#SlowCookerMeals: Apple Cider Pork Roast with Smoked Bacon
October. It always seems to be one of the busiest months of the year to me, perhaps it’s that way for you too. Abundant choices among harvest days, and festivals, farmers markets bursting with the year’s broadest selection, last chance displays from summers harvest, to the changing root crops of the cooler season ahead. The ‘Pick Your Own’ takes us from memories of peaches to crisp, ripe apples, this year producing a seeming bumper crop out at the orchards.
October, for me also marks the sports season followed by the shared table of tailgating, meals that along with the changing color of leaves transpire the seasons from bright colored salads, to a small wood shed off the pitch equipped with power plugs for Slow Cookers later lining long tables with a broad variety of hearty foods for filling a crowd.
My youngest daughter, Alex the athlete, has now graduated, (and now is delighted to play in a recreational Baltimore soccer league.) For me, this marks the first collegiate season I am no longer required to travel, attend, and prepare mass amounts of food twice weekly during the field hockey season.
Of course, this then begged the question from friends when declining some fall event invitations if I really ‘had’ to attend the team party in town, or the local game and tailgate, or why we were driving all the way back down to DC for a game the following weekend.
Well, maybe it is, or maybe it isn’t a feeling most teams share after experiencing the intensity of Division 1 team athletics together over a full four years, the agony and the ecstasy, it’s hard to explain, but it’s much like coming together as a family, the family coming back to the table together both in support of the team, and in sharing the meal together.
On the fall food segment sharing foods among the market seasons bounty with friends and family or Tailgate meals with the team family, I wish I had been sent today’s Post feature review the: Hamilton Beach Set n’ Forget 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker four years ago. I hadn’t. However, I was recently sent this Slow Cooker for review. And after using it three times now I still wish I had this appliance four years ago but I sure am glad I have it now. One reason: Apple Cider Pork Roast with Smoked Bacon. Now if you scroll up you will notice sliced pork on a serving platter, not Pulled Pork, or Pork Chunks, Sliced Pork.
If you are like me, you may prefer cooking in your enameled cast iron pot, and in this way you can control the desired texture of your food. The Hamilton Beach Set n’ Forget Slow Cooker that comes with a probe enables you to prepare your roasts to the desired temperature, and texture, such as this perfectly cooked roast pork.
I’ve also experimented with a roast beef, same results, perfectly cooked. Using the probe and setting the temperature enables you to prepare your food while leaving you free time in the interim like celebrating the Oktoberfest attending harvest days and festivals, shopping at the farmers market, or picking from a bumper crop of crisp, ripe apples out at the orchard. While you are gone, once your meat is cooked, this slow cooker feature automatically clicks to warm.
Finally, the colorful root vegetables each fall inspire my annual preparation of a sort of combined spiced African/Moroccan style stew. Sharing it at the tailgate meant warming it in my other style slow cooker where I worried the entire time about the vegetables becoming too soft, I simply could not control the temperature correctly. Now, using the Set n’ Forget, after sauteing a base of sliced onions, garlic, and ginger in a saute pan then cooking in the spices, I simply tumble my prepped colorful medley of vegetables into the Slow Cooker, stir through the spice mixture, add in a bit of chicken stock and coconut milk, and cook the whole meal on the Program Mode (as opposed to the Probe mode) where in this feature you simply set your desired length of cooking time, thus enabling a ‘just right’ cooked, spiced vegetable stew.
Making recommendations and sharing new products is a serious business mainly if folks such as you are using their time and hard earned money to purchase not only a new product, but the food in its later preparation. In my review of the Hamilton Beach Set n’ Forget Slow Cooker, I rank this appliance very high, and am confident in its recommendation for purchase for any home or entertaining use. I would also recommend it for any parent with a four year or otherwise Tailgate trail ahead.
Additional features I value with the product include, the ease of use, directions that are very simple and clear, the side clips are snug on the glass top which is particularly helpful for travel and preventing spills, and the carrying handles, as advertised, are very sturdy. It comes with a spoon which was neither here nor there for me as my main interest was in the function, but you might like it. The product is attractive on a counter or in any buffet setting.
Finally, should this be your next appliance purchase, be sure and try the Apple Cider Pork Roast with Smoked Bacon, 160 F degrees, an easy four hours away from perfection, especially on those busily filled fall October days.