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Have you ever had something cooking in your house that smelled so good, your mouth was just watering in anticipation of eating the fabulous meal you were preparing? That’s what happened yesterday for me.

My sweet friend, JoAnne, was coming for dinner. I was looking forward to seeing her and enjoying a meal together with her and my husband, Dennis. JoAnne’s husband, Jack, was away in Alaska on a fishing trip. JoAnne’s son, Christian, was busy last night and my daughter, Kylie, was busy as well.

When I returned from my walk yesterday morning, I was about to put my slow cooker back in the place I store it when it hit me that maybe it would be a good idea to use it to make my pork roast. It turned out to be a fabulous idea because my house smelled so good all afternoon.

I sliced small slits all over the top of my pork roast and stuffed pieces of fresh garlic into the slits before sprinkling the top and bottom of the roast with kosher salt and pepper.

I browned all sides of my pork (4 minutes per side) on the cooktop in one tablespoon of olive oil and then set it aside on a plate while I made my topping that I wanted to flavor my pork.

To make the mustard mixture for the topping, I mixed together dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, grated parmesan, Herbs de Provence, the zest and juice of one lemon and red pepper flakes.

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I spread this mixture over the top of my pork and added a 4-ounce package of pancetta to the top.

I sliced two fennel bulbs and a sweet, yellow onion, and peeled 8 cloves of garlic (which I halved) and laid this in the bottom of my slow cooker as a bed for my pork roast. I also poured 1/2 cup of sparkling Italian Mineral Water into the bottom of my slow cooker. Sometimes I add wine to the bottom of my slow cooker, or chicken stock, but thought I’d try something new (and it worked!).

I set my slow cooker to high for 4 hours. My house smelled so good while this was cooking. The smell was incredible. I was hungry for dinner all afternoon. I’m glad I decided to cook my roast in the slow cooker yesterday for just that reason.

I served my pork over the cooked fennel and onion with a side of hericots verts that I sautéd in olive oil, butter, kosher salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and the juice of half a lemon. (Hericots verts is a younger and skinnier green bean.) JoAnne made a lovely salad with strawberries, cucumber and candied pecans with a wonderful dressing she prepared. JoAnne makes the best salad dressings, she’s definitely an expert in that department!! We also had a crusty olive bread to round out our meal. It was fantastic! It was the perfect summer evening for ice cream cones, which JoAnne brought for us all. She brought three types of ice cream. I have to say, the lemon was my favorite, it was so refreshing!

Ingredients

  • 1 pork roast (I used a 2 pound roast)
  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 2 bulbs fennel, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 12 cloves garlic, total (4 sliced, 8 cut in half)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Italian Sparkling Mineral Water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Pat pork dry with a paper towel.
  2. Slice small slits on top of pork. Place pieces of garlic into slits.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of pork with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat olive oil in pan on stove.
  5. Brown both sides of roast, 4 minutes per side. Set aside on plate.
  6. In large measuring cup, mix together mustard, balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, Herbs de Provence, lemon zest and juice and red pepper flakes.
  7. Spread over pork.
  8. Top with pancetta.
  9. Lay over bed of fennel, onion and halved garlic cloves in slow cooker.
  10. Set on high for 4 hours.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris