As the nights draw in, we all get drawn towards comfort food, finding healthy and convenient alternatives to chuck in the oven meals and takeaways is in fact really simple. The slow cooker is an essential kitchen aid that will revolutionize your cooking repertoire and will keep everyone in the family happy. Not only that it’s a wonderful time saver too; a bit of quick preparation the night before means that all you have to do is flick the on switch before work and await the aroma of freshly cooked food as you walk through the front door.
The following recipe will tantalize those taste buds.
Slow cooked Pork Loin in apricot sauce.
2lb boneless pork loin
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large sweet onion, sliced
400g sliced chestnut or any mixed mushrooms
A sprig of fresh rosemary
1 8-oz. jar apricot jam- no sugar style
360 ml cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
60ml balsamic vinegar
120ml brandy or wine, optional
4-6 tablespoons organic light brown sugar, or honey, to taste
2 teaspoons dried Italian Herbs (A blend of oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mild curry
- Turn on your slow cooker to the low setting.
- Place the pork loin into the slow cooker drizzle with olive oil and season with freshly ground salt and pepper.
- Put the garlic, onions and mushrooms and fresh rosemary on top.
- To make the sauce, mix together the jam, pomegranate juice and balsamic vinegar,(wine or brandy if using) stir in the sugar or honey along with the herbs and spices, stir everything together until smooth and then pour over the pork loin and mushrooms.
- Cover and cook on low for approximately 5 hours. Check that the meat has cooked and then take it from the cooker and rest covered in foil for 10 minutes before serving.
- Pour the sauce into a saucepan, removing the rosemary, if the sauce is too thin then thicken with some tapioca (1 tablespoon to two tablespoons of cool water) Mix and add to the heated sauce, stirring until thickened.
It’s the perfect way to end your day plus you will enjoy it so much more knowing that you haven’t had to spend hours slaving away over a hot stove to achieve this delicious dinner. The kids will love and your husband will think you are a true domestic goddess with culinary skills to rival nigella!
If you were looking for other alternatives to serving with rice, you could serve with Cauliflower rice, Courgette Spaghetti, or gluten free pasta. To really transform this dish, you could make some short crust pastry, using Gluten free flour to make a unique and individual twist on the traditional pie. A truly indulgent gluten free delight!
By Harry Price
Harry Price is writer from the south coast. When he’s not writing, he spends his time teaching English to foreign students, marathon training and cooking.