Slow-Cooker Coconut Pork
Confession: I’m not a big fan of slow-cooker food. Most of the stuff that comes out of it ends up tasting “brown,” if you know what I mean. But I love the ease of use and the way it can transform inexpensive cuts of meat into mouthwatering, tender stews. So I’m always on the hunt for really good slow-cooker recipes that have bold or memorable flavors. Coconut Pork ranks pretty high on my list and I make it regularly. I started with this recipe from the paleo blog Mark’s Daily Apple. It was pretty good, but the coconut flavor was weak and I couldn’t detect the spices. Also, I think every slow-cooker dish tasts better if you brown the meat before adding it to the pot. So I made some changes and now have a good recipe that my family loves and I think you’ll enjoy, too. I like to serve this with basmati rice and a shredded savoy cabbage salad.
Slow-cooker Coconut Pork
3-4lb. pork shoulder or butt roast
Salt & pepper
2 onions, slivered
2T minced fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic, crushed
6oz. liquid (broth, white wine, or water)
2t ground coriander
2t ground cumin
1 can coconut milk (full-fat)
Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
Lime wedges (to serve)
Pat roast dry and season well all over with salt and pepper. Brown in a skillet over medium heat for 4 minutes each side. Transfer to slow-cooker insert, cover and let rest. Add onions to skillet with ginger and garlic to cook in the pork fat. If the pan is too dry, add some coconut oil. Sauté until soft and beginning to brown – about 6-8 minutes. Add the liquid and let it simmer a couple minutes while scraping the bottom to deglaze the pan. Remove from heat. Mix the coriander and cumin together in a small bowl. The roast should now be cool enough to handle – transfer it to cutting board and rub spice mixture all over it. Pour the onion mixture into the bottom of the slow-cooker and place the roast on top. (If one side is fattier than the other it should be facing up.) Cover and cook for 8-10 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high. (Long, low cooking will give you more tender meat.) If you’re home while it cooks, I recommend turning the roast over halfway through cooking.
When the roast is fork tender and falling apart, turn off heat and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. Depending on your roast there may be a lot of fat floating on top of the liquid. If so, use a shallow ladle to remove some of it. (This fat can be saved in the refrigerator for cooking!) Stir in the can of coconut milk. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Remove twine from roast and use 2 forks to pull it apart into large pieces. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
*Note: If you like a spicy stew, add some dried chiles to the slow-cooker with the onions. 🙂