Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Slow-Cooked Teriyaki Pork

Several years ago, the hubby got a job two hours away from mine, and we moved an hour away from both jobs to split the difference. It was a fierce, stormy winter that year. The snow in our yard was waist-deep, it was constantly snowing and blowing, and the ice never seemed to melt from the roads.

Because I’m a winter-driving wuss, I worked from home a lot that winter. And those days became my slow cooker experimentation days. I’d take a mid-morning or lunch break, amble on in to the kitchen, throw anything in the slow cooker, and return 6-8 hours later to see what happened. (You should try it! I’ve had a few throw-outs, but no explosions.)

This is one such recipe. It’s incredibly simple, with just a few ingredients, so you can easily throw it together in the morning. The recipe works best with thick-cut, boneless pork loin chops; I didn’t happen to have any on hand this morning, so I cut a pork tenderloin into medallions, instead.

The one major recommendation I have for this recipe is to use a thick soy sauce. I generally use good ol’ Kikkoman with most of my recipes, but a few call for special treatment, and this is one of them. The hubby and I are big fans of the Asian market in Fargo, which is where we stumbled upon this.

It really does make the recipe. I like playing with soy sauces.

I served the pork tonight with rice and some Asian slaw with coleslaw mix, cucumber, green onions, and a homemade citrus vinaigrette of flavored olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If you’re ever in the mood to thoroughly spoil yourself, order some blood orange olive oil and tangerine balsamic vinegar from Old Town Oil in Chicago. Mix them together and serve with anything. Or as a beverage.

Slow-Cooked Teriyaki Pork
Serves 3-4

4 boneless pork chops, about 1” thick
1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
¼ c. dark, thick soy sauce
¼ c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced

1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops, seasoning with salt and pepper. Brown briefly on both sides.

2. Add pork to slow cooker.

3. Combine soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

4. Lower heat to medium and add garlic to pan drippings. Saute 30 seconds to 1 minute.

5. Add soy sauce mixture to pan. Stir and cook until sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Poor sauce over pork.

6. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with rice or potatoes.

And see how nice and tender the pork is on the inside? Ah, gotta love the other white meat.

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