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A slow cooker pork loin served with rice and caramelized onions. 

I don’t know about any of you, but I have reached my breaking point with Mother Nature and her apparently favorite season — at least here in New England and in California (12 feet of snow!). And it wasn’t even a bad winter snow-wise. I’m sick of the cloudy, cold and dreary days. I’m sick of bundling up in three or four layers, and walking on ice like the little old lady I’m not-so-slowly becoming.

As the Bananarama song from the 1970s said, “Na na na na, na na na na. Hey hey hey, goodbye!

The other day, I booked a trip to the island of Molokai, Hawaii. Before anyone starts planning a bon voyage party, let me clarify I did all the research and never hit the “book it” button. Still, a round-trip ticket from Logan International in Boston for $885 and a VRBO condo 15 feet from a beautiful white-sand beach for $125 a night were very tempting. Sun, surf, warm air … all within my reach.

Instead, I decided to clean out my freezer, where I found a pork loin roast — well, actually two, since I had cut a rather large one in half and frozen them separately. I considered doing pulled pork, but I’m not a big fan of anything with barbecue sauce. I scrolled through hundreds of recipes on my phone and found one that didn’t have a speck of barbecue sauce in it. After defrosting the roast, I put it in the crockpot. I will never cook a pork roast any other way! It was so tender and moist — and flavorful. I was afraid the balsamic vinegar would overwhelm the meat, but it added just enough zing. The recipe calls for it to be cooked for six hours. My roast was about 3 pounds and it was done in 2 1/2 hours, so if you make it, keep an eye on it. I served it with rice, placing some of the onions and sauce on top of the pork before serving. So good. The only thing I would change would be to use another onion, the caramelized onions were out of this world — there were not nearly enough!


(Recipe courtesy feastforafraction.com)

Yield: 6-8 serving

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 6 hours

Additional time: 10 minutes

Total time: 6 hours 20 minutes


1 tablespoon oil

One 3-4 pound pork loin, excess fat removed

Salt and pepper

1 large onion, sliced in thin rounds

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce


Season all sides of pork loin roast generously with salt and pepper.

Place cut onions in the bottom of your slow cooker.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and sear pork loin on all sides until golden brown, 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on top of onions in slow cooker.

Turn off the heat on your skillet and add garlic, water, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Stir together ingredients, making sure to scrape up any brown bits that stuck to the pan.

Sprinkle brown sugar on top of pork loin and then pour sauce mixture over the pork.

Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until the internal temperature is 145 F.

Once cooked, remove pork loin to a plate and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

While pork is resting, pour the sauce and juices from the slow cooker into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow the sauce to thicken, 5-6 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Notes: The pork loin is done cooking when the internal temperature reaches 145 F. Since it is a lean cut, it will not fall apart and you will be able to slice it. This recipe also works with pork shoulder. Cook 3-4 pound pork shoulder on low for 9-10 hours. It will be fall-apart tender.