Slow Cooked Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Dijon Glaze

Seriously Subaru! Your elderly dog “bucket list” commercial is killing me. Just saw it again and can’t hold back the damn tears. If you haven’t seen it, let me fill you in. It features a guy with his old dog (there’s a dog bone shaped cake with “14” on it, so you know he’s old), actually checking off a bucket list of things for the dog to do on his birthday… He loads up the car with tennis balls, visits an old girlfriend, gets a brand new pair of shoes to chew on, goes to the beach, etc., all in a Subaru of course. During the commercial Willie Nelson is in the background singing “you’re my buddy, my pal, my friend…”. Brutal. Maybe if my own dog wasn’t nearing the end of his life I would be able to handle it a little better. Probably not though.
Sorry, just saw it… I’ll move on now.
This is truly a superstar of a main dish. Super simple, super delicious, super versatile. I served it with a fresh pear and apple slaw (recipe coming soon) but it would work with countless sides and you could easily work any leftover meat into a chili, stir fry or hearty pasta sauce. The sweetness of the apricot jam, acidic and spicy punch of Dijon mustard and garlic come together with the pork for the perfect sweet and savory flavor combination.
Slow Cooked Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Dijon Glaze
(serves 10 – 12)
2 1/2 – 3 lbs pork tenderloin
salt (preferably kosher salt)
1 – 2 TB olive or canola oil
1/3 cup apricot jam/preserves
2 TB Dijon mustard
2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
 several sprigs of fresh thyme OR 1 tsp dried thyme
Remove pork tenderloin from fridge and allow to sit at room temp for 20 – 30 minutes to take the chill off.
Preheat heavy skillet to medium-high heat.
Generously sprinkle pork tenderloin with about 2 teaspoons kosher salt.
Add olive or canola oil to the pan and carefully place the pork tenderloin in to give it a good sear, should take about 7 minutes per side but check it at 5 minutes.
You want it to look like this on both sides…
While the meat is searing, make your glaze.
Peel garlic; press down on the clove with the flat side of your large knife to loosen the peel.
Chop garlic.
In a small mixing bowl, combine apricot jam, Dijon mustard and chopped garlic.
Transfer seared pork tenderloin to slow cooker. Add freshly ground pepper to your taste.
Spoon the glaze evenly over the top of the tenderloin.
Lay fresh thyme sprigs over the top or sprinkle dried thyme on top of the glaze.
Set your slow cooker to cook 6 hours on high or 8 – 10 hours on low depending on your schedule. (Remember that slow cookers, like ovens, are not created equal and may require slightly different cooking times.)
Remove from slow cooker (discard thyme sprigs), allow to rest for about 10 minutes, slice and serve.
 
“To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live.”
Garth Stein
The Art of Racing in the Rain