This is one of the very first posts I made-5years ago and we still love this dish! The original recipe was something I saw in the Kansas City Star. They referred to it as “Italian BBQ” and I tried it in the oven but wasn’t thrilled with the result. It wasn’t until I moved it to the slow cooker that the flavors really sang to their fullest. It has become our favorite pork roast recipe. Seasoned with fennel seed, garlic, oregano, sage and thyme, then cooked with wine and balsamic vinegar, the aroma drives my guys crazy!
The cooked roast is great on its own, in a ragu, but our absolute favorite is as a sandwich. Served on ciabatta or a good sourdough roll with dijon mustard, sun-dried tomato jam, Italian cheese and fresh greens. Makes a fabulous wrap for those who don’t want/need the carbs. One of my best lunches!
Shred the meat after a short rest and save the cooking juices to flavor soups. The roast improves with an overnight in the fridge and the herb flavor hits its peak!
Great for those days when you don’t have much time to cook. You can even prep the meat with the herb mix the night before and put it all the in slow cooker in the morning.
4-5 lb port roast (boneless or bone in)
For the herb rub:
2 tsp kosher salt
5 cloves crushed garlic
5 Tbs whole fennel seed (don’t use ground fennel)
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp ground thyme
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
For the braising liquid:
1/2 cup red or white wine (semi-dry is best)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
Combine the herb and salt with the pressed garlic and mix with a fork to get a loose rub.
Score the roast on ALL sides with a knife. Cutting at least 1/2 inch deep and 2 inch intervals. This allows you to get the herbs deeper into the roast and really permeate the flavors throughout. Coat the roast with a thin layer of olive oil so your herb mixture will stick. Rub the herb mixture over the entire surface of the roast, especially into the cuts you made. Use all the rub…all of it.
If the roast has a fat cap, place the roast fat cap up into your slow cooker. Mix the braising liquid and carefully pour into the cooker, but do NOT pour over the roast. You want the herbs to stay put.
Cook covered on low for 8-9 hours until fork tender. Remove the roast from the braising liquid and shred with two forks leaving medium size pieces. Save the leftover liquid! It is fabulous in sauces, soups, anything you want to pump up with Italian flavors.
Our favorite cheese for this one is a balsamic flavored Bellavitano. Delicious. Enjoy!