I am OBSESSED with my new slow cooker. Cold weather favorites like bone broth, pot roast, and stews are now extremely simple to throw together and guaranteed to turn out flavorful. There is one slow cooker classic that is more popular in the summer that I cannot resist year round - barbeque pulled pork! This tailgate favorite is made a little more seasonal this week with the addition of some cinnamon apples. The tenderloin has so many layers of flavor straight out of the crockpot that it doesn’t require any barbeque sauce, but you’re free to dress it up how you like. I served mine overtop mashed potatoes with a side of probiotic rich sauerkraut. YUM!
Slow Cooker Sweet Apple Pulled Pork
This flavorful dinner will warm you from the inside out. The meat is seasoned with savory spices while caramelized onions and apples add a little sweetness. Searing the tenderloin in a skillet before adding to the slow cooker adds further depth and texture, although if you are short on time, this step can be skipped.
2 tablespoons grass fed butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried nutmeg
2-3 pound pork tenderloin
1 large sweet onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup chicken stock
1 large apple, sliced (I used gala)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey
Barbeque sauce to taste (optional)
In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter. Mix salt, pepper, smoked paprika, thyme, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Make 4-5 small slits, about ½ inch deep, into both sides of the pork tenderloin. Rub spice mixture into pork tenderloin. Brown tenderloin in skillet for a few minutes on each side, until a crispy caramelized crust is formed.
In the bottom of a slow cooker, place onion slices, garlic cloves, and chicken stock. Place pork tenderloin on top. Wedge apple slices into slits on top of pork, and scatter remaining apple slices overtop. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Place lid overtop slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.
Remove pork into a large bowl and shred with two forks. Mix with barbeque sauce if desired. Serve with potatoes and sauerkraut.