Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Slow Cooker Garam Masala Pork

Garam Masala Pork - Embrace the Crockpot!
With Thanksgiving behind us we look now to anything not made with turkey, and here at GreenWood that's usually pork in some form.  As it's the Holiday Season with its attendant errands and general lack of time, I start preparing dinner sometime before breakfast so I can get on with jewelry work as the shop warms later in the day. A warm shop makes a difference in how I work the metals and cut the stones with which I make the pieces, most notably my hands work better when it's 70F or above.

We visit two or three households for Thanksgiving and of course we bring bulky veggies with us- so we always have surplus sweet potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables with not much space to store them. Over the weekend my local Kroger was running a special on pork butts so I picked up a couple with a plan for slow-cook masala, single-pot style with all the veggies and a simmering coconut broth.  Remember my last post, about the glories of the crockpot? It's my stove-on-the-counter when I need to make dinner by the dawn's early light, and today it's my buddy for sure. This recipe is easy to make for the half-awake, except for the part with the kitchen knife.... Assuming you make it through the vegetable-chopping relatively unscathed, it's a fifteen-minute setup and then you can go about your day.  If you use the quantity of vegetables called for in the recipe it will make a huge amount of broth, so spice it accordingly.  This is not a low-fat dish, so don't go back for seconds; it's actually better a day or three later because the broth infuses the vegetables and makes for a masala conversion experience at your cubicle or desk during lunchtime.  Here goes:

Mister C's Slow Cooker Garam Masala Pork

You'll need:
Boston Butt Pork Roast 3-5lb, bone-in
2 Large Sweet Potatoes, cut into 2" pieces
4 Carrots, chopped coarsely (about 1" or so)
4 Medium White or Red Potatoes, cut into 2" pieces
4 Celery Stalks, cut into big pieces
3 Scallions, chopped or sliced
4 Tbsp Garam Masala powder
8oz Coconut Milk
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Cracked Peppercorns

Put the all the vegetables into the crockpot, mix them up a bit, turn the crockpot on the 8 or 10-hour setting and let them sit in there without spices for a few ticks.  Meanwhile, take the Garam Masala and coconut milk and mix them together very well until it looks like spicy mustard.  Those specks in the mixture are little masala flavor bombs, and they do a bit of magic of their own while the roast is cooking. Take about two-thirds of the coconut masala mix and pour it onto the vegetables in the crockpot, then mix it in until they're completely coated. Then arrange the veggies artfully- make a "nest" for the roast to sit in- lay in the roast and smother it with the rest of the masala mixture. Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper and you are done until time to serve it up.  I'll usually serve this with jasmine rice on the side to soak up the masala broth, or you can serve it with naan bread.  A hearty beer or red wine will complement this dish nicely, as will hot or iced tea.

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