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This simple and quick-prep slow-cooker dinner is perfect for fall! A pork roast basted with maple syrup and roasted with apples and onions.
If there is one type of recipe that you can’t have enough of, it’s slow-cooker dinner recipes. As a person who is so-so on cooking, this is the type of ‘cooking’ that I can get on board with.
I cook largely out of necessity because I have to, you know, eat. I use my slow-cooker every single weekend, and sometimes twice/week. It’s the convenience factor, of course. Throw everything into the slow-cooker, and come back 4 hours later to a finished dinner. It’s a magical device.
I have an entire series of slow-cooker dinners coming up in January, so stay tuned for that.
But slow-cooker meals are especially inviting in the fall when I start to think more about comfort foods. One of the first meals I ever learned how to make in the slow-cooker is a roast. And I use ‘learned’ very loosely here because there’s no real learning curve with a slow-cooker, thankfully!
My Grandma used to do more cooking, and one of her signature meals was a pork roast. I remember her making a roast most Sundays, and she usually made it with carrots and parsnips. It was so simple, but so hearty and comforting. When I would come home from college or law school for the weekend to visit, she always made a roast as the last meal before I went back to school.
It was the perfect send-off. I definitely didn’t get a lot of home-cooked meals in college, and so to me, a pork roast is the ultimate in comfort food. I always remember my Grandma doing thoughtful things like that, and I’ve talked at length on the blog about how she is a hero and role model to me. She taught me so much about baking, and she’s always been selfless, generous, caring, and compassionate.
Smithfield has a Compassion for Community campaign right now with over $9,000 in prizing, so it’s a wonderful opportunity to honor someone special. Don’t miss the chance to nominate someone in your life who deserves recognition for embracing compassion, care, and commitment.
What I love about this slow-cooker roast is that the prep-time is super short. It does cook for awhile, but you don’t have to do any work at all once it’s in the slow-cooker. Cut up a few apples and onions, drizzle the roast with maple syrup, add a few spices, and that’s all the effort you need to put in.
For a weekday meal, it’s something you can throw together quickly before you leave for work, and you can come home to it ready! For a weekend meal, it’s elegant enough to serve to guests, and it’s filling and cozy. A pork roast is my favorite Sunday dinner.
I purchased a Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork Shoulder Picnic at Walmart, and I am a faithful and loyal Smithfield fan. Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork is naturally tender and juicy, but without added steroids, hormones, or artificial ingredients. I’m very picky about those qualities in my foods, and I trust the high-quality of Smithfield. It’s also proudly raised in the USA by Smithfield farm families.
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large apples, sliced in 8-10 wedges
- 1 - 4-5 lb. pork shoulder roast
- ¾ c. pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- ½ c. chicken broth
- salt & pepper, to taste
- ½ tsp. paprika
- Turn the slow-cooker to low.
- Place half the onion and apples into the bottom of the slow-cooker.
- Add the pork roast.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Pour over the pork roast.
- Add remaining onion and apples to the top of the slow-cooker.
- Cook for at least 4 hours, or until pork is very tender.
If you love your pork medium rare, you should cook it to an internal temperature of 145 degrees (followed by a three-minute rest). If you like your pork a little more done, you can cook them to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
To save on Smithfield All Natural Pork, click here for a coupon. Here’s another awesome recipe for inspiration: