Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin (Slow Cooker)

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What it is: A slow cooker recipe that’s delicious, easy, and requires very little hands-on time. What it isn’t: Soup, stew, shredded, or fatty. There isn’t even a sautéing step! Such recipes are elusive, to say the least. No matter why you love your slow cooker, this dish, which I’ve adapted ever-so-slightly from Let’s Dish, is a definite keeper! It’s so yummy, I’d make it again even if it weren’t so easy.

There is much to love about the slow cooker. Tough, inexpensive cuts of meat can be cooked to mouth-watering tenderness. Dinner can be started early and cook itself without being minded — freeing you up for whatever else you like to do. A chicken carcass cooked for twelve hours or more without the pot ever boiling over or running dry? Slow cooker. Company coming, need a big pot of something without missing all the good conversation? Slow cooker. A hot meal in the middle of the summer, without making the kitchen unbearable? Slow cooker.

For me, the slow cooker is sometimes more than just a convenience. There are times when health issues leave me a quivering puddle of spoonlessness* by late afternoon, just in time to not cook dinner. Sometimes it sneaks up on me, which is one reason I like to have Instant Pot Freezer Meals on hand. Other days, when I know it’s coming, I can get a slow cooker meal rolling before I crash. I love soup, stew, and pulled pork, mind you, but sometimes it’s nice to have a dinner that’s not any of those for a change. You can certainly wait to make the glaze until it’s time to use it, but I like mixing it up when I’m doing the rest of the prep so I can get most of the clean-up out of the way. All that’s left later are the crock pot, the saucepan, and a spoon. 

* Click here for an explanation of the Spoon Theory.

Ingredients:

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2 pounds (900 g) pork tenderloin

1½ teaspoons ground sage

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic

1 cup (240 ml) water, divided

½ cup (107 g) brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Preparation:

1.) Mince the garlic, then stir in the sage, pepper, and salt.

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2.) Rub the mixture over the pork. Place ½ cup (120 ml) of the water in the slow cooker pot. Lay the pork in the water. Cover and set the pot for 5 to 6 hours on low. 

3.) For the glaze: Combine the remaining brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic, soy, and the remaining ½ cup (120 ml) of the water in a small saucepan. Cover the pan and pop it in the fridge for later.

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4.) About an hour before the end of the cook time, remove the glaze pot from the fridge. Cook on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it begins to thicken. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. It starts out pretty runny but thickens rapidly. 

5.) Remove the slow cooker lid just long enough to drizzle some of the glaze over the pork. Pop the lid back on and let it continue cooking. Repeat every 20 minutes until the pork is done. Transfer the pork to a serving platter and drizzle generously once more before serving. Any remaining glaze can be served on the side. Believe me, you won’t want to waste it!

 

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Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin (Slow Cooker)

Ingredients

2 pounds (900 g) pork tenderloin

1½ teaspoons ground sage

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic

1 cup (240 ml) water, divided

½ cup (107 g) brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Directions

1.) Mince the garlic, then stir in the sage, pepper, and salt.

2.) Rub the mixture over the pork. Place ½ cup (120 ml) of the water in the slow cooker pot. Lay the pork in the water. Cover and set the pot for 5 to 6 hours on low.

3.) For the glaze: Combine the remaining brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic, soy, and the remaining ½ cup (120 ml) of the water in a small saucepan. Cover the pan and pop it in the fridge for later.

4.) About an hour before the end of the cook time, remove the glaze pot from the fridge. Cook on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it begins to thicken. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. It starts out pretty runny but thickens rapidly.

5.) Remove the slow cooker lid just long enough to drizzle some of the glaze over the pork. Pop the lid back on and let it continue cooking. Repeat every 20 minutes until the pork is done. Transfer the pork to a serving platter and drizzle generously once more before serving. Any remaining glaze can be served on the side. Believe me, you won’t want to waste it!

 

 

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