slow cooker pork loin in apple cider, mustard and thyme

Photo: Kelly Rossiter
My mother-in-law told me just before I was married that there was no point in serving my husband leftovers because he wouldn't eat them. He had to have something freshly cooked each day. As the cook in the house as well as the person responsible for grocery shopping, I happen to think that leftovers are a fine idea, so as daughters-in-law have done from time immemorial, I totally ignored her. We've been married a very long time indeed, and although he has on occasion balked at something I've served, my track record for leftovers is pretty good.

The secret to making great leftover dishes is to disguise them in something else entirely. I bought a 2-pound pork loin, which I knew would provide plenty of leftover opportunities for two people. I put it in my slow cooker which took almost zero effort. We had it the first night with roasted vegetables and the sauce. Then for lunch the next day we had some hot pork sandwiches, again using the sauce. I still have almost half a roast left, and I can't serve it the same way again, because my rule of thumb is that it can only be recognizable as the same thing once.

My husband loves Chinese food and has been making noises about not having had it enough recently, so the pork loin will magically reappear in a hot and sour soup, and in some spring rolls with a dipping sauce. I'm reasonably certain he will be none the wiser about having eaten the same pork roast in four separate dishes. This usually works with unsuspecting children as well. Of course, if there are four or five of you for dinner, you can polish this off all at once.

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Total time: 7 to 8 hours 

Yield: 4 servings

 
Slow Cooker Pork Loin in Apple Cider, Mustard and Thyme

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Dash salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds pork loin
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 2 or 3 sprigs thyme
Cooking directions
  1. In a large frying pan on medium heat, add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper and then brown on all sides, turning it with tongs as necessary.
  2. Remove the pork from the pan and place in the base of the slow cooker bowl. Add onion and garlic to frying pan, and sautee until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add onion and garlic to the slow cooker bowl.
  3. Meanwhile mix the apple cider, mustard, lemon juice and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Once you have put the onions and garlic in with the pork, pour a bit of the apple cider mixture into the frying pan and deglaze it. Pour all of the cider mixture over the pork in the slow cooker bowl and lay sprigs on thyme on top of the pork.
  4. Cook over on the low setting for 7 to 8 hours, or on the high setting for 4 hours.

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