6½ hours | 30 min prep
- 4 lbs pork shoulder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup Fennel - Finocchio, or bulbing fennel, finely chopped bulb
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Splenda sugar substitute(or sugar, if not diabetic)
- 1 cup canned tomato, drained and diced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh Thyme leaves (see varieties to use below)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
- Slice Fennel bulb and some of the green stems and leaves. Save some of the feathery leaves for garnish.
- In a large, heavy skillet, sear the pork in the oil over medium-high heat until it's brown all over, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pork to the crock pot.
- Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Sauté the onion and fennel until just a little golden. Transfer them to the crock pot.
- In a bowl, mix together the vinegar and Splenda. Pour the mixture over the pork. Add the tomatoes.
- In a bowl, mix together the broth and bouillon until the bouillon dissolves. Stir in the garlic, Thyme, and red pepper. Pour this over the pork.
- Cover the crock pot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Remove the pork from the crock pot and place it on a serving platter. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the vegetables and pile them around the pork.
- Cover the platter with foil and put it in a warm place.
- Turn crock pot to high and stir cornstarch mixture into liquid and heat until thickened slightly.
- Chop some of the fennel leaves and sprinkle over roast and veggies.
- Slice meat and serve with sauce.
Thyme:- Thyme - Compact English, or Thyme - English, or Thyme - Provence, or Thyme - Tabor.