Five-Spice Crockpot Pork Roast

The basis of this recipe came from something in the Boston Globe Mag a few weeks ago. I tweaked in two basic ways:

  1. I didn’t have any Chinese 5-spice powder so I improvised my own
  2. I did it in the crockpot because it was a weekday and I don’t have four hours to cook on Monday nights.

Five-Spice Pork Roast

For the rub:

  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 tsp salt

Everything else:

  • 1 4 lb pork roast
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 5 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup good lager beer
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup

Toast the spice seeds and then grind the spices together somehow (spice grinder, mortar & pestle). Rub all but a tablespoon of the spice blend all over the pork. You can wrap in plastic and let set overnight in the fridge if you like. The original recipe says to tie up the roast to keep it from falling apart, but mine didn’t and I wouldn’t have minded anyway.

Heat the oil in a skillet over med-high. Brown the pork on all sides and then place in the slow cooker crock. Turn heat down to medium, add the garlic to the pan and saute just until fragrant. Add the broth and beer to the pan and stir/scrape to get the yummy browned bits of fond. Pour all this into the slow cooker, set on low and go to your 9-5 job.

Back from work? Excellent. Preheat the oven to 450. Whisk together the soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and the rest of the spice mixture. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pull the roast out carefully (I use a big flat skimmer thing) and place it on the foil. Brush the ketchup glaze mixture over the top and pop in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, strain the drippings and skim off as much fat as you can. Mix in the remaining glaze and reduce in a saucepan about half-way.

Written on December 16, 2008