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Video: Make braised pork 5 different ways

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    >>> monday. it's slow cooker monday. and making a delicious dinner for tonight that you can transform into four more meals for the rest of the week.

    >> we've got two words for you, braised pork. here's three more, weeknight meals, here to share easy recipes. pork shoulder and slow cooker were made for each other.

    >> this is true. first of all, slow cooker should not be left just for the wintertime. you can make dishes throughout the summer and throughout the whole year. we're going to go into different seasons and different nationalities.

    >> nice.

    >> well --

    >> mix it up so much. let's start with our cuban style braised pork. do you want to help and dump these things in here? orange rind.

    >> lots of garlic.

    >> love that.

    >> this is orange, and we have oregano and cumin.

    >> tell us about the cut.

    >> okay. this is pork shoulder. the reason, i'm sorry, al. this is a tough cut and it really does very well. that's good. not that. that's good. i'm going to quick rub this on.

    >> and you need it for the slow cooking process?

    >> you need a tough cut and a fair amount of fat because it keeps it moist and wonderful.

    >> one side?

    >> on this side and put a little bit more because i don't want to wear it when i put it in. i'll wear it anyway. i'm garnishing myself not you. and what makes this cuban is the citrus, oregano and a seasoning you can find these days --

    >> everywhere.

    >> you know what i'm talking about. let me hose down a little bit. and now we're going to add -- when i said citrus, orange juice and lime. you could use bitter orange if you can find it.

    >> is there a cooking oil in there?

    >> you don't need it. and that little amount of liquid with the pork. this is a whole meal. we've got carrots, potatoes and onions.

    >> i love these one dish things.

    >> how much liquid it produces is about 4 cups. you put the slow cooker on low for about ten hours.

    >> beautiful.

    >> but i want to point out something. a slow cooker is about the wattage, 75 watt bulb. if you're worried about leaving it on, don't worry.

    >> could you leave them in -- put them in later?

    >> no, take them out and crisp them on top in a nonstick pan. that's night one. night two is a pork -- asian pork salad. a lot of vegetables. what makes kids -- you see this orange? it's a carrot ginger dressing, like you get in a japanese restaurant . and kids love that. and al, you want to crumble up some ramen noodles .

    >> very nice.

    >> that's night two. we went asian. night three, we're going mexican. this is pizole from mexico.

    >> what is it?

    >> it's a pork stew. corn that's been treated, it loses -- isn't that yummy? anyway, it puffs up, it's yummy, what you turn into grits. and what's fun about this, everybody gets their own bowl of soup for supper. this is all leftover, you could add some of that to it ask garnish your own plate. now we're heading to italy.

    >> okay.

    >> here we've got ravioli. my secret is wanton wrappers. find them in the frozen food section or dairy section. you can fill them with anything you want. boom, very easy with the marinara sauce .

    >> are those wheat or rice --

    >> do you have a gluten person?

    >> yeah.

    >> you could use rice wrappers.

    >> and we're in the mediterranean and we've got pita that's been crisped up and topped with humus. there you go.

    >> five days.

    >> and around the world!

    >> thank you so much. recipes on the website. we're back in a moment. first is "today" on nbc.

    >> oh, they're playing your song. playing your song.

    >> hi, everybody.

    >> kathie lee and hoda are next and they're in flesh tones.

    >> nude.

    >> oh, nude. it's working.

    >> if you like magic mike and "true blood," you're going

TODAY recipes
updated 3/24/2014 7:39:01 AM ET 2014-03-24T11:39:01

Recipe: Braised pork shoulder

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon adobo-style seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • One 7-pound boneless skinless pork shoulder roast, with a 1/4 inch fat layer left on
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 pound small boiling potatoes
  • 3/4 pound baby carrots.
Preparation

Combine 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, the garlic, salt, oregano, adobo-style seasoning, orange zest and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the pork and set it in a large slow cooker.

Pour the orange juice, remaining lime juice and vinegar over the pork and scatter the onion, potatoes and carrots, around and on top of it.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 12 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Slice the pork and serve each portion with some of the vegetables and a spoonful of the juices from the pot. Reserve the rest of the pork and cooking juices for the remaining meals.

Recipe: Asian pork salad

Ingredients
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • one 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 medium scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts kept separate
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce or to taste
  • 6 cups shredded cabbage (preferably Napa)
  • 2 cups shredded pork from Cuban Style Braised Pork Shoulder
  • 1/4 pound cooked sugar snap peas, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 package ramen noodles, crumbled (seasoning packet discarded or saved for another use)
Preparation

Combine the carrots, ginger, white parts of the scallions with the oil, 1/4 cup water, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and hot sauce in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

In a bowl, toss the cabbage, pork, peas, red bell pepper and scallion greens with the dressing. Divide the salad among 4 plates and top each portion with one fourth of the noodles.

Serving Size

4

Recipe: Pork posole

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup bottled green or red salsa
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded pork from Braised Cuban Style Pork
  • Two 15-ounce cans white hominy, rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Accompaniments: tortilla chips, shredded sharp cheddar, chopped cilantro, lime wedges
Preparation

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the salsa and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the pork and hominy and simmer until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, ladle into bowls and let everyone garnish their own portion.

Serving Size

4-6

Recipe: Pork ravioli with marinara sauce

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pork from Cuban Style Braised Pork Shoulder
  • 1/2 cup reserved broth from Cuban Style Braised Pork Shoulder
  • 1/2 ounce fresh grated parmesan cheese plus extra for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 48 round wonton wrappers
  • 2 1/2 cups store bought marinara sauce
  • shredded fresh basil for garnish
Preparation

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the pork and the broth and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside to let cool slightly.

Working with a few wonton wrappers at a time, keeping the others covered with plastic wrap, moisten the edges with water using either your finger or a pastry brush. Mound 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of a wonton and press another wrapper on top. Press out the air and press the edges together tightly to seal. Transfer to a flour-dusted sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers and filling. You should end up with 24 filled ravioli.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Heat the marinara sauce in a saucepan while you cook the ravioli. Add the ravioli to the simmering water and cook just until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well, and divide among 4 pasta bowls. Spoon some of the tomato sauce on top of each portion and top with some of the cheese and basil.

Serving Size

4

Recipe: Shredded pork and tahini pita pizzas

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing the pitas
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped plum tomatoes, with the juice and seeds
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, plus 1 cut clove
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 cups shredded pork reserved from Cuban Style Braised Pork Shoulder
  • 1/4 cup reserved broth from Cuban Style Braised Pork Shoulder
  • 1 cup plain hummus
  • four 6-inch pitas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded romaine
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/3 cup)
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a hefty pinch of salt to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and hot pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the pork and broth to the pan and cook, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, arrange the pitas in one layer on a sheet pan, brush them lightly with oil and bake them on the middle shelf of the oven for 4 minutes or until crispy.

Transfer one pita to each of four plates. Rub the surface of each one with the garlic clove and sprinkle it lightly with salt. Top each pita with one fourth of the hummus, one fourth of the pork mixture, one fourth of the romaine and the feta. Note: the pizzas break apart easily because the pita base is so crispy. They can either be eaten out of hand or with a knife or fork.

Serving Size

4

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