COOKING ADVENTURE #47: Crockpot Honey Apple Pork Loin
Yup, that’s right. I pride myself in coming up with titles that one would never expect to see on a cooking blog. It’s a gift… and a curse. But truly, I thought of this title as I was making the dish and it stuck with me. Usually, I have a little bit of a hard time coming up with titles for these. I usually have to write the blog first before I can think of an appropriate title. This week… it was very easy. There was only one real problem with making this recipe, even though it turned out to be superb in the end. And now that moment will haunt me. It will be the things I tell my nephew and niece about when they start to learn how to cook; one of those rare memories such as mixing the pistachio pudding with water or welding a tea kettle to a burner… catching a knife on fire while cooking peas on the stove top… breaking a rolling pin while making bread… I’ve got a list that I keep.
It’s usually never a good idea to make your dinner in a moment when you’re rushing to do something else… such as trying to get ready for work. I decided that I was going to do it anyway yesterday morning. In order to make this recipe, it has to sit in the crockpot for 7 hours. I knew that if I did it today, I wouldn’t have had enough time to write the blog and to have it up for you to read. It would be late once again (just like that Inspiration Through Music that was supposed to be up on Monday that I’ll be getting to soon…) So I quickly gathered the few ingredients that I needed to make this miracle happen and set to it.
First thing is first. The website where I found this recipe is Crossfit + Paleo: A Winning Combination. Hop on over to this woman’s wordpress site and check out her other recipes. Several others look extremely delicious!
I pulled out a cutting board and grabbed my Red Delicious apples from the refrigerator. The original recipe tells you to use 3 but I had a smaller pork loin than what’s listed in the recipe, so I only used two. I cut up one of them and placed the slices at the bottom of my crockpot. Then, I took my cinnamon and sprinkled it over the apples. I say “sprinkled” but it was pretty much dumped because I used a spoon.
Next: the pork loin. I checked in the refrigerator but to my surprise, I found it wasn’t there. It dawned on me at that moment. I’d made a terrible mistake. I opened the freezer and pulled out the pork loin. I’d frozen the damn thing. I felt like a total moron. I knew I was going to be making it soon… why didn’t I put it in the fridge to thaw?! Oh well. What was done was done? Now I had to figure out what I was going to do. I took a knife to the plastic packaging and ripped it away from the frozen loin. Then, a tiny flash of brilliance told me to run some hot water and hold the pork loin under it to thaw.
And so that’s what I did. I couldn’t just put it in the sink and let the hot water run over it because there were cat dishes in there. So I cradled the pork loin in my hands, holding it under a torrent of hot water for a good ten minutes. Oh yeah. I know how to have fun.
When I thought I’d thawed it enough, I plunked it down on the cutting board and with my santoku knife, attempted to cut slits in it. No dice. The middle of the loin was a solid block of ice. The blade wouldn’t go further than about a quarter of an inch in. You are supposed to do this (with a thawed loin) and place apple slices in each slit along with some honey. The apple slices were too thick to make it work here. I took the pork loin back to the sink and resumed my revitalization efforts. By this time, I only had a few minutes to get ready for work, so I promptly decided to just try and bend it so that it would fit in to the crockpot.
With some effort, I managed to stuff the pork into the crockpot. Then, I took my honey and drizzled it over the loin and the apples that were already in the bottom of the crockpot. The recipe says to use 3 to 4 tbsp. After this was done, I stuck the remaining apple slices to the top of the loin and around it, hoping that it would soak up some of the apple flavor that way. Then, one last dumping of cinnamon on top completed the preparation.
The pork is supposed to be cooked on low for 7 hours. In the original recipe, it says that you don’t need to use water. However, I was going to be out of the house for approximately 8.5 hours and I’ve only used my crockpot about 3 times. I wanted to be safer than sorry. I added a cup and a half of water to it, put the lid on and turned it on.
When I got home, I half expected to see my apartment in flames… I don’t like leaving anything on when I leave my apartment… not even lights. But all was good and the entire apartment smelled of sweet apples and cinnamon. I took a big spoon to the pork loin and it pulled apart beautifully. A few spoonfuls of this went into my bowl and I snuggled down beneath some blankets to enjoy it. It was out of this world! It was extremely easy (despite my idiocy of freezing the pork loin) and it didn’t take much time to prepare. This is a recipe that I’ll definitely be making again. What’s better is that it gives me tons of left overs. YES!
Next week on Cooking Adventures, we’ll be kicking off our Christmas themed CA’s with a couple recipes of Starbucks Holiday Lattes (Peppermint Mocha and Creme Brulee Latte) as well as some cute little Candy Cane Marshmallow candies that can hang on the side of the mug for some Christmas flair! Stay tuned!