I LOVE spices! I can’t imagine not having a stocked spice cabinet. I grew up with a mom who had a stocked spice cabinet and now I am a mom with a stocked spice cabinet. I can only hope I’m passing my love of spices to my boys as well.
There’s only one problem being a spice lover: They’re darn expensive!
For basics I choose the cheapo brands. You know, the ones that used to be $.99 that I now can’t find for less than $1.29. That’s what most of my spice cabinet is filled with, but every once in a while the “good stuff” will go on sale and I’ll scoop up anything I can find that’s severely marked down.
On my last trip down the spice aisle I noticed lots of sale tags on The Spice Hunter rack. I picked up some good sweet paprika, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and this…
I’ve seen Chinese Five Spice on the Food Network but never used it myself. It’s a mix of Star Anise, Cloves, Cinnamon, Fennel and Black Pepper.
I took one whiff and thought: Pork!
Then I thought: Crockpot!
I’ve experimented a few times with pork loin and apples in the crockpot before and the Chinese 5 Spice added a nice twist. The result was a flavorful pork loin the whole family enjoyed.
The gravy I made out of the crockpot juices had a fun flavor from the spice which the husband enjoyed, but The 7 year old found slightly overpowering. Although, he still ate everything without complaint and seemed to enjoy himself.
I’ll let this picture speak for itself…
He’s such a goof. I love it!
Anyway, I enjoyed the whole meal and I love having another slow cooker go-to dish that makes dinner that much easier.
Here’s what I did…
- 2 small apples cored and chopped
- 1/2 large sweet onion cut into rings
- 1 12oz can light beer
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 3/4 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
- 1 Boneless Pork Loin 1 1/2 – 2 lbs
Mix all the ingredients except the pork in the crockpot.
Heat a skillet over high. Salt the pork loin and brown it on both sides by cooking in the skillet until a crust forms.
Place the browned pork loin into the crockpot.
I cooked on low for 7 hours, about 4 on high would probably do the trick as well.
Remove the pork and puree the rest of the ingredients in the crockpot for a nice gravy.
We used it on the pork and some mashed potatoes.
Slice up the pork.
Serve with drizzle of the gravy and your favorite sides. We went with mashed tators and peas. :)
Again, I don’t feel comfortable giving nutritional info as it will vary. Pork Loin is as lean if not leaner than boneless chicken breasts, so weigh out your serving size and journal it that way if you’re counting.
Oh! And my absolute favorite thing to do with pork loin leftovers is make this sandwich. I’ve had it twice on whole wheat English muffins since making this meal. :)
Note: Before I found the Chinese 5 Spice I used 1/4 tsp ground cloves and 1/2 tsp allspice in this. It’s just as yummy. :)