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Pork with Apples, Bacon, and Sauerkraut

Photo: Hector Sanchez
Hands-on time 50 mins
Total time 3 hrs, 50 mins
Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings
Find pancetta--unsmoked Italian bacon cured with salt and spices--in the deli section.

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-lb.) boneless pork loin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta or bacon
  • Kitchen string
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, quartered (root end intact)
  • 1 (12-oz.) package frozen pearl onions (about 2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (12-oz.) bottle stout or porter beer
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 firm apples (such as Gala), divided
  • 2 cups jarred sauerkraut, rinsed
  • 2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

How to Make It

  1. Trim fat and silver skin from pork. Sprinkle pork with kosher salt and pepper. Wrap top and sides of pork with pancetta. Tie with kitchen string, securing at 1-inch intervals.

  2. Cook pork in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, 15 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from skillet, reserving drippings in skillet.

  3. Place quartered onion and next 4 ingredients in a 6-qt. slow cooker; top with pork.

  4. Add beer to reserved drippings in skillet, and cook over medium heat 8 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half, stirring to loosen brown bits from bottom of skillet. Stir in mustard, and pour over pork. Cover and cook on HIGH 2 hours.

  5. Peel 2 apples, and cut into large wedges. Add apple wedges, sauerkraut, and cabbage to slow cooker; cover and cook 1 to 2 more hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of pork registers 150° and apples are tender.

  6. Cut remaining unpeeled apple into thin strips, and toss with parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Combine preserves and broth in a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until melted and smooth.

  8. Brush pork with apricot mixture. Cut pork into slices, and serve with onion mixture, apple-parsley mixture, and additional Dijon mustard.