Slow cooking is definitely an art that I am growing more familiar with. I officially gave up trying to make anything taste good in my crock pot. That thing hates me, and turns everything into gourmet dog food. I've tried all the tricks of the trade (searing meat first, low and slow, adding vegetables last, upgrading to a better machine) but it seems as though I do not have the magic touch with crock pots, which happens to be fine with me. Personally, I never found fulfillment in coming home to a dinner already prepared...I need that 10-15 minutes of prep and chop time to get any aggression I may have out!
What I do enjoy is 'slow' cooking in the form of braising on the stove top in a nice big pot. We are late eaters (there is definitely not enough time in the day!) so I can still work all day then come home and have dinner ready at our regular time....I just start cooking a tad earlier than usual.
1 lb pork of your choice - I did boneless pork chops on accident...they were packaged to look like boneless short ribs and I was totally fooled!
5 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, quartered
1/2 lb baby red skinned potatoes, halved
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
2 cups red wine
1 large can of pureed tomato
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp sugar (optional)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Add olive oil to a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Season pork on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear pork on both sides until nicely browned. Add carrots, onion, potato and mushrooms to pot with meat. Add wine, tomato puree and enough stock until the liquids completely cover all of your vegetables. Add herbs and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and simmer for about an hour or until the meat is extremely tender and the liquid has reduced and thickened. Add balsamic vinegar, then taste for seasoning. (I added the sugar because the tomato puree I used wasn't as sweet as I wanted it to be.)
Serve alongside your favorite steamed rice.
I was pleasantly suprised that the carrots still had a little bite to them - which is good since mushy vegetables suck! The balsamic vinegar gave just a little bit of tang, which cut through the tomatoey gravy nicely. And, can we talk about the pork? It was fork tender and melt in your mouth good.
The recipe would rock with beef as well.