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Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin {Slow Cooker}


The crockpot is my cold-weather friend.  I turn it on before work, and come home to a delicious-smelling house and a hot dinner ready and waiting.  Usually I use it for soups & chili, but once in a while I get a little crazy and turn a big hunk of meat into something falling-apart tender and succulent.  This is one of those rare times, and of course the husband rejoiced.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of this as soon as we took it out of the crock, but due to the early sunset in winter, there was no light left to take a photo by.  So you get a picture of the leftovers, which were also delicious, but this doesn’t quite represent how beautiful the meat was after it finished cooking.  But I figure a photo taken of leftovers by daylight is better than a grainy, dark photo of perfect meat.

What makes this dish remarkable isn’t so much the tender, juicy pork (that always happens to meat in the crockpot, right?), but the sauce.  It reminds me of barbecue sauce, but it is more like barbecue sauce’s wealthy cousin that travels abroad 3 months out of the year and has great taste in hats.  Or something like that.

Anyway, the sauce is amazing.  The meat is amazing.  Together, well, duh, they are amazing.  Make it and feel the amazement in your own kitchen.

Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

Glaze
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

Recipe source: C & C Marriage Factory

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Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles

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I ran across a recipe entitled “Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles” on Joy the Baker’s blog and immediately knew I was going to have to try it.  Bacon caramelized with brown sugar and stirred into waffle batter??  Oh yeah, I’m there.  But if the title isn’t enough to convince you, I will impart a portion of her blog (which I heartily agree with):

“These waffles need to be made now, tonight, first thing tomorrow morning, or whenever you get hungry… now?  They’re that good.”

Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

For the Bacon
10 slices of bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray and line with foil.  Arrange bacon in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle generously with brown sugar.  Place in the upper third of the oven and bake until sugar is caramelized and bacon is brown and crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes.  (I used some super thick, big bacon slices so I only used five and had to cook them 20 minutes.)  Remove from oven.  Immediately remove bacon slices using a pair of tongs.  Work quickly or they will stick.  Place them on a cutting board (not paper towels, they’ll stick!) to cool before chopping.  Once cool, chop the bacon into bite size bits and set aside.

For the Waffles

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups buttermilk

*If you don’t eat bacon, try adding 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon to the batter. Yum!

Set up your waffle iron on a level surface and turn on to preheat.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar.  Whisk to blend.  In a  medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold.  Once almost fully incorporated, add the bacon bits.  Stir.  Try not to over mix the batter or the waffles will become tough.  It’s OK if a few lumps remain in the batter.

Cook according to your waffle machine instructions.

Recipe source: adapted from Joy the Baker

Serve with real maple syrup and strawberries.  And a side of fried eggs & more bacon if your cholesterol count could use a little boost.

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