Slow Cooker Jerk Pork in Pineapple Rice Bowls.
Just a leeeettle more pineapple.
I can’t help it!
One of the reasons I’m so nuts over pineapple is because of how it can be used in savory dishes. It’s no secret that I’m a wild fruit lover – I always choose fruit over vegetables. ALWAYS and forever, Luther Vandross style. But many of them rarely work in savory dishes for me. You’re certainly not going to find strawberry kiwi chicken over here, even if I have trashed up the most trashed up of all the dishes.
One thing: don’t flip your lid over the ingredient list.
It’s long. It’s long because we are making our own jerk seasoning blend. You probably have most of the spices on hand if you frequent your kitchen daily. If you don’t, I know that spices cost an arm and a leg (seriously whyyyy), so you can also buy a premade fancy jerk seasoning and go from there. I want it to be fun for you! And me.
These jerk spices though?
We are so in love.
I was on the fence. Well, no, wait. I was not on the fence. I knew what the jerk spice blend included, I was looking forward to it. But I was fearful of what Eddie would think, so I purposely kept the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg a big old secret from him.
I was just all “hey… there’s some pork in the slow cooker downstairs…”
Was super curious to see where that led him.
Long time readers will know that this is basically how I have to serve him 76% of the meals in our life but WHO CARES. It works. He ends up loving things that he assumed he hated. I win.
And winning is what marriage is all about, duh.
(see also: never take romance advice from me, ever.)
He got home late that night so I watched as he sat at the bar and took bite after bite (NOT served in a pineapple, FYI), sort of waiting for him to ask what the heck was in it. But luckily, instead he was all “wow this pork is amazing!”
Scratch that. He didn’t say amazing. In fact, Eddie gets extremely worked up at my way-too-often use of the word amazing. He tells me countless times per month that I say everything is amazing and that, no, everything is not amazing.
But guess what!
To me, SO MANY THINGS are amazing.
Gift me a thesaurus please.
It IS so delicious though, and when you find yourself with enough pork to feed a family of six and you are a family of three, you can do all sorts of things like make jerk tacos, jerk nachos and jerk quesadillas.
Plus, brown jasmine rice, piled high in pineapple (and cooked in some juice) – makes for the prettiest presentation even if it does scream “I’m eating a pinterest dinner!”
Can we still be friends even though I’m half expecting you to eat your dinner on a Monday night out of a pineapple bowl? While it’s snowing outside?
It’s practically akin to eating your smoothie bowl breakfast everyday that’s super imstagrammable.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 to 5 pound pork shoulder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon minced onion
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups brown jasmine rice
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pineapple chunks, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- pinch of salt and pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium- high heat and add the vegetable oil. Season the pork all over with the salt and pepper, then add it to the skillet and sear on all sides, until deeply golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork with kitchen tongs and transfer it to the slow cooker. Pour the pineapple juice over top.
Stir together garlic powder, sugar, onion, thyme, parsley, cayenne, allspice, paprika, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. Sprinkle it over the pork in the slow cooker and toss well. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
After 8 to 10 hours, the pork should easily fall apart. There will be a lot of liquid in the slow cooker. You can discard some (I use a ladle) but you can also do what I do: shred the pork, remove the slow cooker lid, turn it on high and cook for 30 minutes or so, tossing often. I find that a lot of the pork soaks of the liquid and the rest sort evaporates. You can always discard some of the liquid if you need to.
To serve, top the rice with the shredded pork and pineapple salsa. To serve in a pineapple bowl, carefully slice the pineapple in half lengthwise. Remove the fruit (I did so using a paring knife and grapefruit spoon, then used it for the salsa) and place the rice and pork inside. Easy peasy.
Note: be sure to double check the cook time and liquid ratio on the rice you buy. If it’s quick cooking, you might need less time and/or liquid.
Bring the rice, juice, milk and water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the salt and butter. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all liquid is absorbed, 35 to 45 minutes.
quick pineapple salsa
Stir together the pineapple, onion and cilantro. Season with the salt and pepper and squirt in the lime juice – stir well. Serve immediately or keep sealed in a container in the fridge for 1 to 2 todays.
pineapple optional, obvs.