Your slow cooker can do so much more than stews and pot roast. If you've got the basics of slow cooking down, get more adventurous with the food that you cook with it, exploring dishes and ingredients popular in other cultures. For example, pork and other meats cooked in coconut milk is common among the Thai, Vietnamese and other South Asian cultures. Create your own version, adding flavors of your choice to the pork and coconut milk that are best suited to your family's taste preferences.
1 Choose a cut of pork to cook in the slow cooker. All parts of the pork shoulder, the Boston butt, the picnic and blade roasts, as well as ham hocks and spareribs are ideal for the moist heat of a slow cooker. However, you can also use pork tenderloin, as long as you are mindful not to overcook it.
2 Season your pork as you see fit. You could just use salt and pepper, or you can go for more flavor by seasoning with additional ingredients, such as dried herbs, crushed garlic, curry powder, cumin and cayenne pepper.
3 Brown your pork on all sides in light oil in a large Dutch oven, or under the broiler on an oiled baking sheet in the oven.
4 Pour a can or two of coconut milk in a saucepan over the stove on medium-high heat. Add complementary flavorings of your choice, such as garlic powder, chicken stock, lime juice or soy sauce and curry powder. This step is optional. You do not have to add flavor to the coconut milk, if you prefer not to.
5 Place your browned pork in the slow cooker. Add complementary vegetables such as sliced potatoes, onions and carrots, if you wish.
6 Pour the coconut milk on top of the pork and cover the slow cooker with the lid. Cook on low heat for about 6 to 8 hours for a 2- to 3-pound cut of pork. The pork is ready when it falls apart easily with a fork and has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Items you will need
- Fresh pork cut
- Seasonings, to taste
- Dutch oven
- Baking sheet
- Coconut milk
- Slow cooker
- Serve your coconut milk pork over white or brown rice.
- For food safety, store leftover pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you wish to keep the pork longer, wrap leftovers in usable portions tightly in plastic wrap, and then store in an airtight, freezer-safe container and keep in the freezer for two to three months.
- Thai Cooking: From The Siam Cuisine Restaurant; Kwanruan Aksomboom et al,
- Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook; Beth Hensperger et al,
- The Kitchn: Dinner Recipe: Slow Cooker Coconut & Green Curry Pork
- Food and Wine Magazine: Slow Cooker Coconut Pork Curry
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: Basics for Handling Food Safely
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images