Dusting off the crock pot….

I had a busy day on Tuesday where I wouldn’t be home most of the day and one of the kids had an evening activity, so that morning I pulled out the crock pot (side note: when did crock pots become “slow cookers?” You have to love the reinvention of old standbys to introduce them to a new generation. I am sticking with trusty old “crock pot.” Mine is actually a nice new white one I got for Christmas a year or so ago – the one I remember my mom had when I was growing up was some kind of ugly dark orange pattern). I haven’t had much luck in the past with crock pot dinners because the recipes I tried were of the beef stew variety and my kids are not fans (they’re getting better now…) of dishes with lots of components mixed together.

I basically made pulled pork and served it with warm tortillas, cheese, rice, avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and sliced peppers and onions. I have to say whereas i usually do a taco bar for my kids, this time around I pre-assembled their tacos so they wouldn’t reject the pork because it wasn’t trusty old ground turkey. My husband actually had his sans tortilla on a bed of rice which he said was tasty.

So for this successful dinner I took a 2 1/2 – 3lb pork shoulder (very inexpensive) and trimmed as much of the fat as I could. I have to say this was pretty time consuming (i.e., 10 minutes or so but the longest part of preparation) but worth it. Then, I threw the following ingredients in the crock pot: 2 jars mild salsa, a squeeze of tomato paste (I use the paste that comes in the tubes – l love it – no cans to open), a few tablespoons each chili powder and unsweetened cocoa powder, and a few dashes of oregano and salt and pepper. Then I set it on low (this was around 10 am) for 8 hours – done. So easy. Right before dinner I shredded the pork – which was no effort – it was so tender it basically shredded itself, and returned it to the sauce that was left in the pot, but reserved some “sauceless” pork for my kids. It made a ton – so much we actually froze a healthy amount of leftovers in a freezer bag for another busy night – a double success.

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