Photos by Alex J Harris
I love to cook, but some days it is really nice to have a break, and get two meals out of one afternoon’s cooking. First time round, I usually serve Apple and Onion Roast Pork as a roast for Sunday dinner. A day or two later, I then serve Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions. There’s a bit work involved on the first day as I generally make mashed or roast potatoes to go alongside, as well as some other vegetables, but the nice thing is the pork takes care of itself in the slow cooker.
This is all you need:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 pound pork shoulder roast
2 red onions, peeled and sliced in chunky slices
(I also use baby onions, peeled and cut in half, from time to time)
3 to 4 carrots, peeled, halved and quartered
½ cup apple juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tbsp wholegrain or Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour) mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Put the oil in the slow cooker pot and brush it all over the bottom and sides. Place the onions and carrots in the bottom of the slow cooker. Nestle the pork on top.
Mix together the apple juice, brown sugar and mustard and pour over the pork. Cook on ‘low’ for 4 to 5 hours or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 145ºF (I usually cook mine to 160ºF).
Remove the pork roast to rest, placing it in a pan or on a cutting board covered in foil. Take some of the liquid (about 1½ to 2 cups) from the slow cooker and put it in a small saucepan over low heat. Put the lid back on the slow cooker to keep the onions and carrots warm. Whisk the cornstarch and water into the liquid in the saucepan, continuing to whisk for 2 to 3 minutes in order to cook the cornstarch and thicken the gravy.
Lift the carrots and onions out of any liquid remaining in the slow cooker and drain (keep the liquid as you will need it later). Carve the roast in thick slices. When you do this it will fall apart a bit as the meat becomes so tender, but I just get as close to slices as I can manage. It tastes so good, believe me, nobody complains! Serve with some applesauce, the gravy, the carrots and onions you cooked with the roast, and perhaps another green vegetable and potatoes. Store any leftovers in the fridge. I like to put a bit of the remaining liquid from the slow cooker over the leftover pork to help keep it moist. It makes it easier to reheat as well.
The next day, or the day after, I make Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions.
I generally have enough meat left over to make 4 sandwiches. You need:
4 of your favourite bread rolls, sliced in half and buttered if you like
(I like ciabatta style rolls for this)
Leftover pork in its liquid
2 tablespoons of butter (you can use vegetable oil too)
2 to 3 onions, peeled and finely sliced
generous pinch of salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
Gently reheat the leftover pork and liquid in a saucepan over low heat, stirring from time to time, and gently pulling the meat apart with a fork as it becomes warm enough to do so.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a frying pan and sauté the sliced onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the salt and continue stirring until the onions begin to turn golden. Add the sugar, turn up the heat just a little and stir constantly until the onions begin to take on a seriously golden tinge.
Drain the pork, divide it between the rolls and top with the onions. My husband and son like to put leftover warmed applesauce on top as well, but a dollop of mustard or mustard mayonnaise is nice too. I serve these with a salad and a few crisps (potato chips) on the side.
If you like these recipes, you may also enjoy: Pork Tenderloin with Roast Vegetable Couscous