Slow-Cooked Pork + Apples

January 22, 2013

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I love all things sweet + savory, and the combination of pork and apples is one of my favorites. With a few extra Piñata apples on hand from the box Brianna sent me, I put them to good use for dinner last week. This recipe is super simple and turned out great!

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I always thought you needed a lot of liquid to use a slow cooker, but this sauce just barely covers the pork and apples yet everything cooked through well. You can toy with the sauce ingredients to create a spice profile that suits your palate – sub in or out any of these.

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My sauce was sort of a cinnamony, spicy BBQ sauce with tang from the vinegar and sweetness from brown sugar.

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Ready, set, go!

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Slow Cooker Pork with Apples

by Kath Younger

 

Ingredients (2-4 servings)

  • 1 pound pork chops (our recipe had 4)
  • 3 large apples, sliced

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  • Place chops on bottom of slow cooker.
  • Top with apples.
  • Mix sauce and pour over.
  • Cook on low for 4 hours.

We used a quarter cup of the sauce to steam-sauté some collard greens on the side for the perfect blend of the two dishes.

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat January 22, 2013 at 8:45 am

As a vegetarian, I’m always looking for easy meat dishes for my husband – this looks so simple!

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2 Jennifer January 22, 2013 at 9:13 am

WOW. This looks amazing. I made a wonderful apple-inspired pork chop over the grill a few years ago and have been looking for something similar to make indoors during the 0-degree weather that Chicago is currently having. Can you tell me what types of apples would go best with this sort of meal? I’m a sucker for Honey Crisp! Also- did you use bone-in or boneless chops?

Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Have been wanting to take out the slow cooker soon. Now I have a great reason!

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3 KathEats January 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I think any apple that’s not too tart (like a granny Smith) would work. And our chops did have a bone, but either will work

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4 Mrs. K January 23, 2013 at 10:47 am

I find Granny Smith really tart…confused?

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5 KathEats January 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Sorry I didn’t word that so well – I mean that a Granny Smith IS tart so that probably wouldn’t be ideal. But I bet most red apples would be great.

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6 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh January 22, 2013 at 9:36 am

This looks AWESOME! And of course it makes me go all Peter Brady and say “pork chops and applesauccccce.” If you don’t get that reference, I’m breaking out my Hover Round going back to my corner.

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7 Sally January 22, 2013 at 9:54 am

I have made a similar dish, and added a couple sprigs of rosemary – so delish! Thanks for the recipe!

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8 Carly @ Snack Therapy January 22, 2013 at 10:00 am

The crockpot is seriously a magical appliance. I love this recipe!

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9 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles January 22, 2013 at 10:04 am

Yummy! I will have to send a link to my sister-in-law…she is always looking for slow cooker recipes for her busy family on the go…both boys in rep hockey!

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10 Maria Tadic January 22, 2013 at 10:18 am

I love apples in savory dishes! They look so yummy!

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11 Kerry @ Totes My Oats January 22, 2013 at 10:27 am

This looks amazing! I love the combination of pork and apples. In the past I’ve sear pork chops, sauteed apples and onions and then made a gravy with cider, add rosemary, and let the pork chops slowly cook in the sauce. Amazing!

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12 Morgan January 22, 2013 at 11:11 am

Yum! I grew up on pork chops and applesauce so this would make me feel right at home.

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13 Elise @ Expeditions of Elise January 22, 2013 at 11:16 am

I must admit, my experiences with the slow cooker tend to be my mom trying to make something “easy” for dinner that is usually pretty gross. Nice to see a simple slow cooker recipe with some FLAVOR.

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14 Alicia @ Wanna Be Ina January 22, 2013 at 11:19 am

We had a very similar dinner last night. Disgusted with how much HFCS is in most BBQ sauce, I have been experimenting with making my own. My bbq pork in the crockpot was country ribs though (mistake…way too fatty). We had sauteed cabbage on the side and oven veggies, but some chunky apple goodness would have made the meal. Gonna use my leftovers in a quesadilla for lunch…wondering what you are gonna do with yours?

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15 KathEats January 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

We had them over a salad!

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16 sara @ fitcupcaker January 22, 2013 at 11:48 am

this looks so good, I cant wait to try it :) You can pair apples with so many things :)

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17 Marjie Scheib January 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Yummy looking and I happened to have a small pork loin roast in my freezer I could cut into chops, or leave whole- oh the decisions…. AND I have the rest of the items on hand too. Guess what I will be having for dinner tomorrow. Thanks for the great post.

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18 Annette @FitnessPerks January 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Apples in a savory dish–never tried it!

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19 Jola January 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

This sounds delish! I wish I had a crockpot myself…

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20 Kavi January 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

This looks divine! I’ve been searching for a slow-cooker recipe for these cold days we’ve been having on the east coast, and this seems like a winner!

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21 kate hewitt January 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Kath, this is my first post… so let me take a second to introduce myself and say how much i LOVE following your blog. I truly tell my girlfriends that when we all start having babies, I want to live our lives similar to Kath and her friends… you guys seem to have a great balance and one that does still include lots of friends time! Today I am commenting because I love making new side dishes because the same old steamed broccoli gets old after awhile =) I was curious if you could tell me how you prepare your collard greens? I tried them once using Bacon grease and normal Salt and Pepper and they did not turn out great. Maybe it was not the right combination or maybe they take some getting use to? Either way if you could tell me how you prepare those super healthy veggies I would love to try them again!
Thanks!!!

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22 KathEats January 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

That is our favorite way – cook bacon, remove bacon, add collards and saute for a few minutes until tender. I always tell people who are just getting used to the flavor to add a tsp of maple syrup to this recipe – the sweetness goes a long way to balance the slight bitterness of the greens. Or add bleu cheese!

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23 Mom January 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Looks delicious and I love food with cooked apples. Will try soon!

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24 Melissa January 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Could you do this with a pork loin vs. pork chops? I work and the 4 hours would be great for pork CHOPS, but maybe with a pork LOIN it could do the full 8-9 hours I usually need with crock pot recipes.

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25 KathEats January 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I imagine so! Just add some more time

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26 lindsay @ fuel my family January 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I used to think you had to add liquid to the slow cooker as well. But I have started cooking whole chickens (much cheaper especially now we are eating all organic meats) in the crock pot without any liquid at all! I have a whole chicken, potatoes, and cabbage in there as we speak! And we are about to get a whole pig butchered so I will be needing lots of pork recipes :)

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27 KathEats January 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm

That is awesome! Is it fall off the bone by the end?!

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28 lindsay @ fuel my family January 29, 2013 at 8:55 pm

yes completely fall off the bone! We use leftovers as pulled chicken, enchillada filling, etc…its great!

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29 cyndy January 23, 2013 at 10:06 am

Rinse and dry a whole chicken, season as desired. Put into slow cooker, cover and that’s all there is to it although you can add lots of flavor by inserting something into the body cavity – pierce a whole lemon or lime or cut up large chucks of celery, onion, and carrot – delicious and SO easy!

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30 Anna @ On Anna's Plate January 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm

We need to start using our slow cooker! We got one for our wedding almost four years ago, and I’ve YET to use it even once!

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31 Lisa @bitesforbabies January 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Looks delicious!!! Too bad I don’t have a slow cooker ;-(

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32 Christine January 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I have this recipe cooking in my slow cooker right now. I had pork chops to make for dinner and I read your blog! Too cool. Smells great!

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33 KathEats January 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Enjoy!!

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34 Christine January 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm

It was so delicious! It’s now my husbands’ favorite pork chop recipe. Thank you so so much!

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35 Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite January 22, 2013 at 4:33 pm

This looks delicious! Bonus that it’s in the slow cooker :)

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36 Katie @ SkinnyMinnieMoves January 22, 2013 at 5:47 pm

LOVE a good slow cooker dish! This one looks so good. I have quite the apple obsession these past 2 months. I eat 2 a day!

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37 Tami @Nutmeg Notebook January 22, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Slow cooker recipes are the best time saver. I use mine all the time – in fact I own two and often have both going at the same time. This looks wonderful.

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38 Cait's Plate January 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Mmmm – this looks incredible! Just one more reason that I NEED a slow cooker!

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39 Audrey Adams January 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm

I’m going to remember that sauce next time I want to make some for sauteed chicken! Thanks!

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40 Verenique B January 22, 2013 at 7:49 pm

how do you think it would work to do this with chiken breasts?

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41 KathEats January 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Great!

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42 Elizabeth @ My Neon Running Shoes January 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Wow looks like a great recipe! Thanks for sharing with us!

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43 Jess. January 22, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I love my crockpot & use it a couple of times a week! I was also under the impression you needed a ton of liquid to use the crockpot & was excited when I discovered otherwise. Still trying to get over my aversion to fruit in savory dishes.

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44 Beth @ CraveableCleveland January 22, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Kath this looks delicious! I am SO into slow cooker meals but I’ve never slow cooked meat. Sweet and savory combos are just divine and that meat looks so tender…definitely trying this one soon!

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45 Anne @ eatcleaneatreal.com January 22, 2013 at 10:12 pm

What is liquid smoke? Do you think it could be omitted or substituted?

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46 KathEats January 22, 2013 at 11:33 pm

It’s a flavoring like a fire pit and yes you could just leave it out

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47 Alyssa January 22, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Yours turned out much better than mine! I think my recipe was missing something…salt maybe?

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48 Jo January 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm

No carb component?

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49 KathEats January 23, 2013 at 12:28 am

Apples?

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50 scott January 23, 2013 at 12:58 am

I noticed in your ingredients photo the following 2 items that weren’t in your recipe.
Habanero Seasoning From Hell & Garlic Gold – Herbs de Provence

Were these items used? Just curious! Thanks – Scott

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51 KathEats January 23, 2013 at 8:01 am

Hi Scott, the seasoning from hell tin is full of plain cayenne, and I ended up not using the garlic gold because of the herb profile. Thanks for asking.

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52 @photorecipe January 23, 2013 at 4:50 am

Thanks Kath for your very interesting and delicious recipes! Its funny how you can combine pork and apples and make it sound so good! (Personally I am not a fan of baked apples…)

Regards,

@photorecipe

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53 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope January 23, 2013 at 7:08 am

I’ve never had pork before but this dinner looks absolutely delicious! Do you think it would work and still taste good if I used chicken? :)

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54 KathEats January 23, 2013 at 7:51 am

Yup!

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55 Madison January 23, 2013 at 7:49 am

This is amazing! Officially going to be saved to make this winter. :)

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56 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 23, 2013 at 7:54 am

I love pork and apples together too. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my dad would always make pork chops and applesauce!

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57 Tabitha (From Single to Married) January 23, 2013 at 7:54 am

I’m a huge fan of the slow cooker and this looks delish!

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58 Tina B January 23, 2013 at 8:00 am

This looks wonderful and oh so easy! Even better that you used the slow cooker. Even I can do this! Thanks for the recipe and the step by step pics! I’m anxious to try it!

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59 Ashlee January 23, 2013 at 10:48 am

Yum! My husband is going to love this!

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60 lynda January 23, 2013 at 11:05 am

Can’t wait to try this recipe; thanks

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61 Emily @ www.main-eats.com January 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

And my dinner for tomorrow is set! This looks SO GOOD! Thanks and I can’t WAIT!

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62 Emily January 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm

This looks so great! Do you think I could substitute honey or agave for the brown sugar?

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63 KathEats January 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Yes, I think so

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64 beca January 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm

No oil or salt needed?

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65 KathEats January 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I definitely don’t think you need oil. I didn’t need any salt, but a sprinkle might enhance flavors on the finish

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66 Pam January 23, 2013 at 8:10 pm

This recipe looks great! I’ve made both apples and pork in the crockpot separately, I never thought to put them together! This is a great combo, looks delish!

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67 Kristen @ Change of Pace January 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Looks amazing. I bet you could do a pork shoulder the same way :)

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68 Miwa @ Motion For Peace January 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Can’t wait to try this! Looks amazing and it fits my Paleo diet!!

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69 Cindy Love Childers January 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Kath,
I made this a few nights ago (the day you posted it) and it was DELICIOUS!!! It will definitely go down as a regular for us. Yum-O!

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70 Elizabeth January 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm

We had this for dinner tonight… DELICIOUS! I decided to throw in a peeled and diced sweet potato in the end and it was a perfect one pot meal. We’ll def be making this again!

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71 Tina May 7, 2013 at 2:30 am

Yum! Making mine with a side of apple-walnut slaw: http://www.womansday.com/recipefinder/apple-walnut-slaw-120709

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