Monday, March 25, 2013

Slow Cooker Pork & Tomato Ragout

Slow Cooker Pork & Tomato Ragout

If could only have one cooking tool to use for the rest of my life, I would cry because I wouldn't be able to decide between my slow cooker and my Magic Bullet.  When we were first married, I was terrified to use the slow cooker we received as a wedding present because I was convinced it would burn the house down if I left it on while I went to work.  After I got over being an idiot, I fell in love with the ease and magic of it.
I am a huge fan of these Slow Cooker Liners by Reynolds.
They are a time (and water) saver when it comes time for clean-up.
Also for a wedding gift, we received a cookbook entitled Favorite Brand Name Slow Cooker Magic In Minutes.  I don't remember who gave it to us, but thank you -- whoever you are.
Per usual, I strayed from the original recipe, but in case you were interested....

I began by trimming the fat from a 1 1/2 ounce pork tenderloin and cutting it into 1-inch pieces.  The pieces were then dredged in whole wheat flour.
I added 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a large skillet and cooked the pork until it was brown on all sides.
Add 1 1/4 cups of white wine to the skillet and bring it to a boil; continually scraping the browned bits in the skillet.
Add contents of the skillet to your lined slow cooker, followed by 1 pound of red potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Then add a 14 1/2 ounce can of diced tomatoes (juice included), 1/2 of a yellow onion (finely chopped), 1/2 cup of water, 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 cloves minced garlic), 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.  The original recipe called for 1 cinnamon stick, but because I am budget-conscious, I chose not to spend $10 on a jar of cinnamon sticks and used the ground version from my cupboard instead.
Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or until meat and potatoes are tender.  If you used a cinnamon stick as opposed to ground cinnamon, remove the stick cinnamon stick. 
Garnish with fresh chopped or dried parsley just before serving.
I chose to serve this dish with steamed asparagus and wheat rolls.  The meal was delicious, and made me feel like I was eating apple pie because of the strong cinnamon flavor.  The only thing that would have made this better (besides apple pie) would have been chopped celery as opposed to celery salt.  The recipe calls for it.  I wrote it on my list.  I forgot.  Oh well.  My husband gave this meal a 9.5 our of ten and asked me to please make it again soon and to not change the recipe again because it was perfect just the way it was.  He's more of an "if it's not broken, don't fix it" sort of guy, where I'm an "it can always be better" sort of girl.  Either way, it was super yummy and I will make it again -- although next time I think I will try it with sweet potatoes, chicken, and almond flour.

For your preparation ease, I have posted this in recipe-form below.

Slow Cooker Pork & Tomato Ragout
Serves 4


1 1/2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cup white wine
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped celery (or 1 tsp celery salt)
1 tsp organic minced garlic (or 2 cloves garlic, minced)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
Chopped fresh or dried ground parsley for garnish

1. Dredge meat in flour.  Heat oil in large skillet.  Add meat to skillet and cook until it is brown on all sides.  Add wine to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits.  Place in slow cooker.
2. Add all remaining ingredients except parsley.  Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours or until meat and potatoes are tender.
3. If using, remove and discard cinnamon stick.
4. Serve, garnished with parsley, and enjoy In Good Company.

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