Slow Cooker Comfort Food: Pork & Lentil Stew #SundaySupper

I have 2 kids, a husband, 2 dogs, 3 goats, 115 students, 3 different grade levels, 2 jobs, and prepping for any number of contests…at any ONE point in time!  And somehow, I still manage to cook breakfast and dinner nearly every night of the week (we usually go out once a week to give mom–ME–a break!). So how do I do it?  Simple…I have a weekly menu (that I stick to), a crazy detailed calendar, and 3 Crock Pots and 1 electric pressure cooker.

For working moms (and dads), learning to use a slow cooker (Crock Pot) and a pressure cooker (Insta-Pot) can be a game changer.  Dinner can be thrown into the slow cooker before work, dinner is done when you get home, and no longer are you relying on boxed, prepackaged meals.  Some people have even gone as far as having their dinners pre-planned and bagged in the freezer so that even the ingredients are ready for the slow cooker. Personally, I’m not there yet.

One of our favorite slow cooker meals was actually inspired by a stew that I once had at the Moerlin Lager House in Cinncinnati.  It’s a hearty pork stew filled with lentils and tomatillos with a ton of ingredients, but oh sooooo worth it!

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs. pork, cut into chunks–either cut from pork steaks or pork butt and patted dry with a paper towel
1 lb. fresh tomatillos–chopped
1 c. chopped bell pepper
1 c. chopped sweet onion
3 cloves garlic–chopped
1 c. chopped carrot
1 c. uncooked lentils
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
4 c. beef or pork broth

Directions
Heat 3 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet.  Brown pork and remove from oil.  Place pork into slow cooker. Reduce heat on the skillet to medium.  Add pepper, onion, garlic, tomatillos, and carrot. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes.  Deglaze pan with 1 c. of broth, scraping the bottom of the skillet to pick up all of the flavor bits.  Add to pork in the crock pot and stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot.  Allow to slow cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

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