When the goal is warm and cozy--when I'm looking for a meal that will make me feel totally satisfied- I usually reach for the slow cooker. Cooking meats low and slow makes them fall-apart delicious, with flavors that are unachievable on the fly. The fact that the slow cooker does all of this magic while I'm out doing other things? Well, that's like winning the lottery (actually, winning the lottery is getting home and opening the lid, and serving that first bowl).
When I'm looking for warm and cozy, I also almost always reach for Mexican food. Why is Mexican such a default comfort food for so many? Whatever the reason is, rich, spicy, fresh flavors hit the spot. Every time. This past weekend, we hiked to the top of Green Mountain and watched the sunset. We had to race the sun to the top, and on the way down, with heavy legs and sore feet, the thought of dinner in the slow cooker (rich, spicy, steaming hot) and mugs of fragrant mulled wine, kept us going strong.
This is the kind of meal you look forward to all day long. It's the kind of leftovers that don't live long, and the kind of dinner that warms your toes, even after hours in the cold!
Serves: 3-4 | Total Time:
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 white onion
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 2 chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce (found in a can in the ethnic aisle of most grocers)
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 whole cloves, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 16-oz cans tomatoes
- 5 black peppercorns, or 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 3 anise seeds, or 1/8 teaspoon ground anise
- Heat the coconut oil in a skillet. Slice the onion, and add them to the pan to brown them.
- Add the pork to the pan, browning each side.
- While the pork browns, make the sauce: add the remaining ingredients to a high-speed blender (if you do not own a high-speed blender, simply grind the spices in a spice grinderor buy ground spice, and then blend into the sauce). Blend sauce until smooth.
- Place pork and onions in slow cooker. Pour mole sauce over the pork. Put lid on slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours on low, until the pork falls apart when pulled with a fork.
- Serve warm, topped with fresh cilantro, avocado, or a side salad.