Last weekend I spent my Saturday supporting John and his high school students at a UIL Academics invitational meet, so that left me with just Sunday in which to whip up a slow cooker recipe for my January cooking challenge. After the success of the Balsamic Pork Tenderloin earlier this month, I was eager to try a different twist on a slow cooker pork recipe. I selected Herbed Apricot Pork Loin Roast from my mother-in-law’s Diabetic Living: Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook. My husband makes delicious Apricot-Glazed Pork Chops, so I’d been eager to try this particular slow cooker recipe for a while.
At the store, I did not have any luck finding a 3-pound pork loin roast, but there was a 3-pound pork tenderloin available that I snagged instead. According to this guide, the two cuts should not be interchangeable, but I’ve done it in the past to no ill effect (as long as the tenderloin isn’t overcooked). To that end, I cooked the tenderloin on low for 5.5 hours rather than the 6-8 hour time frame called for in the original recipe. After 5.5 hours, the tenderloin easily came apart into large pieces on my platter.
I thickened the apricot sauce on the stove and poured it on top of the pork. To complete the meal, I served roasted cauliflower and sautéed Brussels sprouts on the side. The original recipe calls for sliced fresh apricots to be served alongside the pork, but with it being January, I omitted the out-of-season fruit and went heavy on the vegetables.
The pork was very delicious – moist and slightly sweet thanks to the apricot spread in the sauce. I granted it an immediate 4 stars, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed eating the leftovers, which have made for easy, tasty sandwiches over the past few days. John also liked the apricot pork, but the Balsamic Pork Tenderloin remains his favorite recipe of the month. As for me, I am undecided which of the two recipes would be my top choice! They were both winners.
Herbed Apricot Pork Tenderloin
[adapted from Diabetic Living: Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes]
1 3-lb pork tenderloin
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
1 10-oz jar apricot spreadable fruit
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 TB Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp snipped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 TB water
4 tsp cornstarch
1. Season pork with salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. In a medium bowl, combine spreadable fruit, onion, mustard, lemon zest, rosemary, sage, thyme, and remaining 1/4 tsp black pepper.
2. Place pork in a 5- or 6-quart capacity slow cooker. Pour fruit mixture on top of pork.
3. Cover and cook on low for 5.5 hours.
4. Remove pork from slow cooker, reserving liquid. Cover pork loosely with foil while preparing sauce.
5. In a medium saucepan, combine water and cornstarch. Carefully pour in liquid from slow cooker. Cook and stir until sauce has become thick and bubbly; cook and stir for an additional 2 minutes. Pour sauce over pork and serve.
Yield: 8 servings