Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: Slow-cook for company

Long, hot summer days mean plenty of company and the perfect time to get out the slow cooker

  • Aug. 1, 2012 4:00 p.m.

We’re into the second month of summer already and for many of us in the Okanagan, it means we’re half way through our influx of company.

For me, it’s always exciting to find easy, delicious recipes for a crowd that can be started in a slow cooker in the morning and forgotten until supper time. It allows me time to enjoy my friends and family, which I really appreciate.

Today I’m offering pulled sandwich recipes: one beef and one pork. Both dishes work well with fresh raw vetgetables as a side, or perhaps a potato salad. The secret to making these recipes extra special is in choosing freshly made buns of good quality (not hamburger or hot dog buns.) If you have left-over beef and juice, make it into a shepherd’s pie or make a delicious beef barley soup. Left-over pork works well in any stir-fry. Enjoy!

Colleen’s Delicious Beef Dip on a Bun

1 roast beef; cheapest cut you can find to fit slow cooker

1 head of garlic; peeled and sliced (or to taste)

2 onions, sliced

1 cup regular soy sauce

6 cups water to cover the roast (ratio of 6 to 1 with soy sauce if you need more)

Fresh buns, split and lightly toasted

Place roast in slow cooker. Add garlic and onions. Add soy sauce and water to cover. If short, mix more in a 6 to 1 ratio. Place on high for 2 hours; turn down and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove beef and shred; it will just fall apart, place in serving dish. ( I use a warming dish to keep it warm.)

Remove onions and garlic from liquids with a slotted spoon and place in serving bowl.

To serve, let everyone make their own buns. Pour juices into individual small bowls for dipping. It is delicious!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

1 (2 pound) pork roast (tenderloin, shoulder or butt)

1 medium onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 (12 oz.) can or bottle of root beer

1 (18 ounce) bottle of your favourite barbecue sauce

8 freshly baked buns, split and lightly toasted

Trim obvious fat off roast and place the pork in a slow cooker.  Add the onion and garlic; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well-cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 8 hours.

Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker (could take 8-10 hours). It should fall apart.

Drain well. Discard vegetables and juice. Shred meat and stir in barbecue sauce. Return to slow cooker and heat through.

Serve over hamburger buns.

Cathi LItzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist.