Last week, we had a bunch of family over for dinner before my sous chef’s orchestra concert, and we needed a meal that could feed nine people. Originally, we were thinking of making a giant batch of pulled pork…but before I could get too far into the planning of that, my wife’s grandma asked what she could bring. I reflexively said, “YOUR EGGPLANT CASSEROLE!” I may not be the smartest man alive, but I am wise enough to know not to pass up a single chance at her eggplant specialty.
Anyway, knowing that we were going to feast on a tomato based eggplant dish, we started to reevaluate the flavours of our pork. Rather than going BBQ, we opted for an Italian flare to our pork and gave it a garlicky/herbal marinade. Then, we gave it the slow cooker treatment and used the drippings to make a gravy! Lastly, we rounded out the meal with some homemade bread and herb infused riced cauliflower (basically our Harvest Cauliflower Rice but cooked with basil, oregano, parsley, black pepper, and salt) and a side salad.
We even had some leftovers that my sister later used to make a BBQ Pizza (although hers looked much better than ours!).
Time: 7 Hours (Plus an overnight marination)
- For your Meat:
- Pork Shoulder
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- For your Gravy:
- Pork Drippings (with the fat skimmed off)
- Black Pepper
- Corn Starch + Warm Water (about a tablespoon of each)
- Combine your olive oil, oregano, parsley, basil, and black pepper in a small bowl. Then, grate in some fresh garlic with a microplane grater (garlic powder will work in a pinch).
- Set your pork in a large bowl, brush your mixture atop your pork, cover, and let sit in the fridge overnight.
- When you’re ready to cook, remove your pork, and place it into your slow cooker.
- Turn the heat to low, and cook for 6-7 hours. Baste occasionally, and remove fat from the slow cooker bowl as necessary (a lot will render as it cooks).
- When your meat is done cooking, remove it from the slow cooker, and place it on a cutting board.
- Slice and/or shred the meat with two forks based on how you want it on your plate.
- Turn your attention to your gravy.
- Skim the fat off your excess drippings liquid in the slow cooker (fat’s on top).
- Pour the leftover drippings (should be a deep amber colour) into a saucepan over low heat.
- Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper.
- Combine your corn starch and water. Stir to fully incorporate, and add to your saucepan.
- Pour in a little milk, and allow everything to simmer and thicken.
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!