Family health

Slow cooker pork tenderloin with sweet potatoes and apples

A twist on tenderloin

By Evelyn Raab

Slow cooker pork tenderloin with sweet potatoes and apples


Caribbean-inspired spices give this dish a new twist. Throw everything into the slow cooker the night before and refrigerate. Start cooking first thing in the morning on high heat, then switch to low before leaving the house.

¼ cup (50 mL) light brown sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) crumbled dried thyme
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) black pepper
¼ tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground ginger
¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper (optional)
2 lb (1 kg) sweet potatoes (3 medium), peeled and sliced ½ in (1 cm) thick
1 medium onion, chopped
1½ lb (750 g) pork tenderloins (2 small or 1 large)
2 medium apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
¼ cup (50 mL) dried cranberries
2 tbsp (30 mL) water

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, thyme, salt, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cayenne.

Arrange the sweet potato slices in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the chopped onion and sprinkle everything with about half of the sugar and spice mixture.

Coat the pork tenderloins with the remaining spice mixture and place them in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables. Depending on the shape of your cooker, you’ll probably have to curl the tenderloins around a bit to make them fit — that’s fine. Top the tenderloins with the chopped apples and the cranberries, then add the water and cover the cooker.

Cook on high heat setting for 1 to 1½ hours, then switch to low heat and let cook for an additional 5 to 6 hours. After 5 hours, quickly lift the lid and poke a fork down into the pot to see if the sweet potatoes are tender. If so, it’s ready. If not, switch the slow cooker back to high heat for the last hour. (If you aren’t home after 5 or 6 hours, don’t worry — it’ll still be delicious if it cooks a little longer.)

To serve, remove the tenderloins to a cutting board and carve crosswise into thick slices. Spoon the sweet potato-onion-apple mixture into a serving bowl and arrange the pork slices around the edge. If there’s any liquid left in the slow cooker, serve separately on the side.

Makes 4 servings.

Kids can
• Mix together spices and sprinkle into pot.
• Arrange ingredients in order in the slow cooker.
• Sprinkle in cranberries (but don’t eat all of them!).