This cozy Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pork is a delicious and simple pork loin recipe that is perfect for the fall and winter season. It's a great make-ahead and freezer-friendly option that the whole family will love!
2wholeshallots, chopped (or 1 medium onion, quartered)
2largehoneycrisp apples, cored and cut into quarters
2cupsfresh apple cider
½cupchicken or beef stock
The day before:
Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Sprinkle all sides of the pork loin with coarse Kosher salt. Let the pork sit in the fridge, uncovered, for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
The day of:
Remove the pork from the fridge. Sprinkle all sides with freshly cracked black pepper. Heat a large cast iron skillet or Dutch over medium heat.
Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Saute all sides of the pork until it is golden brown all over, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker and reduce the stove heat to low.Add the shallots and apples to the skillet, and saute over low to medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes just to get a little color on them and slightly tenderize them. Add the apple cider to the skillet and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom.
Transfer the apples, shallots, and all the pan juices to the slow cooker by pouring over top of the pork loin or tenderloins. Add the bay leaf, thyme sprigs, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.
Cover and cook on LOW for 2-3 hours until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Check the temperature at the 2-hour mark, then again every 20 minutes.
Carefully ladle the juices from the slow cooker into a medium saucepan. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken/beef stock and cornstarch. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the pork and place it on a serving dish with the apples. Spoon the thickend gravy over the top. Serve while warm.
Leftover sliced pork and gravy can be frozen in ready-to-eat portions in freezer-safe quart-sized bags or glass container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then microwave for 2-3 minutes on high to reheat (internal temperature must reach 165°F) or place in a covered baking dish and heat at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.