Pork and Apples | Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

Pork and Apples… A perfect pairing! Combine in your Instant Pot or slow cooker with stone ground mustard, onion, and sage for a flavorful and tender main dish, Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Pork and Apples is healthy and delicious, with minimal effort… The recipe card provides instructions for both methods!

2 yellow ceramic bowls with Instant Pot Pork and Apples in front of a bowl of apples with fresh sage and chives.

You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.

~~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Slow Cooker Pork and Apples Inspiration

I just feel compelled to talk about food. Thus, I write a food blog. I simply must talk about pork and apples simmered slowly with fresh sage, stone-ground mustard, apple cider vinegar, and stock.

Pork and apples must be one of those “perfect pairings” like chocolate and red wine, beef and mushrooms, figs and bleu cheese, fish and citrus… Do you have a perfect pairing?

I recently purchased a 4 quart slow cooker, having found my 8 quart slow cooker way over-sized for two. I broke in my new tiny slow cooker with my Slow Cooker Pork and Apples, and it was falling-apart-tender-and-delicious!

Blame my love of literature for my occasionally cryptic quotes, and the quite pithy epigram above.  If you love good food, pull that slow cooker down off the top shelf of your pantry closet, and put it to work.

A bird's eye view of 2 bowls of Instant Pot Pork and Apples, copper flatware, and a red and yellow print napkin.

Fast Forward to 2019 and the Instant Pot

While I do still pull out my slow cooker, I find myself using my Instant Pot for the same reason: Set it and Forget it! I’m updating this good-any-time but especially good for fall recipe to include instructions for both…

I buy most of my proteins at the local Sam’s Club, including pork loin. Their meats are fresh, of good quality, and well-priced. My husband cuts the loin into about 4 pieces, – about 1 1/2 pounds each – and we vacuum seal them, and place in the freezer until needed.

1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) provides generous servings for 4, or adequate servings for 6. I will leave that decision up to you. At Andersen casa, we allow 4-6 ounces of protein per serving, depending on where we’re at with our macro nutrients for the day.

📋 Ingredients Notes

  • pork – I use either boneless pork loin or thick boneless chops. If you don’t
  • apples – I use crisp, tart apples that can hold up to slow cooking or pressure cooking.
  • stone ground mustard – I keep a jar of this stone ground mustard in my refrigerator. You can use any stone ground mustard. Brown or dijon mustard are fine as well. I wouldn’t recommend yellow ballpark type mustard.
  • apple cider vinegar
  • chicken broth or stock
  • onion – Red, yellow, and white are all fine!
  • garlic
  • bay leaves and sage – Dried herbs are fine, but fresh herbs make it extra special.
  • flour
  • salt and pepper
Ingredients for Instant Pot or slow cooker pork and apples - pork, apples, onion, sage, garlic, mustard.

🔪 Instructions

NOTE: Whether you’re using the Instant Pot or the slow cooker, the process is essentially the same. You need to brown the pork and sauté the aromatics before combining with the other ingredients. See the recipe card below for appliance specific instructions.

Pork chunks browning prior to being added to the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
  • Step 1 – Start by browning large pork chunks. If using a slow cooker, brown in a skillet before adding. If using an Instant Pot use the sauté setting.
Red onion, apples, garlic are stirred into the browned pork chunks.
  • Step 2 – Stir in the aromatics (garlic and onion) and apples. This applies to both the slow cooker and the Instant Pot.
Lastly, add the liquid ingredients and seasonings to the mixture before covering.
  • Step 3 – After whisking together the broth/stock, vinegar, and stone ground mustard, pour it over top. Generously season with fresh ground pepper, salt, and herbs.
  • Step 4 – If using a slow cooker, cover, and set to “low” for 8 hours, or “high” for 4 to 6. If using an Instant Pot, lock the lid, and set to 40 minutes. You can de-pressurize immediately (be careful!), but the pork may need some “help” to fall apart. I find a potato masher quite useful!
  • Step 5 – Lastly, you’ll want to thicken the sauce. Add a bit of oil to a sauté pan, add the flour, and brown it. Then ladle the juices from the pork until the mixture is thickened. Add it back into the pan.
A close-up and bird's eye view of Instant Pot Pork and Apples with wild and brown rice in a yellow ceramic bowl with copper spoon.

❓ FAQ

What cut of pork works best in this recipe?

I have used both pork loin and thick boneless chops for this recipe. I don’t want to mess with the bone, but if you don’t mind, bone-in cuts are fine as well.

Is this pork and apple recipe good leftover?

Leftovers are wonderful, and will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I cook for 2, so I almost always freeze half for a second meal later! The recipe makes 6 well-portioned servings. We have dinner, leftovers warmed for lunch the next day, and freeze the rest for another meal.

💭 Tips

What variety of apple should I use? I like granny smith. See Apple Varieties to Choose for picking the best apple for different uses.

I find I get similar results whether I cook this dish in my Instant Pot, my slow cooker, or on the stove. I make the decision based on time. If the early part of my day is less busy, I’ll make it in the slow cooker. Conversely, if time is short, I’ll use my Instant Pot. The stove top rarely sees the action for this recipe!

A useful tool – A potato masher will break the tender pork down quickly.

Leftovers are wonderful, and will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I cook for 2, so I almost always freeze half for a second meal later!

🍷 Pairing Suggestions

We usually serve pork and apples with a farro and wild rice pilaf. It is awesome with barley, freekeh, even mashed potatoes (if you’re not counting carbs and calories). Roasted potatoes are another good option. You will want something to sop up that delicious sauce!

Our “go to” adult beverage with this German-inspired dish is a dark, malty beer. Spaten Optimator is a favorite!

What is your favorite fall slow cooker or Instant Pot dish? This transition time always has me pulling down my “crockpot.” You?

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes.

Looking for more transitional summer to fall recipes? Try one (or more) of these:

A yellow ceramic bowl with a handle of Instant Pot (or Slow Cooker) Pork and Apples with Sage and Mustard.

Pork and Apples – Instant Pot or Slow Cooker!

Pork and Apples… A perfect pairing! Combine in your Instant Pot or slow cooker with stone ground mustard and sage for a flavorful and tender main dish.
4.67 from 3 votes

Click to rate!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Pressurize/De-Pressurize 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 244 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ pounds lean pork loin
  • olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and cubed - half inch dice +/-
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon good apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 cup broth/stock
  • 2 teaspoon dried sage or 1 tbsp. fresh sage - finely chopped (see notes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. flour

Instructions

Slow Cooker

  • Add the pork chunks and a drizzle of olive oil to a sauté pan. Bring a saute pan to high heat. Sear the pork on all sides. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. If you add a sizzling hot food to a cold slow cooker, you risk crack it. I've had this experience! When pork is cooler, add to slow cooker.
  • Add cubed apples, chopped onion, and garlic to the slow cooker.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, stone ground mustard, broth/stock, garlic, sage (and thyme if using), several grinds of pepper and sea salt. Whisk thoroughly. Pour over the pork and apples. Drop bay leaves into the liquid.
  • Cook on low 8-10 hours, or high 4-6 hours.
  • Just prior to serving, remove pork from the slow cooker. Don't worry if it's falling apart and you leave some behind.
  • Brown flour in olive oil in a small saute pan. You'll need enough olive oil to make a paste, but if watching fat and calories, don't use more than you need to. Using a ladle, add liquid from the slow cooker to the flour mixture a little at a time until you have a thick gravy. Scoop the gravy into the slow cooker, and stir gently to combine and thicken the sauce. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Add the pork back into the slow cooker. Stir gently to combine. Set dial to "warm" until ready to serve.***

Instant Pot

  • Add the pork chunks and a drizzle of olive oil to a sauté pan. Bring a saute pan to high heat. Sear the pork on all sides.
  • Add cubed apples, chopped onion, and garlic to the slow cooker.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, stone ground mustard, broth/stock, garlic, sage (and thyme if using), several grinds of pepper and sea salt. Whisk thoroughly. Pour over the pork and apples. Drop bay leaves into the liquid.
  • Set Instant Pot to 40 minutes at high pressure. When finished, release pressure (be careful!).
  • Brown flour in olive oil in a small saute pan. You'll need enough olive oil to make a paste, but if watching fat and calories, don't use more than you need to. Using a ladle, add liquid from the Instant Pot to the flour mixture a little at a time until you have a thick gravy. Scoop the gravy back into the Instant Pot, and stir gently to combine and thicken the sauce. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • To Serve
  • Serve over your choice of brown or wild rice (or a mix), barley, freekeh, or mashed potatoes. Garnish with fresh herbs as desired!

Notes

I love fresh herbs, and use them whenever possible – either from my garden or the market. If you are using dried, you will want to use about 50% of the amount used fresh.
I always include sage, but will include fresh thyme leaves if I have them. Marjoram is another nice option. Garnish with fresh sage, thyme, and/or chives as desired.
Seasoning is subjective. My husband watches sodium intake, so I typically go easy on salt. Always taste for seasoning prior to serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 6Servings | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 11g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

Share this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 Comments

  1. I made this the other day paired with a bulgar pilaf and it was so good! the apples fall apart and add a tang to the gravy that is delish!