Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Apples, Rosemary, and Sage


This is the first food I've made for my blog that I didn't actually eat. I made it for my fiancé, in an effort to prove he won't be eating a diet strictly of cookies and grilled chicken for the rest of his life. He was more than assuaged. He was impressed.

We spent this past Saturday painting his living room (more on that in a future post), which presented the perfect opportunity to put a roast in the slow cooker, work for a few hours, and enjoy the delicious medley of scents wafting through the house. 

I started by seasoning the roast with salt and pepper, browning it slightly in olive oil, then sautéing sweet red onions in the remaining oil. The caramelized onions served as a bed for the roast in the crock pot, and I topped the meat with sliced apples, a sprig of fresh rosemary, and sprig of fresh sage. After cooking on high for four hours, the apples turned to apple sauce, and the juices from the meat and onions turned into a gravy-like sauce. (Confession: I forgot to plug in the crock pot for the first 45 minutes. So much for my Paula Deen impression.) Frank liked it as much as his mother's roast. Maybe he was lying. 

Or maybe not.

Why this flavor profile? Simple: It's cinnamon season. Although rosemary and sage are savory herbs, they pair perfectly with the sweet warmth of fall's signature spice. So for the side dish, I baked apples, sweet potatoes, and raisins in a blend of honey, cinnamon, and apple juice. The two dishes worked in beautiful harmony.

Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Apples, Rosemary, and Sage
Courtesy of Hamilton Beach

What you need
4-6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 lb. boneless pork roast
1 tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
1 fresh sage sprig
1 fresh rosemary sprig

Put it all together

  1. Toss the apple slices with lemon juice and set aside.
  2. Season the roast with salt and ground pepper. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high, then lightly brown the roast on all sides. 
  3. Sauté the onions in the remaining oil in the skillet, and place them in the bottom of the crock pot. Position the roast on top of the onions, then surround the meat with the apple slices. Place the sprigs of sage and rosemary on top. 
  4. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. 
  5. Discard herbs before serving. 


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