Slow Cooking Comfort

Virtual social dining groups are springing up all over Facebook, with people sharing recipes and pictures of what they are cooking. We’ve always done a version of that since people began adopting the unfortunate habit of photographing their dinner plates in restaurants, but these days it’s either all about take-out from your favorite restaurant (please do this!) or what you are whipping up at home. For the comfort food cravers, here’s a slow-cooker recipe we love, courtesy of epicurious.com. Please visit www.epicurious.com for more recipes.

Slow cooker pork shoulder with zesty basil sauce

Yield: 8 servings

ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 8 hours 30 minutes

  1. For the pork:
    1. 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1. 1/4 cup olive oil
    1. 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
    1. 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
    1. 2 tablespoons kosher salt
    1. 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    1. 2 teaspoons oregano leaves, finely chopped
    1. 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    1. 1 skinless, boneless pork shoulder roast, tied (Boston butt; about 6 pounds)
  2. For the sauce:
    1. 1 large shallot, finely chopped
    1. 2 cups basil leaves, finely chopped
    1. 1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
    1. 1/4 cup oregano leaves, finely chopped
    1. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  3. Special Equipment:
    1. A (4-quart) slow cooker
    1. Cook the pork: Mix garlic, oil, mustard, brown sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika in a small bowl to form a paste. Rub all over pork, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag or slow cooker insert and chill overnight.
    1. Place pork in slow cooker, cover, and cook on low until meat is fork-tender but not yet completely falling apart, 7 1/2–8 hours.
    1. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Mix shallot, basil, oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt in an airtight container. Cover and let rest up to 3 hours at temperature or up to 2 days in refrigerator. Stir in lemon juice just before using.
    1. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Slice and transfer to a platter. Drizzle with sauce and serve with additional sauce alongside.
  4. Do Ahead
    1. Pork can be rubbed 2 days ahead; chill in an airtight container. Sauce, without lemon juice, can be made 2 days ahead; chill in an airtight container.

Cooks’ Note

Both the rub and the sauce can be made in a food processor if desired. To make the pork in the oven, cook at 300°F in a covered Dutch oven, basting occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of pork registers 145°F (meat will be very tender but not quite falling off the bone), 6–7 hours. If you’re using a larger slow cooker, flip roast at least once and baste occasionally to keep it moist.

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