The holiday season always creeps up on me so fast and then in the blink of an eye, it’s over. Maybe it's because we’re so busy with family get togethers, finishing up work for the year, or various other events that make the weeks go by so fast. I can't say for sure but I for one love having something to look forward to every weekend this season. Of course I also contribute to that busy-ness factor by throwing our yearly Holiday party at home! It’s kind of like our version of Friendsgiving but more festive with ugly sweaters and a Secret Santa gift exchange. We stuff our faces with decadent food that can only be justified during the Holiday season, and end the night by watching some classic Christmas movie like Elf, Home Alone, or in last year’s case, Bad Santa.
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Since I my schedule has been jam-packed with work this year I’ve decided to make my life easier by cooking our main entrée in my Crock-Pot® slow cooker. I made a succulent slow cooked Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider, topped with delicious apples, cranberries, and caramelized onions. It’s the perfect Holiday meal for a crowd because not only is it delicious, it’s also super easy to make. Add a couple of favorite sides like mashed potatoes and green beans, and you have a dinner party meal fit or a king.
Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider & Herbs:
Serving Size: 4-6 guests
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
3-4 lbs pork tenderloin
1 honeycrisp apples, sliced
1 ½ cup apple cider
½ cup chicken broth
1 tsp kosher salt (plus more for searing meat)
Fresh cracked peppers
4 sprigs thyme
Apple Cranberry Topping
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 apples, peeled and sliced
½ cup whole cranberries
1/3 cup reserved liquid from slow cooker
1 tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp fresh thyme
fresh cracked pepper
Apple Cider Gravy
2 cups reserved liquid from slow cooker
1 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup flour
1) In a heavy bottom frying pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and let it heat up. Season pork tenderloins with salt and pepper, then sear each side until golden brown, for 3-4 minutes each. 2) In the Crock-Pot® slow cooker, add seared pork tenderloin, sliced apples, thyme sprigs, apple cider, and chicken broth.
3) Cover and set Crock-Pot® slow cooker on low for 4 hours.
4) When ready, take pork tenderloin out and tent with foil.
5) In the meantime, reserve cider and pork liquid in slow cooker, making sure to discard cooked apples.
6) To make gravy: In a saucepan, melt butter and add flour. Whisk vigorously to smooth out the mixture. Continue whisking and cook flour until it turns light to golden brown. Add reserved liquid a little at a time, while whisking. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until gravy thickens up. Remove from heat and serve.
7) To make topping: In a heavy bottom pan, add butter and sliced onions. Cook for 3-5 minutes on medium high heat until onions starts to brown and is translucent. Add sliced apples and continue cooking for 3 minutes until slightly softened. Add cranberries, thyme, and reserved liquid from slow cooker and continue simmering on low heat for 8-10 minutes.
8) When ready to serve pork, add to platter and dress with gravy and apple topping. Enjoy!
This post is sponsored by Crock-Pot® brand