• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

30 October 2009

if at first you don't succeed?

And now, it's my pleasure to share... my first attempt at real, actual crockpot cooking.

I saw this recipe for Asian Peanut Butter Pork and I thought it sounded good. I really like Thai Peanut Sauce Curry, and that greasy peanut chicken that Chinese buffets often have, so I thought this'd be a pretty much guaranteed 'yum'. There were not too many ingredients, and they were all tasty ingredients.

On Thursday morning, I tossed everything in the pot and set the timer for 8 hours, set the crockpot to low, and then went to work.

Here's what it looked like at 7:45 AM.

Maiden Voyage (7:45 am)

And here's what it looked like at 6 PM.

plan B

Oh wait. Actually, that's what dinner looked like. Because the Asian Peanut Butter Pork looked like this.

6:00 PM (after)

It had cooked until 4 and then warmed until 6, when I got home. The house smelled awful, of burning peanut butter and onions. (Actually, the onions had carmelized in the soy-sauce/brown sugar concoction and were actually kinda good - I ate one.)

The recipe said that "the pork will be more tender the longer you cook it."

So. Dry.

...I could have used this piece of meat to pound in a fence post. Hard. As. A. Rock.

Only one member of the household was interested in eating this recipe.

Only one household member was interested in that meat.

Pink Hubs and I did sample one of the least nasty parts for flavor (to determine whether it was worth attempting again. We liked it alright (though I'd probably add a chopped pepper or something - it needs some pep - yeah, I said pep: I'm actually 80 years old). Now I just need to figure out what went wrong.

I triple-checked the ingredients - I'm 99% certain I added everything and in the right amounts. I even used measuring cups and spoons! (I usually just eyeball-measure.) The tenderloin was about 1.7 lbs, right in between the 1.5-2 lb range the recipe asks for. The crockpot is a 6-quart, and the recipe calls for a 4-6. I cooked it on LOW, not HIGH, so that wasn't the issue. The food cooked from about 8 until about four, then was on 'warm' mode until I got home. That's how it's supposed to work, right?

So anyway, the house still reeks like burnt peanut butter and onions, the crockpot dish is on its second soak (trying to soften the burnt-on sauce), and I am feeling less confident than ever that a crockpot really does save working families time while cooking. It took me longer to clean up this mess than it would have taken me to use the ingredients to cook an [edible] meal in the traditional way after I arrived home.

I'll get back on the horse, sure, but I'm not certain when.