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Char Who? January 29, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.
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Char siu, that’s who.  😆

Remember a few months ago when we did the Chinese BBQ on the grill?  Boy, that was good, wasn’t it?  And I could do it in the oven (or the broiler) if I wanted, and it would certainly still be good.  But I’m just not terribly comfortable with the whole broiling thing unless it’s a commercial broiler.  I’m just saying – we go with what we know.

So the other day my daily recipe feed from Cooking Light featured a Slow Cooker Char Siu Roast Pork.  Um. . . yeah, worth a try.  As I recall, the seasoning is essentially the same as the original Cook’s Illustrated recipe, though (more than likely) simplified.  And it uses Boston butt – which Weggies happens to have for 99¢ a pound.  So we have to buy a whole shoulder – big whoop.  Peeps just boned it, cut off a hunk for this roast, and he made sausage out of the rest.  😉

One of the things I love about this sort of crockpot recipe is that we can put it together on the weekend, let it marinate in a zip-top bag for a few days, and enjoy it later in the week.  Which is exactly what we did.  😀

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So here we go.  Into a gallon bag, measure the following:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (we always use low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (if you can’t get it for a buck at Big Lots, it should be easily available at pretty much any grocery store these days)
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons (or 4 cloves) minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder

Here’s a helpful hint for you.  Use an empty 39-oz. coffee can (the ones that used to be 3 pounds) to hold your gallon bag and just fold the top over the rim.  The can will hold the bag open, and you can measure and pour to your heart’s content.

Hey, we’re here to serve.  😉

Anyway, shove your marinade into the bag, and squish it up.

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Hey, are you up for another hint?  😕

Fresh ginger tends to mold quickly – and it’s a pain in the butt neck to have to run out for ginger whenever the mood strikes.  I pick up a couple of fairly sizable roots (though they’re really rhizomes) at a time and we process them all in the Cuisinart.   (We get ginger at the public market  – a pint basket for $1 – there’s no excuse not to keep it in the house!)  Then it goes into an ice cube tray and get frozen in 1-Tablespoon sized portions.  Once frozen, I pop them into a freezer bag and TA DA!  We have ginger whenever we need it.  While this recipe calls for “2 tsp.” of minced ginger, 1 Tablespoon is certainly close enough, as far as I’m concerned.  😉

And that’s it.

No it’s not.  Put your meat in there.  😳

A two-pound boneless pork shoulder.  Though, as it turned out, the one we used was closer to 3 pounds.  That’s OK.  Just throw a hunk of pork in to marinate, OK?  It’s gotta marinate for at least a couple of hours – we let it got for a couple of days. 😀

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When you go to cook it, just shove the whole works – roast and sauce – into the crockpot.  Erm, excuse me, slow cooker.  🙄

Cover and cook on LOW for about 8 hours.  Peeps started it at about 6-ish, and by the time I got home (4-ish – 8 hours later) it was certainly smelling done.  And a couple of hours later, it really, really was done.  🙂

After 8 hours, just pull the meat out of the crockpot (a slotted spoon  works best), cover and set aside.  Meanwhile, dump about 1/2 cup of (fat free, low-sodium) chicken broth into the crock and crank the heat up.  Let it cook for half an hour or so.  (The sauce is supposed to thicken, but I can’t say it really did.)  Meanwhile, shred the meat and, once the sauce is “thick” or “hot” or “whatever it’s going to do” stir the meat back into the sauce and serve with rice.  (We love basmati – brown basmati is especially nice.)  And broccoli is a nice, Asian-inspired touch, too, especially if you happen to have some just knocking around in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.  😉

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This was very, very tasty, if a little, well, fatty.  I think it was worth the trade-off, though – we could have used the much leaner pork loin, but it would have likely dried out, and that would not have been cool.  At all.

However, I might consider cooking this maybe the day before. so I could refrigerate it and chip the grease off the top – but that’s just me and my current War On Fat.  🙄

Of course, a little fat isn’t going to stop me from enjoying leftovers.  😉

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I’d also consider putting the sauce on the stovetop and letting it reduce a bit – as I said, it never did really thicken in the crockpot (raise your hand if you’re surprised).

Basically, the consensus is – we’d do this again.  Just be aware, though, that the original Cooking Light recipe states the nutritional information based on a 3-ounce serving.  That’s pretty small – I usually figure a serving to be closer to 5 or 6 ounces – nearly twice what’s assumed.  But you know what they say about assuming. . .   🙄

Mostly irrelevent, but funny just the same.  😀

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[…] And it’s, if nothing else, a place to start.  And we’ve played around with a couple of different versions of Chinese BBQ, and we’ve been very happy with them – and since the […]


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