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.
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!