In case you can’t tell, I’m a big believer in slow. I let bread rise slowly because it’s healthier and adds depth of flavor. I cook meat slowly because it makes cheap cuts tender and flavorful. I think about 48 hours ahead on my meals, and it doesn’t take much longer to prepare, things just need to get started the day before I plan to eat them. It is the best way to eat well (both in the healthy and delicious sense) on a budget. This sweet and tangy healthy pork, I throw in my slow cooker the evening before I want to eat it. It is awesome served as traditional barbecue, but is also great without sauce on quesadillas, or with southwest relish on a salad. My possibly favorite way to eat it is with guacamole on huevos rancheros (my mouth is watering now). This recipe is also awesome for beef brisket!
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 standard sized pork loin
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1 small onion, sliced (optional)
- 1 bottle beer
- 1 c apple sauce
- 1/2 c demerara/raw sugar
- 1/2 c ketchup
- 3/4 c apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 c dijon mustard
- 1/3 c low sodium soy sauce
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 paprika
- 2 t chipotle pepper
Pat down the loin with a paper towel and remove as much moisture as possible. Heat a large frying pan with some olive oil on high and swirl it around the pan to coat. Sear the loin whole first all the way around, and then slice in thirds and sear both ends. Place the meat in slow cooker and add garlic to the pan to brown. When it is just barely golden add the beer to deglaze the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and whisk while simmering on low. Pour over the meat and turn the cooker on. My slow cooker has an awesome setting where I can turn it on low for half an hour and then it will automatically go into “warming” mode for 12 hours, and at hour 11 I turn it back on low for half an hour and let it go to warming mode until dinner. Another way that I’ve done is to put it in a pan covered in foil in a conventional oven on 215F for 24 hours.
Half an hour before you are ready to serve it, use a fork to pull the meat apart. Use a ladle to spoon out most of the excess cooking liquid and strain through mesh to remove pieces of garlic, onion, and bay leaf (discard bay leaf). Heat on medium in a small sauce pan to reduce it into a nice bbq sauce. Whisk in extra chipotle to taste and scrape the bottom of the pan periodically as it reduces so the sugars don’t burn.
Serve coated in sauce on toasted bread (ahem, my toasted sourdough brioche rolls) with pickle slices and chopped raw onions.