Smothered Pork

This is a fabulous fall dish. And let’s be honest. Fall food is the best food. Root vegetables of every color and shape; fragrant apples and pears juicy as can be; and leafy greens and radish in brilliant Van Gogh shades. Fall is the ideal time to convince children that veggies are good because they become intensely beautiful and delicious.

76391_10101777959651549_1257622926_nI actually didn’t have very high hopes for this recipe. I thought it would be a way to class up some kale, but as it turns out, it was fantastic! I think this dish would make almost anyone happy. Add a roasted veggie side and you have a delicious, fairly healthy meal. It doesn’t take a ton of work. I have even put a crockpot version at the bottom. It will also please meat eaters, because, come on, who doesn’t like pork?

Essentially, this is a pork, onion and kale melange all cooked in its own sauce. The sauce is really lovely in its simplicity. I wasn’t sure how the final product would turn out, but it is actually amazing. I would recommend sifting off some of the fat, though, which I didn’t do.

Adapted from Cooking Light

1 Tbl canola oil

2 lb pork shoulder

salt and pepper to taste

2 1/2 cups sliced onion

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp five spice

2 garlic cloves, chopped

5 cups chopped kale

Preheat oven to 325°. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to Dutch oven. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove pork from pan and keep warm.

Add onion to pan (add more oil if needed). Cook 5 minutes or until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, vinegar, spices, and garlic to pan. Bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Return pork to pan. Cover and bake in the oven at 325° for 1 1/2 hours. Add kale to pan; cover and bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Take out and let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Spoon sauce over pork and veggies and serve.

If making in the crockpot, brown all sides of pork roast, then add all of the ingredients to a crockpot and cook on high for 6-8 hours (depending on the strength of your crockpot).

Moroccan Crockpot Chicken

I have been wanting to make Moroccan food at home for a while. What makes Moroccan food delicious is the “warm” spices and slow cooking. Often Moroccan food is cooked in a tagine, which allows for slow cooking that holds in a lot of moisture. Now, I don’t have a tagine. When I was thinking of making this recipe, I thought about how I could cook the  dish without a tagine, and my trusty crockpot came to mind. (Not only that, but it makes it a lot easier for me.)

The prunes in this may seem a little strange, but they break down in the slow cooker and make a wonderful sauce. Plus, they help keep the chicken nice and juicy. This is actually surprisingly good.  I was a little suspicious of how the flavors would meld, but they do so beautifully in this dish.  I can see this soon becoming a quick and yummy favorite at our house.  Additionally, it is quite healthy and my husband says it tastes like fall. 🙂

Moroccan Crockpot Chicken adapted from The Perfect Pantry

1 medium onion, minced

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp olive oil

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat

9 oz pitted dried prunes

1 Tbsp honey, or more to taste

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chicken broth

1 cup sliced almonds

Mint (optional)

In a bowl, mix the onion, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, garlic and oil. Add the chicken and coat. Let marinate for 20 minutes.

Place chicken, marinade, and prunes, honey and broth in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5 hours. Let cook until the last hour, then stir and add almonds.

When cooked all the way through, finish with mint.