I recently bought a new slow cooker and I'm really loving it. It's especially great for slow-braising a dish like this: shredded pork in a tomato-based sauce. --- You could also cook the pork in a low oven - about 275 degrees F.
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless pork loin
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. olive or canola oil
1 celery rib, minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. crushed chile flakes
1/2 cup red wine
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
3-4 basil leaves
Generously salt and pepper the pork.
On the stove in a large skillet, saute the pork in the oil until browned on all sides over medium-high heat.
Remove the pork and place it into your slow cooker.
Turn the heat on the stove down to medium and saute the onion, garlic, celery, fennel seeds and chile flakes until softened, 4-5 minutes.
Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Scrape up the tasty bits in the bottom of the pan and reduce the wine by about one-half, 2-3 minutes.
Pour the mixture in the skillet over the pork in the slow cooker.
Add the crushed or pureed tomatoes and basil to the slow cooker to cover the pork.
Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours, or until the pork is very tender.
Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Using a couple of forks, shred the meat.
Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker and give it a good stir. Set the cooker to warm until ready to serve.
Serve the shredded pork and sauce on pasta, rice, polenta, etc. with grated parmesan cheese (optional).
I found that a bottle of Ruffino Modus 2011 from Tuscany was a good match for the Italian-style braised pork.
Photos by Ted Scheffler