Cinnamon Apple Pork Loin Roast (slow cooker! gluten free!)

2-3 lb pork loin (would probably work with tenderloin too)
4 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/3 c dark brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp rosemary
3-4 apples (I used golden delicious and granny smith)
1 onion
1/4 c half and half or heavy cream (for sauce)

(I always have to defrost my meat, which makes step 1 easier…)

Defrost the pork loin and after is is about 25% defrosted, go ahead and do step 1 (below)…if the pork is still mostly frozen and you use a good serated knife (I use a bread knife…) it will be 1000 times easier.

1. Cut through the pork, almost like you are slicing it, but leave about an inch uncut at the bottom. I had about 8 cuts in mine. (Kind of like a Hasselback potato?)

2.  Combine all ingrediants, excluding the apples, onions and half and half in a bag and marinate the sliced pork overnight, or up to 48 hours.

3. Morning of cooking – Slice 2 of the apples into sixths(ish) if they are large or quarters if they are small, and do the same with the onion. Throw those in the bottom of the crock pot. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the apples.

4. Slice the remainder of your apples into thin pieces (I used my apple peeler/corer/slicer for this part).

5. Remove the meat from the marinating bag (don’t throw it away!) and begin sliding the apple slices into the slits in your meat. I put about 3 half slices into each cut. Place the stuffed meat into the crockpot and dump the remaining marinade over it.

6. Cook on high for 6-8 hours or low for 10-12.

7. (Optional) About 20 minutes before serving, carefully remove the roast and strain out the apples and onions. Puree them in a food processor to make a savory applesaucey kind of thing. Add more cinnamon, should you so desire.  Take the liquid from the slowcooker and pour it into a saucepan. Reduce it by about 1/3 and then add your cream or half and half. Taste it and add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve on a pretty platter surrounded by veggies, if you want to impress people…I served it with roasted butternut squash and cranberries. It was a big hit…


Cranberry Mustard Pork Roast (gluten free & low carb)

Cranberry mustard pork roast

Pork roast (I used a 5 lb sirloin roast)
1.5 c cranberry sauce ( I used homemade cranberry apple)
3/4 tbsp dry mustard or 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/3 c GF soy sauce
2 heaping tbsp minced garlic
1 onion, diced into small pieces
1 c dry white wine
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt (more to taste at the end)

Sear meat with salt and pepper. Add sauce. Roast in Dutch oven for 3-4 hours at 350 or crockpot for 8-10 hours. Shred and return to oven/crockpot for approximately 30 minutes. Can reduce sauce should you so desire.

Carnitas…gluten free, low carb

According to my hubby…this (although not labor intensive AT ALL), is in his top 5 recipes that I have ever made. High praises. I served it with some chopped peppers that were roasted in the remaining pan juices (after I removed the pork) for about an hour w/ salt, pepper and minced garlic! Definitely a keeper!

3-4 lb pork loin, chopped into 4 large chunks
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Oregano
1/2 Tbsp black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp paprika
7 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
fresh lime slices for serving

Mix all the spices except the bay leaves and then roll the pork chunks in the spice mixture. Add the chicken broth to a large dutch oven (5-7 qts is ideal) or a slowcooker. Add the bay leaves to the broth and then nestle the pork into the broth. 

Roast at 350 (if using a dutch oven) for 3 hours. Shred the meat and stir, replace lid and return to oven for another hour. If you are using the slowcooker, cook on high for 6-7 hours, shred and cook for another 2 hours or so.

Serve topped with fresh squeezed lime juice, either alone or in tacos or on nachos. Easy & delicious!

Hoisin (asian) Pork Wraps w/ Carrot Slaw

Delicious…tastes like something you would get at PF Changs.

6 pounds pork butt, trimmed of thick fat & cut into 4-5 chunks
2 tsp pepper
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large piece fresh ginger (approx 5 inches) chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 batch Hoisin Sauce (below)

Hoison Sauce
Mix all ingrediants until slightly combined…if using for Pork Shoulder, don’t worry about everything being smooth, it will all even out in the slow cooker.
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp Blackstrap Molasses
4 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Sesame Seed Oil
30 drops Siracha (asian hot sauce)
1/4 tsp Pepper

Add pork shoulder chunks to slow cooker. Mix Hoisin Sauce with remaining ingrediants. Dump sauce on pork and smush around to ensure that every piece is covered.
Set Slow Cooker to high for 6-8 hours (if yours works correctly. Mine is slow, I have to leave it on high for 9-11 hours), or low for 8-10 hours (again, if your works correctly).
Before serving, remove pork from sauce and shred with 2 forks. Meat should be fall apart tender. Ladle a couple scoops of sauce into the dish you are serving the pork from to ensure moistness. Serve with low carb tortillas and some type of asain-y slaw. I served mine with shredded carrots and radishes doused in low carb ginger dressing. Delicious!

Green Salsa Pork

This is a fantastic weeknight meal because it’s quick, easy, and tasty (and LOW CARB)…and with only 3 ingredients, you really can’t go wrong. Josh and I enjoyed this with some roasted asparagus last night…from raw to table in under 30 minutes. Let me know if you like it when you try it. BE WARNED: DEPENDING ON THE HEAT OF YOUR GREEN SALSA, THIS CAN BECOME QUITE SPICY!
Green Salsa Pork Chops

6 boneless thick cut, boneless pork chops (I buy a boneless loin and butcher them myself, it’s cheaper and I can control the thickness…we like them about 1 inch thick…otherwise they cook too quickly.)

1 Jar (ish) Green Salsa

1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese

Salt and Pepper (these don’t count in the ingredient count)

Heat up a deep skillet (or a Dutch oven, like I did last night) over med-high heat on the stove. Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side of the raw chops. Add a bit of olive oil to your pan and then lay the chops in, salt and peppered side down. DON’T TOUCH THEM for at least 3 minutes. The goal here is to get a sear on them…and if you mess with them they are not going to turn brown. They WILL look white and pasty and unappetizing, trust me! In the meantime, sprinkle salt and pepper on the remaining raw side of the chops.

After 3 minutes, check one to see if it has developed a brown crust like coating. If so, flip ’em. If not, let ’em be for another few minutes. Trust me…they won’t burn. After you have flipped them, let them hang out for about 3 minutes on that side as well. (The amount of time depends on how hot your pan is and how well it disperses the heat, btw.) After those 3 minutes, dump the jar of green salsa on top of the pork and cover it. Walk away.

After 5 minutes, come back. Stir the chops around a little bit, getting some of the salsa under them (because you didn’t do this before, riiight??? You weren’t supposed to!) Add the cheese, trying to get most of it on top of the chops. Cover it again. Walk away again.

After 10 minutes, come back. Take out one chop, preferably the thickest one, and cut it in half. Make sure it’s cooked through. It can be a very light pink in the middle and it is done…it doesn’t have to be white and as hard as a rock…these are pork chops, not chicken, remember? Remove the chops with a spatula of sorts, trying to keep the cheese on the top for serving. Stir the remaining salsa and gooey cheese that has fallen off into a nice sauce and spoon it over the pork on the serving plates.

Enjoy…See 25 minutes, including prep! I’m awesome, right?

Basil Lime Pork Chops

Slightly tart and tangy – a great recipe for the summer when the garden is overflowing with fresh basil and you don’t want to heat up your kitchen by cooking over the stove! YUM

3-4 thick cut, boneless pork chops
1 Handful of fresh basil (approximately 20-25 leaves)
3 Limes, juiced
Large pinch of salt
15-20 turns of a pepper mill
2 Cloves (1 Tbsp) minced garlic
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 c. canola oil
3 Tbsp Heavy Cream

Layer porkchops in a bowl or dish to marinade. Mix remaining ingredients, minus the heavy cream, in a food processor and process until liquefied. Pour marinade over chops and put back in the fridge for 1-3 hours (you don’t want to do this overnight, because the limes will actually begin to cook the chops). Remove from fridge approximately 20 minutes before you are ready to cook.

(Start sauce when you put the chops on the grill) Pour leftover marinade into a small saucepan and heat to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer. When you pull the chops off the grill, turn all the way down to low and add the heavy cream, stir to combine. Allow to heat through, and taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.

Grill chops on high, 8 minutes on first side and approx 5 minutes on second side, turn grill down and allow chops to remain on the grill on medium low until cooked throughout, approximately 8 addl minutes. Pull chops from grill and allow to rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.

Serve chops, topped with sauce. Goes well with grilled eggplant and steamed broccoli.

Mustard, Basil, Bacon Pork Top Loin

1/4 c. Course Mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
Pinch of Salt
10-12 Grinds of Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
15-20 Fresh Basil Leaves
5-6 pieces of Center Cut Bacon

1-1.5 LB Pork Top Loin

Cut slits in pork and insert finger to increase size of holes, approximately 8-10, evenly spaced. Mix the first 6 ingrediants in a small bowl. Slather pork with mustard mixture, making sure to get liquid into each of the holes that you created earlier. Lay loin into shallow baking dish. (You can stop here and cover the pork to marinade for up to 24 hours, but this step isn’t necessary.) Top pork with Basil (do not cut leaves, just layer on the top and sides). Ensure that pork has been out of the refridgerator for at least 15 minutes, then insert into a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.

While pork is cooking, fry bacon on stove top until crispy. Remove and break into small pieces.

After 30 minutes lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and sprinkle bacon on top of basil covered pork. Cook at 350 for 15 minutes for medium, 20 minutes for medium well.

Top with 1/4 c. of Grated Parmesan cheese and return to oven just until cheese has slightly melted, approximately 3-5 minutes.

Allow meat to rest for 10 minutes, covered in foil, before slicing and serving.