This recipe very handily fed almost a dozen people at a recent weekend get-together; there were even leftovers. It's also a very easy and delicious recipe with terrific flavor. And yet it takes less than half an hour to put it all together. Perfect menu for company!
Slow-Cooked Pork Wraps: Watch the Video
This recipe is basically a riff on Elizabeth's slow-cooked pork shoulder. Pork shoulder, also known as pork butt, is a relatively fatty and inexpensive cut of meat that is excellent for slow cooking and braises. If we're going to eat a meal heavy in meat, this is usually the cut we choose. Even organic or well-raised pork is cheap when you buy this particular cut, and you really can't mess it up.
You can find versions of this recipe all over the internet; I was introduced to it by a friend, and I made a few slight modifications. This feeds a lot, obviously, but it's still a good recipe for a smaller dinner, too. Just cut it in half, or freeze some of the pork in individual portions for later meals. It refrigerates and freezes very well.
When you have a crowd to feed or want some leftovers to stash in the freezer, this pork recipe is it! Since there's no browning of the meat first and it's mainly flavored by bottled hoisin sauce, getting it into the slow cooker is a breeze and the results are juicy, savory, and super-versatile. Stuff it into tortillas with the slaw, or just serve it over steamed rice — you can't go wrong! Kids and adults I served this to thought it was a home run.
- Christine, September 2017
Slow-Cooked Hoisin and Ginger Pork Wraps with Peanut Slaw
For the pork:
4 pounds bone-in or boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of thick surface fat
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped peeled fresh ginger (from a 5-inch piece)
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
12 to 15 ounces hoisin sauce
For the slaw:
1 small head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), outer leaves removed
1 1/2 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts, plus more for garnish
1 medium bunch scallions, green and white parts finely chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup light vegetable oil, such as canola
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce, plus more as needed
Spicy chili-garlic sauce, such as sambal oelek
Make the pork: Season the pork shoulder all over with the salt and pepper. Place it in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker, cutting it into pieces to fit if needed. Sprinkle with the ginger and garlic, then pour the hoisin sauce over everything. Cover and cook on the LOW setting until the pork is fork tender, 8 to 10 hours. Use 2 large forks to shred the meat and mix it with the sauce.
Make the slaw: When ready to serve, core and then cut the cabbage into very fine shreds. The fineness of the shredded cabbage is really what makes this salad; you want it in in threads, almost, and with the threads chopped into bite-sized lengths. Place in a large bowl. Add the peanuts, scallions, and cilantro; season very lightly with salt and pepper; and toss to combine.
Place the oil, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and tamari or soy sauce in a medium bowl and whisk until emulsified. Taste and adjust to your own preferences of sweetness and saltiness with more sugar or soy sauce as needed. Add to the cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Garnish with a few more peanuts if desired.
To serve: Stack a few tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp towel, and microwave in 30-second bursts until warmed through, repeating until all the tortillas are warmed through (keep covered with the towel).
To assemble, fill the tortillas with the shredded pork, top with the slaw and chile-garlic sauce, and eat like tacos or wrap up like a burrito.
- Make ahead: The pork can be assembled in the slow cooker and refrigerated uncooked overnight.
- Storage: Leftover hoisin pork can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Leftover slaw can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- Hoisin sauce: Hoisin sauce is a rather sweet and lightly spicy barbecue sauce used in Chinese cooking (look for ones labeled gluten-free if you are keeping the dish gluten-free). If you don't want to use a processed product from the store, try making your own! Here is a recipe for basic hoisin sauce that calls for soy sauce, honey, hot sauce, and other common ingredients.