I have a confession to make. I recently bought my first slow cooker. I have given them as gifts, but never got one for myself. What was I thinking!?
Having a slow cooker has made my life a lot simpler, and I cannot believe I never owned one. I chalk it up to having that culinary school mentality of making food “a la minute” or cooking right when you are going to eat. But with my crazy life right now, it sure is nice to be able to load up my slow cooker, push the timer button and walk away.
This recipe is very simple, in that the beer used to marinate the pork is also the cooking liquid. I marinated the meat overnight, but you can do it for as little as 3-4 hours. The longer the marination, the better the flavor though.
Slow Cooker Beer Braised Pork
3 1/2 lbs country style pork ribs OR pork butt cut into large chunks
1 tsp + 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh oregano
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 12 oz bottle amber ale or other dark, hearty beer
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 6 – 8 pieces OR 2 lbs small whole new potatoes
1 lb carrots, peeled, cut into large pieces
Place the pork, 1 tsp salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, garlic and beer into a large resealable plastic bag. Squish it round to make sure the ingredients are distributed. Place the bag into a large bowl or onto a plate and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
When ready to cook place the potatoes and carrots into the bottom of your slow cooker. Try to cut the vegetables to a fairly uniform size so they cook evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 tsp salt over the vegetables.
Place the pork and herbs on top of the vegetables, then pour the beer from the marination over the meat.
Place the lid on your slow cooker, and set the timer for 4 1/2 hours on the high heat setting or 8 hours for the low heat setting. Now walk away and do something productive.
I cooked my pork for 4 1/2 hours on high, then checked for tenderness. Because the country style ribs I used were cut very large, I opted to remove the vegetables which were done, and let the pork continue to cook for another 45 minutes, until it was really tender and succulent.
If you would like you can strain the cooking juices or leave it rustic style with bits of cooked meat and veggies in it. Either way it is delicious. The only addition to this meal needed is a loaf of crusty bread or savory muffins, such as the corn muffins I served.