Holiday Slow Cooker: Pork Loin & Chocolate Toffee Fondue

Holiday Slow Cooker.png
Holiday Slow Cooker.png

It's a great way to make holiday entertaining a little easier! Leigh Anne Wilkes, author of the cookbook Holiday Slow Cooker: 100 Incredible and Festive Recipes for Every Celebration, joined us to show us how to use your slow cooker to make a main dish and a delicious dessert!

For more information about Leigh Anne, click here to visit her blog!

Cranberry Balsamic Pork Loin Roast

This Cranberry Balsamic Pork Loin Roast is just the thing for a holiday dinner. It’s a great alternative to a beef roast, and the cranberry sauce adds a sweet and festive feel to the pork roast. I like to serve it sliced, so I cook it on high for 4 hours, but if you prefer to be able to shred the meat, cook it longer at low for 8 hours. Thicken up the sauce at the end with some cornstarch?and spoon it over the sliced or shredded meat.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 to 4 lb (1.5 to 2 kg) boneless pork loin roast
  • 1?2 cup (76 g) chopped onion
  • 1?2 cup (118 ml) chicken broth
  • 1 (14-oz [397-g]) can whole berry cranberry sauce, divided
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp (4 g) orange zest
  • 2 tbsp (19 g) cornstarch
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork roast. Sear the meat on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes each side, and place it in a 6-quart (6-L) slow cooker.
  3. In the pan you used to sear the pork, add the onions, chicken broth and half the can of whole berry cranberry sauce. Stir to mix. Add the balsamic vinegar and orange zest, and pour the sauce over the pork loin.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours for a sliceable roast or on low for 8 hours to? shred the roast.
  5. During the last 30 minutes, remove 1?2 cup (118 ml) of the juice and add the cornstarch to it. Mix it to dissolve the cornstarch, and then add it back to the slow cooker. Stir to combine, and then allow it to thicken.
  6. Remove the pork loin, cover it with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Add the remaining cranberry sauce to the juices in the slow cooker and stir to combine. If the sauce hasn’t thickened enough, add it to a saucepan on the stovetop and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer and thicken, 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Serve the roast sliced with sauce drizzled over the top.

Reprinted with permission from Holiday Slow Cooker by Leigh Anne Wilkes, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017

Chocolate Toffee Fondue

Fondue on Christmas Eve has been a tradition in our family for over 50 years. It was a childhood tradition for me, and I continued it with my family. This chocolate fondue has a lot of versatility. We love to add toffee bits to it, but you can dress it up however you like with your favorite add-in or flavor extracts. Some peppermint extract and a swirl of marshmallow cream are always fun choices. We love using strawberries, bananas, orange segments, pretzels, marshmallows and pound cake to dip into the fondue.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 9 oz (255 g) milk chocolate
  • 9 oz (255 g) dark chocolate
  • 1?2 cup (148 g) hazelnut spread (we like to use Nutella)
  • 1 cup (236 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1?2 cup (78 g) toffee bits
  1. Add all of the ingredients except the toffee bits to a 4-quart (4-L) slow cooker and cook on low for 1 hour.
  2. Stir 3 to 4 times until all the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the toffee bits or other desired mix-ins right before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Holiday Slow Cooker by Leigh Anne Wilkes, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017