Disclaimer :: Pioneer, a company with a strong Texas heritage, sponsored this article. Pioneer products have been served at kitchen tables to presidential dining rooms since 1851.
Easter is a big deal at my house. It’s filled with baskets, church services, egg hunts, traditions — and all of that is BEFORE Easter day. The days before the actual holiday are busy with holy week activities and bunny-themed festivities. That’s why my game plan for Easter day has evolved over the years. That Sunday is now a more low-key, family focused day.
Read: Spending more time with family also equals eating yummy food with family. You see where I’m going here?
Easter lunch is one of my favorite meals with my family, but I confess: I do not want to spend all morning — or the night before — prepping for it. By the time Easter day arrives, I’m weary from all the wonderful, but hectic, activities of the season. And if any Sunday should be a day of rest, it’s Easter Sunday, right?!?!
Thus, I am a fan of Pioneer! When this project popped in my inbox, I was more than a little excited. Pioneer was part of my mama’s pantry, and it for sure is a regular part of mine. No lie. Total truth. (It’s been around since 1851!)
So, let me tell you how I’m using Pioneer for Easter to make lunch a snap . . .
Pork Roast for the Win
It’s tradition at our house to have pork roast for Easter lunch. Please give a standing ovation for what makes this a breeze: the slow cooker.
What I am about to share with you isn’t a formal recipe; it’s even better than that. It’s the “passed down from my granny” type of recipe. Even if you are cooking challenged, this is a breeze.
Step 1: Cut an onion (literally any kind, but I prefer a sweet yellow onion) into large slices. If I am only feeding our family of four, I only use half a large onion. Cut one red or green bell pepper into large slices. Next, wash and halve baby red potatoes (or any white potato you have on hand; just needs to be one inch-ish chunks). Finally, select your carrots. I purchase pre-washed, pre-cut carrots (even baby carrots if you prefer a sweeter taste), but if you’re wanting to feel more Pioneer Woman, wash, peel, wash, and cut into two-inch section. I have also been known to wash, slice, and throw in some mushrooms.
Step 2: Heat two tablespoons of your preferred oil in a pan. Once hot, sear/brown the pork roast on all sides. I typically add some salt and pepper before I place in the pan, but nothing is ruined if you don’t season until after.
Step 3: Time to assemble in the slow cooker. Potatoes and carrots go in first. I then take half the onion and peppers and lay on top of that. Next, place your pork roast on top of the veggies. The rest of the onions and peppers go on top of the meat. The onions and peppers are honestly for flavor; they will be nearly mush when the roast is finished. Place one cup of water in the slow cooker and cook on high for three to four hours.
Step 4: At the two to three hour mark, I whip up two packets of Pioneer Roasted Pork Gravy. I’ve learned a few tips along the way. For perfect gravy every time:
- Bring the water to a full, rolling boil– no barely bubbling business.
- Stir the gravy mix with cool water BEFORE you place the mixture into the boiling water. If not, lumps happen. Say no to lumps.
If I am going for more of the mushroom vibe, I will also add in a half a can of cream of mushroom soup. This mixture goes in the crockpot poured over everything for that final hour or so of cooking time.
I usually plate the meat and veggies on a platter. You can pour the gravy over or place in a gravy boat, if you’re feeling fancy.
Other Recipe Ideas
Is it just me, or do we steer clear of gravies because we think they are hard to make?
I do not make gravies from scratch because Pioneer packet options make it so easy and tastes WAY better than my usual lumpy, over-salted mess. I’m just being honest here. In three easy steps, I can have Pork Gravy, Chicken Gravy, Turkey Gravy, or Beef Gravy — whatever is on the dinner docket, gravy makes it tastier.
I also think we don’t make gravy as often because we think it is only for a topping of sorts. Now, don’t get me wrong, I clearly love a pork roast with gravy . . . or mashed potatoes and gravy . . . yum. But you can also use gravies in your cooking for casseroles, soups, stuffing, etc.
- Brussel sprouts with cider gravy :: This is a tasty side with a pork roast. Just sayin’.
- Chicken broccoli bake :: Another easy, delicious one-pot meal you can throw in the oven.
- Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce :: I’ve mentioned my love of mushrooms. This recipe also pairs really well with egg noodles.
- Green bean casserole :: It’s the best version of this classic. You’re welcome.
- Roasted chicken with herb gravy and green beans :: Speaking of green beans, THIS RECIPE IS SO GOOD.
My last plug for Pioneer is this: Don’t forget to try the Pancake Mix, Country Gravy Mix, and the Cornbread Mix. Easter or not, you can always find Pioneer in your local grocery store. Follow Pioneer on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Happy Eating, I mean Easter!