Slow Cooker Pork and Applesauce

by brookefiore

Every year the temperature would drop, the clang of my mom dragging the crock pot out from the closet would resonate through the house and I would cringe. I don’t know why I was so opposed to the crock pot, but I was. Lately I’ve been thinking about this piece of kitchen equipment and I decided this was the year I would try and make amends with it. It seems to be working for me and chicken so why not? Off the bat I could think of two reasons why this may be the start to a new friendship. I  liked the idea that I could start cooking in the morning and then go about my day without having to worry about it. This was not something I ever thought about as a kid and maybe this is why I could not appreciate the crock pot earlier in life. I also liked that I didn’t have to watch the meat cook. This means I could incorporate more chicken into my life (something I’ve been working on).

I wasn’t feeling chicken though so I decided on boneless pork chops. I usually plan the dinner menu in the morning and in this case it wasn’t really working to my advantage. Many slow cooker recipes are just that – slow to cook, go figure. It was 9 o’clock in the morning and I had to get the ball rolling. I used the time constraint of about 7 hours of cooking time and pork to fuel my recipe search. I found a simple enough recipe and gave it a try.

I sliced up some yellow onion and then 5 apples.

I then added a mixture of honey, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

It was only 10:30 AM but we were on our way to some slow cooked goodness – or so I thought.

I knew we would need a starchy side so I opted for some wild rice.

There you have it! After digging in I realized it was missing something…

Dried cranberries brought some sweetness to the rice.

Well, I have to be honest, this dish wasn’t my favorite. The apples were very soft which I suppose was the point because they tasted a whole lot like applesauce and the pork was tender which I would hope it would be sitting in all that apple cider goodness for most of the day. But then the rice was soft too. I was craving crunch but it just wasn’t there. Why do I share this with you even when I’m not too jazzed about it? Because it was a learning experience and it all got eaten – which means it couldn’t have been too terrible. This has also inspired me to make pork and apples at another time down the road and I will do at least three things differently. I will serve it with something other than rice. Don’t get me wrong, the rice was delicious especially with the dried cranberries but it didn’t really work in this dish. In my next try I will use Granny Smith apples which are sure to be more tart than the Courtlands I used here. Lastly, I will not use the crock pot.

I still like the idea of the crock pot and we will meet in the kitchen again sometime soon but I will do a bit more research on my recipe choice and hope it is a bit more worthy of sharing! That being said, tonight we are grilling and I’m pretty excited about it!