RECIPE: Slow Cooker Italian Pork with Gremolata over Rice
This recipe I can't take credit for. This is a recipe I found on Epicurious when searching what to do with pork shoulder. I was tired of BBQ/western/taco/Tex-Mex recipes that are common for this cheaper cut of meat. I ran across this recipe which looked not only SUPER easy but had really unique flavor profile: smokey/savory marinade with a zesty herbal lemony drizzle.
This recipe has quickly become a family favorite. My family eats it up and barely leaves any leftover for lunch the following day. If you have a smaller roast, no worries. This recipe works just fine with smaller roasts. You just cut down your crock pot time a little. Aldi has some awesome pricing on pork shoulder. Sometimes I cut a larger roast in half and freeze the other half for another day, making this recipe a super affordable weeknight meal. We serve it with rice cooked in our rice cooker, so this is a very hands-off meal to boot.
Adapted from Epicurious
Pork Rub Marinade:
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. oregano leaves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 boneless pork shoulder roast, tied (about 5-6 lbs.)
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cups basil leaves, chopped
1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup oregano leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Cooked white rice
In the morning, place pork in slow cooker, cover, and cook on low until meat is fork-tender and falling apart, 7 1/2–8 hours. If you like to slice it, take it out when it's fork tender but still firm. We prefer it falling apart and melt-in-your-mouth tender, with the fat and cartilage melted down completely.
The gremolata needs to sit for a bit for the flavors to meld. Mix shallot, basil, oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. Process until herbs are very finely chopped. Cover and let rest up for up to two days in the refrigerator. I make it the morning I cook the pork. I bring the gremolata out to bring up to room temperature for a few hours before serving.
When pork is ready, transfer it to a cutting board. With a fork, separate the pork out in servable pieces/chunks and transfer to a platter. Serve with cooked white rice and a little drizzle of gremolata sauce over the meat. Serve with additional sauce alongside for guests to drizzle more as needed.