Saturday, September 6, 2014

Slow Cooker Philippine Pork Stew

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Ok, this one comes VERY Hubby approved and recommended.  He seems to throw this comment out kind of often, but apparently this was the, 'best meal this year.'  Then I reminded him he said that about a pasta I made about a month ago, and so he said, "ok, this one is second place then."  Then I reminded him that he said that about a dinner he had at a restaurant we went to on our anniversary and another dinner that we had a week after that at another restaurant.  So, who knows really with him, but he definitely thought this was a keeper!

He put a cookbook into my stocking last year called The Best of Bridge - Slow Cooker Cookbook, and I have made only one or two things in it so far, but something triggered him to remind me of it this week.  I told him to go get it off the shelf, choose anything in the book, and I would make it.  The majority of the summer hasn't exactly been 'slow cooker bubbling away on the counter season,' on account of the heat wave, but a couple of weeks ago we were experiencing a bit of an Augtober that kind of put a 'damper' on things, and a CrockPot dinner seemed like just what the weatherman ordered.  The 'Pork Adobo' recipe caught his eye, and thus a Wednesday night dinner was born.  To be honest, it's probably something I would have turned the page on and never made if not for him choosing it this week.  Ingredients like, 'cinnamon stick,' and 'whole clove,' aren't usually up my alley, but a deal was a deal and I made the dish anyways.  Are we ever glad we did!  The Hubby gave rave reviews, and I always especially know it's a good meal when he excitedly packs his leftovers for lunch the next day.  He admitted afterwards that he chose the recipe because the cinnamon and clove seemed weird.  Haha.  Side note - a stick of cinnamon from the bulk section of our grocery store costs $0.03.  A whole clove is too light to even register on the store's scale, so the cashier shrugged and put it into the bag for free.  The bay leaves were the same way.  I basically robbed the grocery store!!

We served over rice with a side of green beans slathered in butter and some coarse salt.  The recipe calls for pearl onions, which can be a pain in the butt to peel one by one.  The fastest way that I have found to do this (besides buying frozen and peeled from Trader Joe's) is to 1) trim the top and bottom of the onion off, 2) bring a pot of water to a boil, 3) add the onions and boil for 30 seconds, 4) Drain onions and rinse well with COLD water or immediately put into ice bath, 5) Laugh and think about how smart you are because the onion peel is just falling off!  Easy-peasy.

For a printer-friendly version of any recipe, simply click 'Print' below the title of any blog post. Voila - a clean recipe without my ramblings or any pictures!

One Year Ago:  Jill's Fresh Cut Mango Salsa
Two Years Ago:  Goat Cheese Pesto Torte

Slow Cooker Philippine Pork Stew

Serves: 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 lbs boneless pork should blade, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 carrots, cut into thick slices
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 whole clove
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups pearl onions, peeled (see Tip above)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.  Brown the pork on all sides, working in batches.  Transfer the pork to your slow cooker.  Reduce the heat on your skillet to medium and add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the carrots and the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 15 seconds while stirring.  Add in the vinegar and the soy sauce, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Pour the contents of the skillet into the slow cooker on top of the pork.  Add the bay leaves, clove, cinnamon stick, and pepper.

Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours, until pork is tender.  Remove bay leaves, cloves, and cinnamon stick.  Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt your butter over medium heat.  Cook the peeled pearl onions, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add the cooked onions to the slow cooker.  In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water, then stir into the slow cooker.  Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 20 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.

Enjoy on its own, or serve over rice with a green vegetable on the side.  Yum!

Recipe Source:  The Best of Bridge Slow Cooker Cookbook


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