With the weather growing colder, and the holidays fast approaching, there is no better time to pull the crockpot out of its dark hiding spot, wipe off the ½-inch of dust, and prepare for a no-mess no-fuss autumn meal. This recipe is dual-purpose, in that you get two meals for your “effort” in the kitchen. However, I’m pretty doggone sure that “effort” really isn’t the correct word to use when referencing this fall meal, considering you will basically be throwing all of the ingredients into a crockpot and walking away for the day, praying that your cat won’t lick the condensation off of the lid as it cooks. Sure, you will eventually need to use a blender to puree the butternut squash and residual broth in the crockpot, but I think you can handle that. This isn’t rocket science you guys; it’s a crockpot and a blender. You’ve got this.
For the first day’s meal, you just need to whip up a batch of mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, rice, or noodles to serve the shredded pork on top of. Hell, get wild, get healthy, and throw a steamed vegetable along the side for added measure. This is all about customizing this meal to your own specific tastes and preferences. You know what you like. Make it happen. Want to get wild and crazy? Drizzle the pork with a bit of the soup that you will be pureeing for day two. Instant gravy. No added effort. HELLO!
I’ll be frank with you. My favorite way to utilize this fall-inspired yummy pork goodness is in between two pieces of bread, with some cheese, mustard, and pickles. You really want to get crazy? Butter the bread and toast it slowly for the best pork grilled cheese sandwich you’ve ever had. Ready to talk about Crazy, Crazy, Crazy, Mac-Daddy Goodness? Enjoy that super-amazing melty sandwich with a bowl of the butternut squash soup. Oh yeah! That’s what I’m talking about.
Once again, this soup is also about you and the flavors that you most enjoy. Add a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, crunchy pepitas, or even a swirl of heavy whipping cream. It’s all up to you. There is no such thing as a “recipe” in my world. We are all different, we have individual tastes, and we need to trust in our cooking instincts.
- 2 Pork Tenderloins
- Salt & Pepper
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Onions, Cut in Half and Sliced Thinly
- 1 Tsp Ground Paprika
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Butternut Squash, Peeled and Cubed
- 2 Cups Apple Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Brandy
- 4 Sage Leaves
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over high heat.
- Liberally salt and pepper the pork tenderloins, and then sear on all sides in the olive oil until dark golden brown.
- Place the sliced onion in the bottom of a crock pot, sprinkle with paprika, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
- Place the seared tenderloins on top of the onions, and then top with the cubed butternut squash.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the apple juice, vinegar, and brandy.
- Pour the mixture over the butternut squash, and then top with the sage leaves.
- Cook on high heat for at least 8 hours.
- Transfer the tenderloins to a serving plate or dish, cover with foil, and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Place the remaining vegetables and liquid in a blender, and process until smooth.
- Make sure to get a really great brown-crust-yummy-whatever-darkness you call it on that pork before you throw it into the crockpot. That burnt crunchy crust equals huge amount of flavor.
- Add a little bit of heavy whipping cream to some of the soup to make gravy for the pork tenderloin.
- Make a grilled cheese sandwich with any leftover shredded pork tenderloin to serve alongside the butternut squash soup.
- Make this meal your own. Top the pork or soup with shredded cheese, sour cream, green chiles, or additional seasoning. You got this!
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