Weekly Winner:  A few of my favorite things

In the spirit of the holidays and The Sound of Music, I present a few of my favorite things — all of which came together last night for dinner.  In the song, they talk about “Schnitzel with Noodles”, so stay with me here.

Schnitzel is usually made from pork, and you know pork is definitely an all-time favorite of mine.  And who doesn’t like egg noodles??  This time of year I also love putting the slow cooker to use.  I’ve found that pork shoulder is one of the best-suited cuts of meat for the slow cooker.  It comes out incredibly luscious with absolutely no work.  So it goes without saying that if I can take a pork shoulder, put it in the slow cooker with minimal prep and come up with an amazingly satisfying Sunday Supper, then I am totally sold.  That’s exactly what this recipe offers.  Even better?  Everything else that goes in the slow cooker is puréed first in a food processor.  You simply can’t get easier than that.

I’ve had the recipe for Slow Cooker Chipotle Pork for quite some time.  It was just one of those recipes that I would pause at as I was flipping through my recipes for inspiration and think “yep, I’ve got to make that sometime”.  Well Sunday was the day.  We were going to be busy with last-minute holiday preparations and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  But it was going to be the last time for a while that it would just be the two of us for dinner, so I wanted to make it special.  Man, was it!  This was a glorious winter dinner.  The egg noodles are just the right “bed” for all those luscious chunks of slow-cooked porky goodness.  And whatever you do, do not omit the orange wedges or the green onions as garnishes.  They brighten the dish right up!  Amazingly enough, the recipe comes from Good Housekeeping, and it goes something like this:

Slow-Cooked Chipotle Pork

Serves 8

In a food processor, purée 1 medium onion, quartered, 1/2 cup each chicken broth and ketchup; 1/4 cup each chipotles in adobo and creamy peanut butter; 5 cloves of garlic; and 2 Tbsp cocoa until smooth.

Sprinkle 1 tsp salt all over 1 boneless pork shoulder (about 3-4 lbs), quartered; place in slow-cooker.  Pour onion mixture over pork.  Cook 5 to 6 hours on High or 8 to 9 hours on Low until pork is tender but not falling apart.

Transfer pork to cutting board.  When pork is cool enough to handle, remove and discard all fat.  Pull pork into bite-size chunks.

Serve over curly egg noodles along with sauce.  Garnish with orange wedges and green onions.

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