Rush Hour

Busy people still like to eat home-cooked meals. But how do you manage to make something as seemingly time-consuming as stew during the week? Many people leave such dishes for weekends or holidays. I, however, make sure I sprinkle my weekday dinners with tasty dishes like this month's Pork Roast and Pears. How? I use my trusty crock pot.

Crock pots are appliances that allow you to slow cook items on relatively low heat for long periods of time without any hassle. Most crock pots have thick ceramic linings that help retain the heat that is produced during cooking. While you might normally cook a pot roast for about 2 hours, you'll probably let it cook for more than 7 hours in a crock pot. The nice part is that once you add your roast, some seasonings, and water, you cover it and leave it alone for most of the day. While this recipe technically takes all day to prepare, you will only be actively involved in about 40 minutes of it.

This month's recipe is especially nice because it requires little work and has a very short ingredient list. I use Bartlett pears in this particular stew. If you've got some pears that aren't quite ripe yet, don't worry. When you cook the pears, they tend to soften quite a bit.

Pork Roast and Pears

  • 1 lb. trimmed pork roast
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 medium-sized Bartlett pears, peeled
  • 1/2 c. chopped white onion
  • salt and pepper to taste

When you get up in the morning, place the trimmed roast, water, and pepper in your crock pot. Set the temperature on the low setting and cover. Cook the roast for at least 7 hours (I find that 9 hours works best with my crock pot).

Remove the roast from the crock pot and slice it into thin pieces. Place the pieces in a 9x13" glass baking dish. Cut the pears into 8-10 sections each and place the sections among the pieces of pork. Add the onion and sprinkle with seasonings.

Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove the pan and mix the contents thoroughly. Return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Serve with fluffy mashed potatoes and a nice fruit salad.

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation Time: 7-9 hours, plus 40 minutes