There's a reason why slow cooker recipes are wildly popular. We want convenience, and we want—and need—it now. The slow cooker delivers just that, working hard for us while we're hard at work, welcoming us home to a fragrant dinner that's just waiting to be enjoyed. This simple appliance works miracles with tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, coaxing out incredible flavor and turning out meltingly tender results. Through its low, slow cooking, it melds and marries flavors; it brings ingredients together in delicious harmony. And it offers up a few surprises: appetizers, sides, and drinks that simmer to perfection—hands-free.
Braised Pork Loin with Port and Dried Plums
If you (like many folks) have a bottle of port hanging around that you don’t know what to do with, this recipe is just for you. The port, along with the dried plums, creates a rich, sweet—but not too sweet—sauce that perfectly pairs with pork loin. The plums soften so much that they break apart and incorporate into the sauce. If you don’t have them on hand, you can use raisins, but they won’t break down quite the same way. Dried herbs work well here because they soften and release their essences over the long cook time; if you’d rather use fresh, toss a sprig each of sage and thyme into the crock.