Pork Roast with Mushrooms and Brown Sugar Apricot-Pomegranate Sauce

Slow cooker pork roast with apricot jam.


My first pork roast recipe- ever. And it's a home run. I apologize for the sports metaphor but I've been sitting at my desk for an hour. And not a single sentence has been birthed. Even after one hot mother of a mug of coffee (and a decaf peppermint green tea that really doesn't count because, well, it's tea), I'm still in a post Sunday fog today, basking in the afterglow of a Sunday afternoon spent with friends. We ate and drank our way through six hours of non-stop conversation. I get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. And I'm more than a little tempted to wax poetic about friendship and how we choose our true family and what a head banging blue-in-the-face relief it is to sit at a table with soulful people who wrestle with big questions and hunger for authenticity and integrity while also making you laugh out loud without covering your teeth and feel proud of your mayo-free potato salad.

But I won't. I'll tell you about my first pork roast instead.

I'll say it up front. It took decades to get me here- to ease into a place in my life where I might actually, finally, consider buying a hunk of pork and roasting it. I started off slowly, slyly, trying turkey bacon ten years ago. Then I graduated to the real deal roughly six years ago. Organic Sunday smoked bacon. Nitrate-free, of course. And when my body did not protest and the world as I knew it did not go up in a hellish ball of blistering flames, I decided to move on to the hard stuff. I was ready.

It was finally time to roast a pork loin. And Dear Reader- was I intimidated. You know it. In fact yours truly was almost quaking in her Rocket Dogs. Well, maybe not quaking. More like, shivery-nervous. So I decided two things.

First- that I would use my trusty slow cooker. Simple. Familiar. Not too much to screw up. Second- that I would make a sauce with pomegranate juice and a jar of apricot jam. It just seemed like a good fit.

And guess what? Tender, juicy, tangy-sweet deliciousness ensued.




Pork Roast with Brown Sugar Apricot Jam Sauce Recipe
Gluten-free apricot pork roast with mushrooms.

Pork Roast Recipe with Mushrooms and Brown Sugar Apricot and Pomegranate Sauce


I made this sauce intuitively- starting with a jar of apricot jam. It was delicious- I admit. Balsamic vinegar adds tang and depth.



Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless pork loin
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large sweet onion, sliced
2 cups sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
A sprig of fresh rosemary

For the sauce:

1 8-oz. jar apricot jam- no sugar style
1 1/2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup 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


Instructions:

Turn on your slow cooker to low.

Place the pork loin into the slow cooker. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Throw in the garlic, onions and mushrooms. Toss in a sprig of rosemary.

Make your sauce:

Combine the apricot jam, pomegranate juice and balsamic vinegar. Stir in the brown sugar, herbs and spices, till smooth. Pour over the pork loin and mushrooms.

Cover and cook for about five hours. Test the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should read 145 degrees F. To be honest, I let the temperature get up to 160 degrees F. I wanted my first pork roast to be well done.

Take the roast out of the cooker, tent with a piece of foil, and allow it to rest for ten minutes.

Remove the sprig of rosemary and pour the sauce and mushrooms into a medium sauce pan; keep warm until serving. If the sauce is thin, thicken it with a slurry of tapioca or arrowroot (dissolve 1 tablespoon of either starch in two tablespoons cool water or liquid; then add it to the heated sauce; whisk until thickened).

Serves 4.

Notes:


We enjoyed this with Champagne Vinegar Potato Salad- but this fruity mushroom sauce would be fab on a bed of hot cooked rice. Quinoa pilaf would also be delicious.

Thanks to Caroline Wright at Martha Stewart: Dinner Tonight for featuring this recipe on Slow-Cooker Week: Entertaining.

22 comments:

  1. Hooray! I absolutely love pork. This is a fab recipe...thanks. HUGS

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  2. That sounds great. My kids love meat especially when it comes from the crock pot. Speaking of meat, I just finished a dinner that included my first attempt at gluten-free meat balls. They were actually tasty. Since I’ve never found gluten free bread crumbs, I used rice crackers instead, thrown into a blender with anchovies and garlic & blended until crumbly. I added the crumbly mix to ground lamb, added an egg, oregano, s&p, shaped into balls & browned. Put together a savory tomato sauce, simmered the meatballs in the sauce for a while, then served everything on rice pasta. My kids had seconds!

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  3. Sounds delicious! I love roast pork but I don't cook it all that often, and the crock pot is a great idea.

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  4. We make a pork roast every week and a half it seems. It's real easy without the slow cooker too. (we haven't bought one yet) Maybe next time you should make a stuffed pork roast. I used rice chex as a stuffing base, add sausage, carrots, celery, onions, spices, and blend, I stuffed mine in 3 different sections.

    I just wanted to add that we bought your cooking for the seasons cookbook as a present for mother's day for my mother in law.

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  5. I'm always looking for new things to do with my slow cooker -- I don't eat pork, but the sauce looks so delicious that I'm wondering what else I can use it on. Chicken? Lamb? Yum...

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  6. I love using my crockpot! What a great recipe, my husband would love this...it would make such a great early Sunday dinner. I'm sold!

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  7. Sounds lovely. Heirloom organic pork is one of the easiest types of meat to get from local sources, so I've definitely spent some time getting better acquainted with pork in the last two years.

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  8. Well, you've got the touch, Karina, because this looks fantastic. And that sauce sounds divine. I can already think of several ways to use it. Thanks!

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  9. Hiya Lynn! Hugs back.

    Patty- Crock Pot cooking makes meat so tender. And thanks for sharing your meatball success! We process plain rice and tapioca bread with dried herbs and garlic.

    Hola Kalyn- It's an easy way to do a pork loin; this recipe makes good leftovers, too. xoxo

    Charmane- I do want to try a stuffed pork loin next! Aw- thanks for mentioning the cookbook. Sweet!

    Hi Lydia- This sauce works on a lot of things. How about a turkey breast?

    Tiffany- It's almost too easy. ;)

    Sally- Lucky you, having access to heirloom pork!

    Thanks, Susan! Last night we made this sauce for meatloaf. Yummy. It would be fab in a stir-fry, too.

    xoxo

    Karina

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  10. This looks delicious. I love throwing things in the slow cooker.

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  11. aha! I've been sitting here contemplating what to do with the chunk of pork roast I have on hand. I also procured a bag of peaches from the peach tree in my sister's backyard. What a treat I'll have when I get home from work tonite.. !!! Thank you soo much.. !!

    Namaste..
    Sandy

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  12. This looks amazing, and in the crock pot no less! thanks for the great recipe.

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  13. Oh my! This was outstanding! I used a raspberry/gooseberry jam and apricot nector as I didn't have the apricot jam or pomegrantate, I figured it was an equal substitute.

    Loved it, will make it again!

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  14. Elizabeth21:57

    This was a smashing success with everyone, and prompted the comment "I WISH we had MASHED POTATOES for the wonderful gravy!"

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  15. Nice recipe. Rather easy to cook and still tasty.

    Regards,

    Camida.

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  16. We are on a GF-DF diet as of 20 days ago... This recipe was fantastic and I served this with homemade Yorkshire Pudding (thanks to extensive reading on your site, I tried subbing the flour part of my recipe with Bob's RedMill GF biscuit mix) and it was all FANTASTIC! The family reported that these GF yorkshires were better than my wheat ones!!

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  17. Anonymous22:02

    Just not sure if this is 2 tsps total (which would be 1/4 tsp of each) or 2 tsps of each..."2 teaspoons dried Italian Herbs- oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary". Please clarify. Look forward to making for the New Year! Thanks, Tanna

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  18. Tanna- Two teaspoons total. xox Karina

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  19. Anonymous11:58

    I made this recipe for guests during the week, and it was delicious!! The sauce is incredible! The pork was a little dry, so I think I will cut back on the cooking time next time I make it.

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  20. Anonymous18:51

    Made this recipe for dinner today. De-li-cious !!!!!!!
    And it is so easy to prepare. You made my day, and my family loved it.
    Thank goodness for the goddess !!!

    Gisele

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  21. Amber Johnson00:37

    I made this with fresh apricots from the farmers market tonight. I followed the directions exactly except I did not mix preserves into the sauce. Instead I sliced 4 apricots into 8ths and then 4 in half. I placed them on top of all the other ingredients in the pot. about 1/2 way through the cooking process I took out the halved apricots and pureed them with some of the sauce from the pot and then reincorporated it in the pot in order to thicken up the sauce a bit. It turned out really yummy with the chunks of apricot mixed with onions and mushrooms. I love finding ways to put seasonal fruit into savory dishes rather then making desert.

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  22. I made this last night and it was fantastic! I <3 your blog!

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