Slow-Cooker Coconut Braised Pork

When a pork shoulder is left to simmer low and slow all day long, the results are magical. I love this recipe because of its bold flavor and short ingredient list. Prep everything in the morning (or even the night before), turn on the slow cooker when you leave, and walk home to instant dinner.

Recipe courtesy Patrick Decker
TOTAL TIME: 6 hr 25 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 6 hr 15 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 6 serving
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups coconut water
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 5 to 6 scallions, coarsely chopped
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Directions

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with the oil. Working in batches, sear off the meat, browning well on all sides, about 15 minutes total.

Transfer the meat to the crock of a slow cooker and add the fish sauce and enough coconut water to cover the meat by about two-thirds (NOTE: This dish can be prepared up to this point and then stored in the refrigerator overnight to be cooked the next day).

Turn on the slow cooker and simmer the meat until fork tender, about 6 hours on high heat or 8 hours on low heat. Serve warm with a few spoonfuls of the braising liquid and a hearty garnish of cilantro and scallion.

This dish is incredibly satisfying but very rich. Temper its heartiness and make it into a complete meal with a side serving of steamed white rice.

Don't cut corners on browning the meat off - if anything, let it sear a bit longer than you think you should. It's a critical cornerstone to keeping the flavor of this dish from washing out in the slow cooker.

Notes

NOTE: If you don't own a slow cooker, you can still prepare this dish on the stovetop. Simply sear off the meat in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, add the liquids to the pot and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the meat is fork tender, about 2 hours.

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Newest Ratings and Reviews

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  • on February 07, 2014

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    I was not expecting 2 simple ingredients to result in such a fabulous flavor. I followed the recipe exactly, however after browning the meat I deglazed the pan with a bit of the coconut water and added to the pot. Tossed the rice with the cilantro and a tad of butter. Strained the cooking liquid to use as gravy. Absolutely delicious!! Very easy. I would make this for company with a simple salad any time. Fussy family loved it.

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  • on February 27, 2013

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    This is a very tasty dish! The fish sauce and coconut water give it a nice flavor! I've made this twice already and my family loves it! :

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  • on February 24, 2013

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    I was a little skeptical at first when I noticed how little went in to the slow cooker. I added a splash of soy sauce to the pot when I put the pork in the slow cooker, but this turned out pretty well. I had a small dinner party where I was serving this and a few other things and it was a big hit! The pork melted in your mouth and had a lot of flavor. Definitely something I would recommend if you have the time to do it right.

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