Hello. My name is Tim. I have never used a crock pot.

Okay. Not entirely true. I’ve used them at work to keep things warm, but I’ve never really cooked in one.

Folks swear by them and use them all the time. I’ve just never had the desire to. I’ll braise in the oven or simmer atop the stove, but the whole concept of counter-top cooking has eluded me. I get the concept, but I’ve just really never had the need. But times change and I’m looking for getting some quicker meals on the table, so I finally decided to try it.

After my first attempt, the jury is still out…

Since we just got some great new spices, I decided to do some pork chops with lots of vegetables with the intention of shredding the pork and serving everything over rice. I did my Google-search for crock pot recipes and didn’t find a recipe, but I did find some tips. Armed with a little knowledge, I went to work.

Into the crock went a clean-out-the-refrigerator assortment of carrots, celery, fennel, cauliflower, canned diced tomatoes, flour, the spices, and the pork chops on top. Set on low for 8 hours.

Here it is as I turned it on.


Hour five and I was starting to get worried. This sucker hasn’t cooked very much. But… I let it keep going. I’m new at this…


Here it is at the eight-hour mark. Cooked, yes. Tender and easily shreddable, it’s not.


I pulled it all apart, anyway, and mixed everything together.


The end result tasted really good – the Urumqi Lamb Rub had great flavor – but the actual dish left a bit to be desired.

First off, it’s swimming in juice – not gravy. It was definitely more soup-like. I had thought that adding the flour would help thicken it. It didn’t. I did think about pouring it all into a pot and thickening it up a bit, but that would pretty much defeat the concept of one-pot cooking.

So… the first attempt wasn’t a complete success – but it wasn’t a complete failure, either. I’ll need to do a bit more research on this and give it another try.

The really successful part of the meal was the Pane Pugliese. It’s one of my favorite breads to make and it always comes out perfect!


Off to find more recipe ideas…