There’s nothing better than coming home from work to a fully cooked meal. And unless you are lucky enough to have someone cook for you, the next best thing is the trusty crock pot. I usually prep my meal the night before, put everything in the insert and refrigerate it overnight. Then all I have to do the next morning in my not-yet-caffeinated state is to put the insert in the slow-cooker and turn it on so it can cook all day while I’m at work.
Have pork and apples always been a thing? I think I was first introduced to this yummy combo via television. I’m sure I didn’t actually eat pork and apples together until I was an adult. Derek loves the combination of sweet and savory, so this meal is pretty popular at our house. The beauty of everything cooking low and slow together all day means that the delicious porky juices mix with the cabbage making for a delicious vegetable side dish to go along with the protein. Add a hunk of warm crusty bread and you’ve got a complete meal!
4 cups shredded cabbage (about half a head), red or green
1 medium (red or yellow) onion, thinly sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoons coarse-ground mustard
1 (2 to 3-pound) pork loin
Put the cabbage, onion and apple in the slow cooker. Dissolve the brown sugar in the cider vinegar in a small bowl. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the vinegar mixture to the cabbage mixture in the slow cooker and give everything a toss with a pair of tongs. Stir in the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
Spray a 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray. If the pork loin comes in netting or is tied, do not remove. Sprinkle the pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook pork in skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly-browned on all sides. Place pork on cabbage mixture in the slow cooker and spread the mustard on top of the pork.
Cover and cook on the “low” setting 7 to 9 hours. Slice and serve with the cooked cabbage and apples.