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.
Serve over your choice of brown or wild rice (or a mix), barley, freekeh, or mashed potatoes. Garnish with fresh herbs as desired!
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 25% 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.
A potato masher is super useful in breaking up the pork. I find the slow cooker results in pork that is already falling apart, but the Instant Pot may need some help.
As I mentioned in the post, I have served this with many different sides including barley pilaf, brown rice, and roasted potatoes. Start your side dishes, and make your sauce (last step) just before they're finished.
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 244 calories; 24 g protein; 8 g carbohydrates; 11 g fat. Macros do not include a side dish.
We strictly follow 4-6 ounces of meat/poultry/fish per person, so this serves 6 at our house. The calories are based on 6 servings.