Award Winning Chinese Roast Pork Shoulder with Royal Sauce
Yes, this crockpot pork roast recipe won the championship in a Crock Pot Cook Off. It is very special to me because it was the first cooking contest that I had ever participated.
Total Time: 6 Hours 35 Minutes to 8 Hours 45 Minutes Prep Time: 3-5 Minutes Active Cook Time: 30-40 Minutes Inactive Cook Time: 6-8 Hours Serving: 6-8
A few weeks before the event, I was trying to brainstorm an idea of what I wanted to make. I considered of these:
I wanted to bring Chinese food because of my heritage. Hoisin sauce and soy sauce are Chinese ingredients that most people are familiar with.
Ingredients must be easy to find in the local supermarkets. Fresh ginger is difficult to find in all 5 chain stores in my area. So, ginger preserve or ginger powder would be a better alternative. But traditional Chinese royal sauce has a bit of sweetness. Ginger preserve is the winner here to fulfill the criteria of convenience and bringing sweetness into the sauce.
Ingredients must be commonly used in most households instead of using it once for a small quantity with a lot of leftover. Well, almost everyone has flour in his/her pantry, but not corn starch. So, I use flour as the thickener instead of corn starch.
Main ingredients must be affordable. I always love the Chinese short ribs with royal sauce. But short ribs could be very pricey. Pork shoulder (aka pork butt) is a very reasonable priced meat.
With all those thoughts in mind, that was how this crockpot pork roast recipe was created. I did cook it 2 weeks before the contest to make sure everything works out the way I expected.
There is a relatively thick layer of fat on a pork shoulder. Do NOT trim it until the meat is fully cooked. That layer of fat serves 2 purposes in this recipe:
It gives you enough juice to make that silky sauce
It keeps the meat moist and tender
So, when exactly will you trim the fat?
When the meat is tender and ready to serve, you will take the pork shoulder out of the crock pot and rest. Before carving the meat, slice the layer of fat off. That is the time you will trim and discard it.
Crockpot Pork Roast Recipe Ingredients and Instructions
4.5 lbs Pork Butt 1/2 tsp Salt 3 heaping tbsp Flour Salt and pepper to taste 2 Scallions (optional; cut about 2" long and slice it thinly lengthwise)
1 jar (8.5 oz) Hoisin Sauce 1/2 cup Ginger Preserve 1 tbsp Minced Garlic 1 tsp Light Soy Sauce 1/2 tsp Salt 1/4 tsp Black Pepper 2 cups Chicken Broth
Preheat a big deep skillet at high heat
Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of salt evenly on the meat
The meat goes skin side down on the hot skillet and brown for 3-5 minutes; repeat this step until all sides are brown (take about 20-30 minutes; depending on the shape of the meat)
While waiting, make Chinese royal sauce in a separate bowl
Transfer pork butt into a slow cooker (save the grease from the skillet. Will tell you how to use it below)
Pour royal sauce on top of pork shoulder
Cook meat at high heat for an hour until sauce starts bubbling; turn down to low heat and cook for 6-7 hours until meat is fork tender
Transfer meat to serving plate for resting
While waiting, transfer 2 cups of cooking liquid from the slow cooker to a medium sauce pan; bring sauce to a rolling boil on the stove top
Immediately add 3 tbsp of flour and aggressively whisk to combine all ingredients until mixture is well blended and smooth, keep stirring the roux for about a minute at medium heat
Transfer another 2 cups of cooking liquid from the slow cooker into the sauce pan to thin out the roux
Pour roux into slow cooker and whisk together with the rest of the cooking liquid until sauce is thick and well combined
Add salt and pepper to taste
Before carving the meat, use a pairing knife to trim the top layer of fat and discard
Carve meat and add 1 cup of sauce on top and serve the rest of the sauce separately along the meat
Garnish with scallion (optional) and serve this crockpot pork roast recipe with steamed white rice
Crockpot Pork Roast Recipe Steps with Photos
STEP 1: Brown meat on skillet
STEP 2: Make Chinese Royal Sauce
STEP 3: Transfer meat to slow cooker with royal sauce and cook for 6-8 hours
STEP 4: Until meat is fork tender
STEP 5: Let meat rest for 10 minutes before carving
STEP 6: Using cooking liquid to make roux
STEP 7: Stir roux into the rest of the cooking liquid to thicken the sauce
STEP 8: Trim fat before carving
STEP 9: Garnish with scallion (optional) and serve more sauce on the side
STEP 10: Enjoy with steamed white rice. (Don't forget to check out "How to Add a Magic Touch to the Rice" to make it even tastier)
Add A Magic Touch to the Rice
Nothing is better than serve this crockpot pork roast recipe with some steamed white rice.
Remember the grease we saved from browning the meat earlier? We are going to use it in the rice. It will give a perfect touch to this award winning recipe. I actually served it in this way during the contest. In fact, adding some grease into the rice is a very common cooking method in Chinese cuisine.
Here are the steps:
About 45 minutes before dinner, start cooking the steamed white rice
Follow the direction in the rice recipe
Once the water comes to a boil, add 1/2 tsp of each ginger powder and salt
Depends on how much rice you are cooking. Here is the ratio: 1 cup uncooked rice vs 1 tbsp grease