I’ve cooked pork before in the slow cooker, but not pork belly mainly shoulder, so this was a first. I love my slow cooker – it’s great for soups and stews plus it needs very little attention. From our experience make sure if you’re using onions in your recipe to first cook them on the hob then add to the pot otherwise they don’t stew down well but become really strong and overwhelm the dish.
Cooking pork in the slow cooker is so simple and easy – it’s a bit embarrassing to write about it really but I want to encourage you to pull that old box out from the lower cupboard, dust it off and find a place on your work surface for your slow cooker. This shouldn’t be a neglected gadget, it’s a really useful and time-saving device in a hectic London life. Instead of cooking stuff in the oven or on the hob this extra piece of frugal kitchen kit keeps a dish ticking over nicely, you can moderate the temp from low to high and leave it in peace for hours. My soup for the Supperclub goes into the pot early on a Saturday morning on medium for 4/5 hours then later it is set to simmer on low until ready to serve, easy!
So – a simple pulled pork belly supper.
500g Pork Belly
Sprinkle of dried oregano
2 fresh sage leaves
2 bay leaves
Handful of fresh dill
Glug of olive oil
100ml of elderflower cordial (or something sweet like honey and water, maple syrup, sweet wine)
Pour the olive oil onto the bottom of the pot then add the pork with the skin side downward. Add all the herbs, pour over the elderflower cordial and cover with the lid! Cook on high for 3 hours then baste the meat with the juices and reduce the heat to medium for another 6 hours. The beauty is that it doesn’t dry up, it becomes softer over time and finally the pulled pork meat collapses under your knife.
I love cooking pork this way in my slow cooker as it is so easy and no fuss – the day continues without having to cook, watch, stir etc – this is working from home food, decorating the house food, gardening food, busy day food – you get the idea!
We bought our pork from Woodhouse farm stall at the Sunday farmers market in Walthamstow, I served it with this week’s organic veggies from Organiclea (community allotment in Chingford). It is an amazing time of year for broad beans, baby courgettes, spring onions and wild garlic plus fantastic new crop Jersey Royals and tasty salad leaves. Now off to wash the local strawberries for dessert – having a lovely day!