork shoulder gently braised in tomatoes, spiked with sweet paprika and taken to the next level with a touch of chorizo.
Tweaked from 'Slow Cookers' by Jane Price
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 6 hours 30 mins
- Total Time: 7 hours
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Western
- 1kg (2lb 4oz) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4cm (1½ inch) cubes
- 225g (8oz) hot chorizo sausages, sliced (mine was labelled 'picante')
- 600g (1lb 5oz) small new potatoes, cut into halves
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 red peppers, seeded and cut into big chunks
- 400g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes
- a small pinch of saffron
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 60g (¼ cup) tomato purée
- 125ml (½ cup) water
- 125ml (½ cup) chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- a handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Add the pork, chorizo, potatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, saffron, paprika and thyme to the slow cooker.
- Mix the tomato purée, water, stock and sherry in a small bowl and pour over the pork and vegetables. Stir well.
- Cook on HIGH for 6½ hours, or until the meat is tender.
- Season to taste, remove the thyme stalks and stir through the chopped parsley.
Keywords: cosy, prepare ahead, winter, autumn
By an amazing coincidence we bought a slow cooker in Lidl yesterday! We used to have one in Scotland and used it a lot.
The only problem we had was it was a very old design and didn't have a removable pot so it had to be washed intact with the electrics hanging away from the sink.....a bit tricky as you can imagine!
We never used it in Grafton 'cos we had the Aga. It was taking up storage room so eventually in the bin it went
When we saw one in Lidl at the princely sum of £13.99 we thought" hello new friend"
We will definitely be trying your recipe
Loving the boys' cooking adventures! As you say, lots, apart from cooking, to learn. Never knew about hippo milk. Please continue to include these pearls. They are great!
Much love to you all, from Aunty Mary and Uncle John XXXXX
I love a coincidence. Enjoy your new toy!
We spent many hours last Sunday clearing the garden of leaves and having a general clear up so this was the perfect opportunity to try your slow cooker meal , a meal which requires no effort at all. Just throw it all in Cook and eat....perfect! I doubled up on the peppers onions and potatoes and it was delicious. This will definitely become a favourite. Incidentally I print your recipes too, I have a folder full of them, much easier to read I find.
A slow cooker dinner after some autumnal gardening sounds like it would be just the job. Interesting to hear about printing out recipes too - thanks for letting me know!
since I retired I have been doing most of the cooking in our house so Nigel suggested I have a look at your blog. There's so much here for me to try. I started with the Spanish Pork which got 100% approval from the family. Not sure what to try next, may just ask them to choose.
Give my best wishes to Steve and the kiddiwinks. Tell the boys to keep supporting Pompey, good result yesterday.
Rog xx (Nig's best man)
Hi Rog, Great to hear from you and SO pleased that you are enjoying the blog. Good for you that you're getting busy in the kitchen! Have a look at this Holiday Hotpot It's one of my earlier posts and the photo isn't great (I've improved a lot since then!) but it's always a winner of a dinner and is great as leftovers too. If I ask the children what they would like for dinner, they always choose this Pesto Pasta. Enjoy exploring the recipes!
I love my slowcooker so much I have named it Ainsley. Slow cooking has become such a talking point my daughter told her English teacher and we later discussed our favourite recipes at the parents evening. The teacher asked the girls in class who else s Mum had a slowcooker and the entire class put their hands up.
Ooh, so what would I call mine? I shall ponder that....I must admit to not being a 100% devotee, even after all this time, but I do love this recipe. In fact, I think I'll add it to our meal plan for this week.