This recipe is another result of trying to branch out more often with different spices. And I’ve been having so much fun creating new recipes with a twist. (I’ll be sure and list some of the recipes I’ve been doing below.)
Often the beginnings of a recipe come from necessity, meaning I have something in the fridge or freezer I want to make use of. In this case, I had a large pork roast in the freezer I wanted to use up to make room for more meal prep.
So instead of making another Slow Cooker Rosemary Pork Roast, (which is also fantastic) I decided to step outside my comfort zone again, and do something Chinese inspired. I put pen to paper, and started drafting flavor combinations I’ve known and loved in the past. Of course teriyaki always comes to mind, and you could do that with a pork roast similar to my Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken.
But in the name of doing something completely different, I decided to start with Chinese 5-spice seasoning. From there I had a vague memory of a stir fry that had both 5-spice and orange in it. I have no idea where I had that particular combination before, but it stuck with me, so I decided to go with it.
And from there I kept it simple adding in a touch of garlic and ginger, with some honey for a hint of sweetness. It turned out to be an instant hit with both of us, and one of the best parts about this recipe is how much it makes. You can either feed a crowd with it, or freeze it as part of meal prepping for future meals.
Since this recipe is really simple with only a few ingredients, it’s important they’re the best quality possible. Fresh orange juice and zest, along with freshly minced garlic and ginger make a huge difference. And I promise the small amount of chopping is more than rewarded in the final product.
Tip: To easily peel the skin on ginger root before chopping it, use a spoon to scrape the peel away. The poorer the quality of the spoon in this case, the better it works. I bought a set of 4 at Walmart for $2 and they’re really handy as kitchen tools. Super cheap silverware has a sharper edge, and it peels ginger much better.
Once you have all your ingredients prepped, add the pork roast to your slow cooker, and pour the ingredients in, starting with the 5-spice powder. That way it gets mixed in well as you pour the liquids over the top.
Then it cooks for hours while the smells permeating the house will drive you crazy! And finally when it’s fork tender, it’s time to shred it. You can either shred it right in the pot, but since it’s pork, I find it easier to take it out of the pot to make sure I get any unwanted connective pieces or bits of fat out.
Be careful while lifting it out of the hot liquid because it’s so tender, it’s going to fall apart. I pulled my pork roast out in 4 different pieces, and then let it cool on a cutting board before picking through and shredding it.
Extra recipe inspiration using fun spice mixes:
Since there’s just the two of us, I froze several packages we had leftover of the pulled pork. And I’ve been loving having freezer meals on hand again. So far I’ve made these pulled pork bowls, and the recipe for the Sesame Ginger Glazed Green Beans will be coming soon.
I’ve also made a soup using some of this pulled pork with my homemade stock I had in the freezer. Then to finish it off, I added in some rice ramen noodles and lots of chopped baby spinach. I made a giant batch of this soup, and we had the leftovers for lunches every day for a week. Even so, we didn’t even come close to getting tired of it.
The 5-spice gives this pork a hint of pho flavors, so obviously it’s addictive! I mean it’s addictive enough to make a batch of this pulled pork strictly because you want leftovers ready-to-go in the freezer.
- 1 - 6 pound pork shoulder roast
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup cup minced ginger
- ¼ cup coconut aminos, gluten free soy sauce, or tamari
- 2 Tablespoons honey, or maple syrup
- Zest and juice from 3 large oranges
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- Place the pork roast into a large 6-quart oval shaped slow cooker. Sprinkle the 5-spice powder evenly over the top.
- Then add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker. Secure the lid, and set the cooking time for 6-8 hours on high.
- This roast takes quiet a while since it's so large, but start checking on it after 5-6 hours. When the roast is fork tender, and falling apart, it's ready to be shredded.
- Carefully remove the roast from the hot juices in 3-4 separate pieces, and let it cool before shredding it. As you shred the pork, remove any connective tissue or excess pieces of fat. When the pork is fully shredded, place it back into the juices.
- Serve as much as you need immediately. With any leftovers you have, refrigerate until the pork is chilled or room temperature, then package it according the amount you will need per meal, and freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
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