Recipe: Slow-Cooked Pork Roast with White Wine and Sage

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Here's the thing about slow cooking - you can put meat into a slow cooker with almost nothing else and it will still turn out succulently moist. A little extra work may yield some extra complexity, a darkening in the flavor, but you can skip that and still have a great roast.

Either of the two methods offered in this recipe will give you a delicious pork roast with almost zero work, which is just what I like the week after Thanksgiving.

I had five members of my family visiting the first time I made this roast, and I was a little desperate. I took three minutes to throw it all in the slow cooker and left for the day. I was apprehensive about this, but we came home to the rich smell of pork falling to pieces in a broth of its own making. This is what I call cooking.

The second method is my attempt to doctor it up, and it's not necessarily better; it just adds a little more of a roasted, spicy flavor. Either way is good, and if you freeze the leftovers in one-serving portions, you can defrost them over the next month and stir-fry them with peppers, garlic and rice for a very quick weeknight supper.

A note about slow cooking: if you don't have a slow cooker, you can also make this in a Dutch oven or other heavy covered pot. Cook at 250ºF for about 4 hours.

Slow-Cooked Pork Roast
serves 8-10

3-4 pound pork roast
Kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
8 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon allspice berries (optional)
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Method 1
Rub the pork roast all over with salt and pepper. Bruise the sage leaves and mince or slice the garlic - anything quick - it doesn't need to be pretty. Put the roast, sage, garlic, and white wine in the slow cooker and cook for 10 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high.

Method 2
The day before, rub the meat lightly with kosher salt and black pepper. On the day you are going to cook the roast, fry the garlic until golden in a little olive oil, then remove from the pan. Heat the pan up very hot and brown the pork roast until it's very dark on all sides. It helps if you cut the pork into pieces first. Don't worry about the meat drying out - it will reabsorb all its moisture and more. Crack the allspice and fry it, along with the red pepper, with the pork just as it's finishing browning. Add everything to the slow cooker and cook for 10 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high.

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