I regularly use the crockpot for larger cuts of meat, and it’s fantastic for both pork and beef. I’m going to show the process I used for a pork tip sirloin roast (think large tenderloin with a nice fat cap), but the same general method applies to other cuts and even beef as well, though you may want to change up the seasoning a bit.
First we need to get a pan ripping hot. I like to use cast iron pan like the lodge skillet $ but it’s not required. If your stove top has different burners, choose the largest one available and set it to the highest setting. Yes, the actual highest setting where it resembles the back of a jet engine. You shouldn’t use any cooking spray or oil, just let the pan preheat.
We’re going to go ahead and open our cut of meat, drain any juices, pat dry with paper towels and do any needed trimming. For pork and especially with this method we want to leave all the fat cap, but remove any silverskin or cartilage. Now we’re going to salt this bad boy, and do so heavily. Keep in mind we’re going to add a large amount of liquid, so get a generous covering of salt. You can use a fancy salt if you desire, but plain old table salt is fine.
Now carefully put the salted roast into the pan - tongs are ideal but two spatulas will do in a pinch. It’s going to be loud and smokey but that’s entirely ok - we can’t brown the roast after it’s been cooked so we need to do it now. Getting a heavy browning (that Maillard reaction) will caramelize some of that fat cap and ramp up that savory/sweet factor. Once you have an even browning (which should only take a few minutes) go ahead and transplant our roast to the crockpot, again using tongs or two spatulas. If like me your crockpot is on a different surface than your cook top, I recommend bringing the pan to the crockpot instead of dancing across your kitchen with tongs full of raw pork roast (but you do you).
Now you’re going to take an onion, I prefer a red onion for the crockpot where it’s going to stew for a while ,but use what you have. Remove one end and take off any dried outer skin. Now we’re going to dice the entire onion into thin rings. You can totally use a sharp (large) knife here, but a good mandoline $ is going to make your life a lot easier - and please, please, use your mandoline guard and cut gloves. As a side note - and you’ll notice this with the affiliate link above - you should really only buy fairly cheap mandolines because the blades need to be replaced regularly and it’s just not worth getting an $80 mandoline unless you’re a pro chef. Also the one I link to has pretty solid cheese grating attachments which I like quite a bit.
Go ahead and take our entire thinly sliced onion and spread it around our roast. Now we’re going to heat up some water so we can make our broth. I strongly recommend Better Than Bullion $ (which you can probably find cheaper in your local grocery store) - it’s a liquid base instead of sad cubes and has a lot better flavor. You can also just roast veggie leftovers in a bunch of garlic to get your broth. Slowly dissolve bullion in your hot water and add it into your crockpot until the broth just goes over the top of the roast.
Now we’re going to season. Add in about 2oz of balsamic vinegar, a serious dash of black pepper, and any other herbs you have on hand. I happen to have some fresh sage I need to use up, so I’m going to grind it up with some salt, but you can add in rosemary, thyme, or whatever else catches your fancy. I’m also going to suggest throwing in a generous dash of worcestershire to amp up that savory umami flavor but it can be left out or replaced. Go ahead and drop the cover on and start your slowcooker on low.
The time it takes for you will vary heavily depending on your crockpot. I plan for about 8 hours of cook time but with my newest crockpot it normally takes about 5-6 which isn’t ideal (it’s a bit too hot) but works fine enough. Check it after a few hours and you want to cook it until it literally falls apart when poked with a fork. Shred it if desired and serve.
I prepared the first serving on rosemary garlic mashed potatoes but this goes great on sandwiches, cheesy tater tots, nachos or anything else you can imagine.
- 1oz worcestershire
- 2oz balsamic vinegar
- 1/4c of preferred herbs such as sage, thyme or rosemary
- 1 whole onion, sliced very thinly
- salt, black pepper to taste
- garlic or other bullion
- ~2lb+ pork tip sirloin roast or similar