November 05, 2014

Crockpot Dinner: Balsamic Pork Roast {and Honey Glazed Carrots}


I love making dinners in the crockpot; there is something magical and relaxing about coming home to a house that smells yummy, and a dinner that is (at least mostly) ready to serve.

Today we got to enjoy a family day off together, and a hands-off crockpot meal really helped keep the relaxed pace of the day going, and made dinner time simple and easy.

I don't make a lot of pork. I am pretty finicky about pork in general, but pork tenderloin and crockpots go together like peanut butter and jelly... so I have to give it a go every once in a while- particularly in the fall and winter months.

Tonight's recipe strayed from my fall back flavor combination of pork and apples, and I have to admit that I'm very glad that we tried something new! I found this recipe on Skinnytaste.com- another great blog which features healthy and tasty meals. (Thanks to her, I can also provide the nutritional info!) I served the pork with mashed potatoes and honey glazed carrots (see my recipe below) and it was an easy, delicious, and warming meal- one that I will be making again and again!

Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast

From Skinnytaste.com: Serves 8

2 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
Kosher salt, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp honey

Season the pork with salt, garlic powder and red pepper flakes and place it into the slow cooker. Mix together the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar and pour it over the pork. The pour the honey over and set timer for 4 hours on High, or 6-8 hours on Low. (I cooked mine for 7hrs on Low)
Once the pork is cooked and tender, remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and put back into the slow cooker; ladle 1/2 cup sauce over the pork and keep warm until ready to eat. (I didn't seem to have much sauce left after 7 hours of cooking, so I shredded mine in the crockpot and mixed it with all of the remaining sauce, which ended up perfect.)

Serving size 3oz; Calories: 214; Fat: 12g; Carbs: 4g; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 21g; Sugar: 3g; Sodium: 196mg; Cholesterol: 72mg

Notes: Using 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes did result in slightly spicy pork- if you and your family like things more mild, I'd recommend cutting down to 1/4 tsp to be safe. Also, for those concerned about the vinegar- the sharpness of the vinegar cooks out and is well balanced against the honey and the natural flavor of the pork, and the end result is delicious. This was great as the main attraction for dinner, and will make incredible sandwiches with leftovers! I would definitely make this as an alternative to the typical BBQ pulled pork for some delicious sandwiches and an easy party meal!

Honey Glazed Carrots
Makes 4 servings

2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp honey (or more to taste)
1/8 tsp kosher salt
black pepper, to taste

Melt butter in pan over medium heat; add carrots. Drizzle 1tsp honey overtop and season with salt and pepper. Mix together, and cook partly covered, stirring occasionally until carrots are tender.

I hope that everyone is having a great week! Happy Humpday!

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