by Tammy Taylor~
I’m a big fan of planned leftovers. Similar to Cook-Once, Eat-Twice, planned-leftover cooking is where you purposely cook more than you plan on eating at one sitting so you can use the leftovers in different dishes later. One of my favorite foods to use when I’m purposely planning for leftovers is pork roast. I mean, who doesn’t love a delicious roast with carrots & potatoes for supper? Then it’s easy to turn that leftover meat into other dishes for other suppers. So I often cook a large enough roast to assure I have plenty leftover meat for future meals.
I like to cook my pork roasts in a slow cooker. What’s not to love? You plop your roast, some carrots & potatoes and a little seasoning into the slow cooker and then just plug-er-in! The slow cooker then cooks your roast to delightful perfection while you’re away. Now if I’m cooking a Wild-Game Pork Roast I typically season it pretty heavily to offset any possible tale-tale wild taste (although our wild hogs typically taste very mild).
Easy Does It For Roast Seasonings
But if I’m cooking up a butcher-shop pork roast with planned leftovers in mind I will flavor it a little more generically. Typically salt & pepper, dried basil and some Worcestershire sauce is all it needs. That way heavy seasonings don’t interfere with the flavors I’m planning for other dishes.
Recently RancherMan & I ran across a rockin’ sale on pork roast so we picked up a monster roast – 21 lbs in fact!! It’s the largest roast I’d ever purchased in my life. Heck we thought it was a brisket, it was THAT large!
So we brought it home and RancherMan cut that huge roast into three chunks small enough to fit into my regular slow cooker, my larger slow cooker and my mammoth slow cooker. Heck we might as well cook them all at once, right??! Here’s how I prepared the roasts:
Veggies On Bottom
First I washed enough potatoes to fit into the bottom of the slow cooker. If they were small I put them in whole but if they were larger I cut them in half. This lifts the roast off the bottom of the slow cooker.
Oftentimes it’s recommended that you brown the roast first in a little oil to seal in the juices. But I hate the mess that makes – another skillet to clean and the residual splattered oil to deal with. So I always skip this step and my roast turns out delicious. But feel free to brown your roast first if you like.
Instead I just rinse off my roast & then place it on top of the potatoes in my slow cooker. When my roast is in place I season it with salt & pepper, some Worcestershire sauce and then sprinkle on a little dried basil.
Finally I tuck the other vegetables around the roast, depending upon what I have. Typically I’ll chunk up an onion, wash & peel a few carrots, chunking them into about thirds and tuck them around the roast. If I have celery I’ll often wash & cut the ribs into about 3-inch pieces and add that too.
Cook Pork Roast to 160 Degrees
Now all that’s left to do is put the cover on the slow cooker and cook my roast on low for about 8-10 hours. The roast is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
When the roast is done I’ll remove & arrange the cooked veggies onto a platter and bring the roast out to rest for about 10 minutes before carving it. The roast shreds easily but for our first supper of roast & veggies I’d like thick slices of roast. So for this first meal I’ll use an electric knife to carve out our servings.
If I have time, sometimes I’ll take some of the juices in the bottom of the slow cooker, add some flour & broth and cook up a hearty gravy to ladle over the roast slices & potatoes. It’s delicious and RancherMan loves it!
Now the main ingredient in my planned leftovers is ready to go. After sectioning off enough for our supper I’ll often section off more for a planned leftover meal in a day or so. Then I’ll package up the rest and freeze it for later inspiration. I freeze the roast into meal-sized portions for ease of making meal plans in the future.
Stay tuned, I’ll be sharing with you some of the recipes I like to use for the planned leftovers with this roast, including Carnitas Tacos (tip: you can easily make your own crispy taco shells), Pulled-Pork Enchiladas, Spicy Pork Empanadas, pulled-pork sandwiches and even a Delicious Stew.
Easy Slow-Cooker Pork Roast & Veggies
- 3 lb. pork shoulder roast
- 3-4 potatoes, cut in half if necessary
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
- 1 onion, cut into chunks
- 2 celery ribs, cut into thirds
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp. dried basil
- Wash potatoes – cut in half if necessary. Place potatoes on the bottom of slow cooker.
- Place roast on top of potatoes. Season roast with salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce & dried basil.
- Surround roast with carrots, celery and onion.
- Cover & cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or until roast reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- Arrange cooked vegetables on a platter and set the roast aside to rest for 10 minutes. It will shred easily so it’s helpful to carve roast with an electric knife after it’s rested.
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