I've gotten a few email asking if this is going to be "The Year of Pork."
No, but the next week or two will be pretty heavy with pork recipes. I'd like to have about 10 really good ones to include in the forthcoming cookbook, and I need to test them out. If you don't eat pork (I don't), you can fool around with using chicken or beef instead.
Stacy emailed me this recipe a few weeks ago; she had gotten it from a friend of hers. She reported back last week that she and her family really enjoyed it and urged me to give it a try. So I did.
It calls for a bag of coleslaw mix. I'm not a huge fan of coleslaw because for some reason in my weird twisted mind it sounds like 'cold sore.' I know that's really gross. I'm sorry.
anyhow, I used Stacy (and her friend's) recipe last night, and packed the food up for my sister-in-law's amazing family.
2-3 pound pork-loin roast
1 onion, sliced in wedges
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup apple cider or juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 granny smith apples, chopped (to add later)
1 (16-ounce) bag coleslaw mix (to add later)
* 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (to add later--this isn't in the original recipe, but I think it should be. See notes below marked with an *.)
Use a 5 quart crockpot. Put onion wedges into the bottom of your crockpot, and put the meat on top. Sprinkle dry spices on all sides of the meat. Add apple and lemon juice. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. The longer you cook it, the more shredded and juicy the meat will become. 20-30 minutes before serving, remove meat from crockpot and let sit on a cutting board. Put chopped apples (no need to peel) and the whole bag of coleslaw into your crockpot. *I would add apple cider vinegar now, too. Stir. Either slice or shred the pork, and add back to the crockpot.
Salt and pepper to taste (it definitely needs more salt.)
Stacy wrote in her last email that her husband "took some of the juice (from the crockpot) and combined it with butter, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. He boiled it down in a sauce pan and we added it to each serving." I imagine this would taste heavenly.
I did sneak a taste of this, and so did Adam. Adam liked it more than I did; I thought the texture was funky, but I also have coleslaw issues, which I probably need to discuss with Dr. Phil.
This is the feedback I got from my tester-family (written by mom, Shari): Having tried quite a few of your recipes, this one is not a home run. But, the pork was tender and had a very delicate and subtle apple flavor, and was not fatty or greasy at all. The apples and cabbage had a bit of pleasant crunch to them, just the way we like them. Joe and I liked the very tender meat with the slightly crunchy cabbage and apples, and we each ate a healthy portion, and I'll look forward to eating it again for lunch tomorrow. Chris usually prefers strongly seasoned food. So, he couldn't get past what we liked about the dish - he didn't care for the texture, and wasn't too sure that the combination of flavors "go together".
From the tastes I took, I sort of agree with Chris. I think it needs more spices, and I'd recommend at least doubling the salt and pepper. I think the crunch from the cabbage and the apples is a neat touch, and a great way to stretch a meal, but I think your (my) tongue wants * that bite of vinegar that usually comes with cabbage salad.
I also think that Stacy's hubby's idea/technique of browning some butter and brown sugar on the stovetop to pour over the top is *genius*---you can't ever go wrong with that combo!
on the way:
cranberry pork roast
5-Spice pork chops
Cajun-Style pulled pork
pineapple pork tenderloin