You can use a slow cooker to do one thing really well: cook hard vegetables such as potatoes. In this recipe, use a combination of white and sweet potatoes and let your audience pick the ones they like best.
Cooking a pork roast in slow, moist heat is the best way to keep the rather-dry meat at its best. The marinade, devised by Lisa Chamberlain for Taste of Home, will work with the potato flavors and turn out quite an unexpectedly elegant dinner on a work night.
PORK POT ROAST
From Taste of Home
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 boneless whole pork loin roast, 3-4 pounds
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1-1/2 pounds medium new potatoes, chunked
2 large sweet onions, cut into eighths
1/2 cup chicken broth
Combine the garlic, fennel, rosemary, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Rub the pork roast with this mixture, cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
The next morning, place the potatoes and onions in a 5-quart slow cooker. Top with the pork roast and pour the broth over all. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.
Uncover the cooker, transfer the roast to a platter and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
A light red wine and a side salad would complete this meal beautifully, and you can prepare the salad before you even have to deal with the slow cooker. Make the dressing beforehand and have it ready in the refrigerator, and there you are.