The Crocksman: Six Pounds of Pork, Two Sumatran Tigers, and a Drunk Dial to South Korea

The Crocksman is a new weekly column about you and your crock pot. What you see here is 3.6 pounds of chuck roast, salt and peppered with carrots and about 16 ounces of Kona's Longboard Island Lager. It'll be ready in about 8 hours, perfect in 10.
I had a little too much to drink on Friday. I know this for two reasons:

1. My cell phone tells me that I phoned my little brother Friday night. He lives in South Korea. It costs $3.50 a minute to call him from my cell. Every minute of that call was more expensive than the whiskey and (sorry) Diet Coke I was drinking all night.

2. I woke up Saturday morning half-surprised to find a fully-cooked pork roast in the crock pot.

No, it wasn't a blackout situation. Upon further review, I remember a few things: I remember that my wife was sound asleep when I got home. I also remember that the basin -- I have no idea what the technical name for it is, but it's the dish part of the crock pot that's big -- was in the drying rack in the sink underneath an assortment off pots an pans. The hell-raising crash that erupted when I retrieved the basin/bowl/thingy was more than enough to wake up the entire building. But, Saturday morning (ish), we had six delicious pounds of pork to get to work on.

I grow a beard for the same reason I use the crock pot: I'm lazy. The classic mantra for crock-potting--fix it and forget it--is not so different than the "grow it and forget it" thinking that some of us enlist for our faces. Since my wife was going out of town on Sunday, I had to take care of a couple things. I had to shave my beard by the time she got home, and I had to feed myself.

My lady doesn't have quite the tolerance for pork roast that I do. I can eat it three meals a day, no problem. So, if she's gonna be gone for a few days, I take the opportunity to gorge on pork roast. I haven't had a vegetable in more than 48 hours. But I've spent the last 2.5 days chipping away at a delicious pork roast.

Now, I think a good pork roast tastes fine with just salt and pepper and a little water. So, really, this is a hard situation to screw up. But my Friday night/Saturday morning bachelor's pork roast went a little something like this:

-- 6 pounds of pork (Though I wish I'd had more; you can use as much or as little as you like.)

-- One packet of dried French onion soup mix.

-- Water (at least a couple cups.)

Make sure you put it in the crock pot fat side up. And don't let your butcher trim off too much of the fat. You want as much as you can get. It tenderizes and adds flavor. Set it to low and leave it for at least 10-12 hours (which is why it's good to do over night).

We actually carved off a couple pounds of this for lunch, wrapped it in tinfoil, brought it to the zoo, and ate it in front of a pair of sleeping Sumatran tigers. I kid you not, one of the big cats woke up and stuck his nose in the air when we unwrapped it. It's that good! We left the rest of the roast cooking in the crock until dinner. After 18-20 hours, it went down like butter.

This is an improvised "recipe" from my uncle Ben handed down to me years ago. His calls for Coke, not water. And it's killer. But I didn't have any Coke in the fridge, so I used water instead. When you're crock-potting, don't get too hung up on the recipe. Cooking it for 12-20 hours like I did with this, it's gonna melt in your mouth regardless.

This morning, I threw a pot roast (pictured) into the crock after breakfast. I was out of French onion soup mix, so I just used a liberal amount of salt and pepper. And instead of water I used about 2/3 of a bottle of Kona Brewery's Longboard Island Lager, which may account for why my breath smelled like beer at 11 a.m.

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