Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tender Aromatic Applewood Pork Loin Slow Cooker Recipe

Tender Aromatic Slow Cooker Pork Loin

I am still pretty new to the whole slow cooker thing. The idea is fascinating. I get to basically make dinner in the morning before I am all tuckered out, then get to be tantalized by intoxicating aromas all day. I made a Crockpot board on Pinterest, and have been slowly trying the recipes out. I always seem to have to modify something or other for my liking. I have always been that way. Many recipes use disgusting ingredients like canned vegetables, canned soups, etc. I strive to not be that person. I very rarely even use frozen veggies. I try to stick to what is in season locally. I also switch out the ingredients called for with an organic version. I find that using fresh, organic ingredients is the real key to flavorful foods.

I bought my slow cooker at HEB (a local Texas grocery store) on sale. It is a Hamilton Beach and was less than $30. It is pretty giant for 2 people, but I love having leftovers.

I did the best I could as far as the ingredients list goes. I kinda just throw things together and hope for the best. In this case, it worked out swimmingly. I even created my own spice rub, which I will include the recipe for as well. While I am thinking about it, I must say that I hate when a recipe says an ingredient is optional. To me, most ingredients are optional. A recipe is malleable, meaning you can twist it around, and mix it up however you like. Now, when it comes to baking, ALL of the ingredients are a requirement. Even something as small as not adding the correct amount of raisins could result in a dryer than expected bread, etc.

Ingredients list:
1 large pork loin (mine was pre cut in half)
2-3 Large apples of your choice (I used organic Granny Smith and Gala)
1/2 Head of Celery
3-5 Large carrots OR 1 bag of baby carrots
1 Red Onion
 6 strips of Applewood Smoked Bacon
1 or 2 Bay Leaves
Paisleys Aromatic spice rub *recipe below
 Salt and Pepper to taste
(using salt and pepper when cooking a meat should be a no brainer. Even the slightest pinch of salt will bring out the flavor of whatever meat you are cooking. Pepper is a must.)

I like using fresh herbs whenever possible. Lavender is one of my favorites.

Paisleys Aromatic Spice rub/blend:
1/2 Tbl Lavender
1/2 Tbl Rosemary
1/2 Tbl Basil
1/2 Tbl Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1 Tbl Maple Sugar
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Granulated Onion
pinch of salt
several grinds of pepper

Paisleys Aromatic Spice Rub

Now on to the "How-To" part of the recipe. It is actually fairly simple. Anyone could do it. 

  •  Prepare vegetables- Peel and chop garlic (try this easy method for peeling a whole head of garlic in less than 10 seconds.) Slice onion into rings. If using whole carrots, quarter them. Chop celery stalks into 1 inch pieces. Slice apples into about 16 slices each.
  • Arrange the bottom of pan/slow evenly cooker with apple slices.
  • Sprinkle apples with spice mix.

  • Add a layered mixture of carrots, celery, onions and garlic.

  • With a sharp knife, cut slits into pork loin about every 1 to 1 1/2 inches 
  • Rub some spice mixture inside the slits.
  • Place an apple slice in each slit.
  • Sprinkle with spice mixture.
  • Place pork loins into slow cooker.

  • Cover tenderloin/s in bacon.
  • Squeeze in remaining vegetables around the tenderloins. 
  • Sprinkle on remaining seasonings.
  • Drop the bay leaves in the middle.
  • Tightly secure the lid, and cook on low for 8 hours. If in a hurry, cook on low for 4 hours, then cook for two more hours on high. Cooking it low and slow allows the pork to cook long enough to become very tender while remaining moist.
  • after the pork has finished cooking, just slice into whatever thickness you desire, and enjoy!
A lot of times I am turned off by eating pork because it is too dry. Not this time! I think it turned out rather nicely, to say the least. I served it with Southern mashes sweet/gold potatoes, Cornbread stuffing, and asparagus. It ended up being a very festive tasting dish, and I loved every bite of it. The smell of the pork loin cooking all day almost drove me insane. I kept wandering into the kitchen aimlessly. Driven by the aroma wafting from the slow cooker, no doubt. I spent the day in a haze fantasizing about dinner. Sad... I know. But it just smelled sooo good!


  1. I never thought of using lavender as a spice! I must try this.

  2. The name of the Recipe alone has my mouth watering. Great recipe - thanks for the information.

  3. Sounds wonderful. My husband will love this.

  4. Holy cow, I think I'm in love...definitely pinning this recipe!

  5. Holy cow, I'm in love! Definitely pinning this recipe!

  6. Holy cow, I think I'm in love...definitely pinning this recipe!

  7. This looks amazing. A perfect recipe for winter.

  8. It's Deonna from the Child at Heart blog! Thank you so much for linking up at the Merriest Blog Hop! I can't wait to see all of your holiday ideas this month! This sounds so yummy! I'm always looking for ways to change up a pork loin. thanks for the ideas!

  9. This sounds absolutely delicious! I have never used lavender as a spice I will definitely be trying that!

  10. Looks great! I'm making pork tenderloin for dinner tomorrow night and while I don't have a slow cooker, I think I will try a modified version of this recipe using the apples and bacon.

  11. This looks delicious. I love cooking with slow cookers.

  12. Oh my gosh! Looks delicious! Perfect dinner for rainy days in fall.

  13. I don't have a slow cooker, but this recipe has me wanting one soo much! I love your spice rub, too! Wow, you are an amazing cook!

  14. This looks delicious! I have yet to try making a pork loin meal.I must say I am always more apt to trying recipes when there are step by step photos like yours!