I love, love, LOVE my crock pot. I cook so much that it can get overwhelming. One large (easy!) crock pot meal keeps me ahead of the game, and really it keeps me sane! I think the key to a great crock pot meal is to pair it with things not from the crock pot. This keeps the textures and favors different, and I find that more appealing! What I did for last night for dinner, was to slow cook a boston butt and pair it with sautéed kale.
Boston Butt with BBQ Sauce
6-7 lb pork shoulder (boston butt)
1 large head of garlic; 10-12 cloves separated and peeled
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 medium onions
1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 can (6.oz) tomato paste
• To prepare Boston butt insert raw cloves of garlic randomly throughout the pork shoulder. Take a steak knife and make pockets for about 6 (or more) cloves of garlic. If the cloves are large cut them in half, and make more pockets • For BBQ sauce place 1 medium onion and 4-6 cloves of garlic in food processor and chop untill onion releases its juices • In a large saute pan, over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Add onion garlic mixture to oil and cook for about 3 minutes or untill onions start to brown a little • Add all spices, apple cider vinegar, water, and tomato paste to onion mixture and stir untill well incorporated •Remove sauce from heat. Place just enough BBQ sauce in the Crock pot to cover the bottom • Then place the pork shoulder into Crock pot and cover with remaining BBQ sauce • Finally chop your other onion into half rings and place on top and around pork shoulder • Cook on low heat for 8-9 hours.
At about the 8 or 8 1/2 hour mark I would start preparing the kale:
1-2 bunches of Kale, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/8-1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.
• Chop bacon • In a large saute pan cook bacon on medium-high heat untill browned, remove pan from heat • Now remove bacon from pan while leaving the bacon grease in pan • Next add kale to pan. I would recommend allowing the bacon grease to cool a little before you add the kale, the water from rinsing the kale will cause the grease to pop and smoke (could catch fire) • Once kale is in pan use tongs to toss the kale, coating as much of it with the bacon grease. Cover and toss kale every 1 minute untill kale starts to brown • Add chicken stock a little at a time, recover and allow the kale to steam (you might need more or less than 1/4 cup of stock) • Once kale is almost cooked to your liking, add salt and pepper, and vinegar, continue cooking until done and remove from heat • Serve with bacon crumbled on top!
The vinegar from the kale goes great with the spice from the pork shoulder! The BBQ sauce turns almost to water during the cooking process. If you would like more sauce on your meat I would suggest making extra sauce for after the cooking process. I thought the meat had enough flavor that it didn’t need any additional sauce.