I chose this Shanghai-styled pork recipe from “Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever With More than 400 Easy-to-Make Recipes” because I thought it sounded very tasty and was outside what I’d normally prepare. When I made the first batch of marinade, however, it smelled more like what happens when you drink too much than something you want to eat for dinner. I threw out the mixture and moved on to the next big thing, but as I looked through the cookbook, I noticed that all of the other marinades were made from the same basic ingredients. Maybe Shanghai Pork deserved a second chance.
Determined, I re-made the marinade and opted not to follow my nose. Because you surely are wondering, here are the ingredients: soy sauce, rice wine, ketchup, five-spice powder, garlic and light brown sugar.
I let the pork bathe in the marinade for 24 hours before placing it in Katie’s Cuisinart slow cooker. (Mine was too small for this hunk of meat. Remember that when you’re buying a Crock-Pot!) The more it cooked, the better it smelled and I was so glad I gave it another chance.
After eight hours, I removed the meat, added corn starch to thicken the sauce and then shredded the pork to bits. I tossed the pork back in the slow cooker for another half hour, picking at its juicy pieces along the way.
We followed author Dianne Phillips’ suggestion for serving the pork on flour tortillas with cucumbers, green onions and Hoisin sauce. It was a little too sweet, but otherwise a perfect ending to a long Sunday. This cookbook has been filled with disappointments, but this one was definitely not one of them.
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1 cup soy sauce
1 cup rice wine (mirin) or dry sherry
1/2 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
One 3 or 4 pound boneless pork shoulder, tied with kitchen string
2 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water
Combine the soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, ketchup, five-spice powder, garlic and ginger in a large zipper-top plastic bag. Add the pork to the bag, seal and turn to coat the meat with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
Pour the meat and marinade into the insert of a 5-to-7 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, until the meat is tender. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Shred the meat using two forks. Skim off the fat from the sauce and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Return the meat to the sauce, cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.
Serve the pork from the slow cooker set on warm.
Phillips suggests serving this with flour tortillas, hoisin sauce, green onions and cucumber slices.