Welcome Spring! (And Pork Season!)


Even though it was only like 58 degrees in New York this weekend, it’s still the closest thing we’ve seen to spring yet this year, which means most of us did a classic warm-weather overreact, heading outside for picnicking, playing, outdoor drinking etc…before realizing that it really isn’t THAT warm yet. For me, warm-ish weather got me thinking about summer cooking, which in my house means BBQ. And since I was pretty much legally required to go out and enjoy the weather, I needed something I could basically set and forget.

I decided to make slow-cooker pulled pork from my Smithfield rosemary and olive oil marinated pork sirloin, but instead of loading it up with a heavy, wintry sauce, I relied on only a fresh tomatoes and onions to bring the flavor here. I started with a layer of onions at the bottom of the slow cooker, placed the pork on top, and sliced tomatoes above it all, so that when the veggies broke down over the course of a few hours, they developed into a fresh (but still quite porky) sauce.

Of course, there’s not much at the farmers market yet to herald spring, so aside from the aseasonal tomatoes I snagged at Trader Joe’s, I had to make do mostly with winter vegetables. However, I took it as my last chance of the season to play around with turnips – IMO one of the most underrated veggies of all. But I didn’t want the turnips to break down into mushy stew, so I added them close to the end of the cooking time, just long enough to soak up all that porky goodness. I served it all with a slice of Serious Eats’ cast-iron cornbread recipe.

Yellow Tomato Pulled Pork with Cornbread and Pork-y Turnips

1 Smithfield Rosemary and Olive Oil Marinated Pork Sirloin
1/2 large white onion
10 small yellow heirloom tomatoes
2 purple-top turnips

in the pot

– Turn on the slow cooker and place in one tablespoon of butter, allow this to melt.
– Slice the onion into thin strands and layer this across the bottom of the slow cooker.
– Add the pork on top of the onions – be sure to get all the marinate in for extra liquid.
– Slice the tomato into thin circles and add this on top of and around the pork.
– Put the top on the slow cooker and let sit for five hours.
– Peel and cut the turnips into inch-thick pieces. Add these to the slow cooker, place around the pork. Move the tomatoes/onions around so that each piece of turnip is in some juicy goodness.
– Cook the whole thing for another 90 minutes.
– Remove the turnips and shred the pork with a fork. It should fall apart easily by this point.

Now, there’s enough flavor from the marinade and the tomatoes that you’ve got a nice, not-too-saucy pulled pork ready to go. However, you can also add whatever flavors you like at this point: Tabasco, Sriracha, vinegar, tomato sauce, or my favorite: pickle juice. It adds a fun, tangy surprise to pulled pork.

I plated it over cornbread, with a few drops of BBQ sauce just to make it more like summer.

This sponsored post is part of Endless Simmer’s 2015 series as a Blogger Ambassador for Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork.

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