We are now well-entrenched in the winter season, and with that, Crock Pots have reappeared from their warmer-weather resting places. By this time, you may have used your slow cooker so much, you've tired of slow-cooker chicken, pot roast, spaghetti and all those other slow-cooked dinners. As good as they are — and of course, simple since the cooker does most, if not all, the cooking — they do get tiresome meal after meal. So recently, I went in search of something totally different, giving me a good reason to invest in a new Crock Pot since my old one finally gave up the ghost over Christmas.
With spring just around the corner, you might be longing for a good barbecue smoked for hours, but getting outside in the cold to warm up the smoker and tend the meat all day is out of the question. So here's an alternative that you can cook on your countertop in the warmth of your home. Not only does it smack of Southern 'cue, it fuses it with Asian flavor to create a wonderful meal perfect for a Saturday supper or to serve on Sunday for your Super Bowl party.
The original recipe has its roots in one found on tasteofhome.com, but I tweaked the recipe, substituting pork roast for the more-expensive pork tenderloin it called for. Rather than Newman's Own sesame-ginger dressing, I used a light Asian sesame dressing from Kraft that saved a few pennies as well. Also, the addition of red pepper flakes upped the Asian flair and added a nice kick to the 'cue. And rather than making coleslaw using the same dressing as used in the meat — that would have been overkill — I made my favorite Asian coleslaw with sugar and rice vinegar. The two combined on a bun smeared with sesame mayonnaise was a remarkable sandwich.
The only drawback to using pork roast rather than tenderloin was the time factor, the former taking most of the day to cook with the latter taking just a few hours.
Whichever cut you choose, this recipe requires nothing more than pouring the dressing over the meat and letting your slow-cooker do all the work. That's the beauty of slow cooking — all in one pot with little cleanup on the other end.
This will make a winning dish for your fan party this Super Bowl Sunday. Just keep the Crock Pot on warm, and let guests make their own sandwiches.
Slow Cooker Asian Barbecue With Coleslaw and Sesame Mayonnaise
3 pounds pork tenderloin or pork roast
1 3/4 cups Asian sesame salad dressing, divided
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste, optional
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 packages coleslaw mix
4 green onions, chopped
12 multigrain hamburger buns, split
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Asian sesame salad dressing
2-3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Place tenderloins in slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Combine 3/4 cup salad dressing with red pepper flakes, and pour over pork, turning to coat. Cook, covered, on low until meat is tender, 4-5 hours for tenderloins, 6-8 hours for pork roast. Remove pork; cool slightly. Shred meat into bite-size pieces; return to slow cooker. Stir in brown sugar and remaining salad dressing, a little at a time until it's as moist as you want it. Cook, covered, until heated through, 15-30 minutes longer.
To make coleslaw, mix together sugar, oil and rice vinegar. Pour over coleslaw mix, and stir in green onions.
For sesame mayonnaise, combine all ingredients, and allow to sit at room temperature for several minutes for flavors to blend.
To serve: Let guests make their own sandwiches, topping the barbecue with coleslaw. Serve mayonnaise on the side.
Contact Anne Braly at firstname.lastname@example.org.