Monday, March 17, 2008

Slow Cooked Apple Roast Pork

While I delight in beef and chicken, my absolute favorite meat has to be pork. Barbecued pork, pork Asian-style, pork roast: you name it and by God, I'll eat it. And so because I love it so much, I am often looking to find or create a new recipe that will make my beloved piggy sing. By the rave reviews received from various members of my household, I think I may have done just that.

This slow cooked pork is fall-off-the-bone tender, juicy and full of beautiful apple-infused flavor. It is basically a bone-in roast pork cooked slowly in a flavorful apple-brown gravy, a concept both Midwestern and divine. I happened to cook mine in my slow cooker but this can easily be placed into a Dutch oven and cooked for about 3 (or more) hours at 325 degrees for about the same results.

What kind of results? Fabulous results. My grade: A

Slow Cooked Apple Roast Pork


For the Sauce:

1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
32 ounces low-sodium pork stock (if you do not have pork stock, try beef or chicken)
  • You may want to use up to 64 ounces of stock, depending on consistency of sauce and amount desired to turn into gravy after roast is cooked. Make sure consistency is not too thick but also not too thin. If anything, err on the thin side.
1 1/2 cups apple juice
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 - 2 pork bouillon (or beef) (check for saltiness before adding second bouillon)
1 yellow onion, sliced in wedges
3 cloves minced garlic (we are garlic people and put up to five cloves and are very happy with it)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (build with salt, starting with half teaspoon and working up)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

+ 1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1/3 cup water, to be used after roast is cooked

Melt butter in pot big enough to contain amount of broth called for. When melted add flour and mix, making sure there are no lumps. Once mixed add broth gradually, continuing to mix to make sure there are no lumps. Once mixed add apple juice, Worcestershire sauce, onions, minced garlic, bouillon, salt and pepper. Test at all times for roundness of flavor. Add more salt and pepper, if needed, or more Worcestershire (though careful here, it has a distinct flavor). Start slowly on the salt and bouillon and build upward to desired taste.

Cook mixture until flavors are blended, about ten to fifteen minutes.

For the Roast:

4 pound bone in pork roast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dry thyme (or 2 teaspoon fresh thyme)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in frying pan. Add pork roast and brown on both sides until meat is golden brown. Remove from pan and place in slow cooker or Dutch oven. Rub with minced garlic and then sprinkle with Kosher salt, black pepper and thyme. Reserve.

Pour sauce mixture over reserved pork roast. Set slow cooker to low and cook for 6 - 8 hours, depending on cooker. If using Dutch oven, cook for 3 hours (or more) at 325 degrees.

Once roast is finished, pull out pork and pour sauce through sieve into pot. The sieve should catch all onions, which should then be placed back over pork. At this point pork can be shredded if you prefer to eat it that way.

In pot with sauce, add cornstarch dissolved into water gradually and heat, stirring constantly until sauce becomes a thickened gravy. Taste always; season if needed. When at desired thickness, serve on the side as gravy or pour directly over roasted pork and onions and serve.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes plus 6 - 8 hours
Serves: 5 - 6

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