SESAME PORK ROAST

Serve 6.

Note: Basically a braised piece of meat, this roast is easy to prepare whether in a slow cooker or in the oven. When prepared in the slow cooker, the roast doesn't need to be marinated in advance because the meat marinates during the all-day cooking time. But for ease of prep in the morning, it's helpful to make the marinade the night before. From "Come One, Come All/ Easy Entertaining With Seasonal Menus," by Lee Svitak Dean.

• 2 tbsp. sesame seeds

3 or 4 green onions, sliced (about 1/4 c.)

• 1/2 c. ketchup

• 1/4 c. soy sauce

• 2 tbsp. ground ginger

• 2 tbsp. molasses (any type)

• 2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. curry powder

• 1/2 tsp. black pepper

• 1 c. water

• 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

• 4 lb. pork shoulder roast

3 tbsp. flour for gravy, if desired

Directions

Toast sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant and slightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Place seeds in a bowl with the green onions, ketchup, soy sauce, ginger, molasses, salt, curry powder, black pepper, 1 cup water and wine vinegar; stir to mix thoroughly. Place meat in a large bowl and pour the marinade over the meat. If you are not using a slow cooker, marinate the roast, covered and in the refrigerator, for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

To prepare in a slow cooker: Place meat and marinade in the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for about 3 hours. When done, the meat should be falling apart tender, easy to pull apart with a fork.

To prepare in the oven: Place the meat and marinade in a covered casserole dish, and let it cook at 300 degrees for about 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender.

To serve: Place meat over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes, along with pan juices or with gravy made from the juices. Or pull the meat apart and serve on buns for a variation on pulled pork sandwiches.

To make gravy: Pour pan juices into a 2-cup measure. Skim off fat, returning 2 tablespoons of the fat to a pan. If the pan juices do not equal 2 cups, add enough water to reach the 2-cup measure.

Whisk 3 tablespoons flour into the fat in the pan and cook over medium heat on the stovetop until bubbly. Slowly stir in pan juices and cook until gravy thickens, stirring constantly.