October 14, 2014

Balsamic Braised Pork Loin & A Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker Giveaway

Disclosure: Hamilton Beach provided me with the "Set 'N Forget" 6-quart slow cooker at no cost. All opinions are my own.

The start of Fall has many of us back into a routine and busier than we were during the relaxed days of Summer. Just because we're busy doesn't mean we can't enjoy a meal together at the family table. It might take some extra effort and creative scheduling, but it's far from impossible! Peter and I sit down to dinner every night. Sharing dinner together is a non-negotiable for us--it's time we set aside to catch up with each other while enjoying a home cooked meal. Preparing a nourishing meal using a slow cooker is one of my favorite ways to get a homemade dinner on the table while managing a long to-do list (which I always seem to have). I use my slow cooker year-round, but it gets a real work-out during the cooler months when we love to eat warm soups, stews and slow-cooked roasts.

I was invited by my friends at Hamilton Beach to test out one of their most popular products, the Set 'N Forget 6-quart Programmable Slow Cooker. Although I already own another model of their slow cookers, I was eager to add a second slow cooker to my kitchen. With our new house almost finished (yay!), the holidays and housewarming get-togethers on the horizon, having a couple of slow cookers will be handy for entertaining larger groups of family and friends. In our new house, I will also have more space to store freezer-friendly meals from my big-batch cooking sessions. Having a couple of slow cookers going with two different recipes in them will make light work of my big-batch cooking days. 

Image posted with permission by Hamilton Beach

The Hamilton Beach Set 'N Forget 6-quart Programmable Slow Cooker features three different settings: Manual, Program and Probe. Manual mode allows you to choose between High, Low and Warm without setting a cooking time. Program mode gives you the option to choose a specific cooking time on either the High or Low setting. Probe mode is perfect for cooking large cuts of meat and allows you to select the desired meat temperature. I broke in my new slow cooker by making this Balsamic Braised Pork loin and am sharing the recipe with you below. It's a recipe you can sucessfully make using any of the three settings and it's delicious!

I found the slow cooker very easy to use and there were several features I especially enjoyed. The lid has a rubber gasket which keeps in the heat and moisture for more even cooking. The slow cooker has two clasps on either side to secure the lid in place, making it easy to transport a meal without spills. The temperature probe is accurate and the spoon makes easy work of serving your finished recipe. The control panel is very easy to read and use, and the 6-quart capacity is perfect for large batches of your favorite recipe. Overall, I found the slow cooker well-designed and a pleasure to use.

Thanks to my friends at Hamilton Beach, I am offering one Flavia's Flavors reader the opportunity to win the Set 'N Forget 6-quart Programmable Slow Cooker (ARV $59.99). To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment answering this question:

What is your favorite Fall slow cooker recipe?

The giveaway is now closed. 
The winner is Jen.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment!

Giveaway Guidelines:

  • One entry per person.
  • Participants must be 18 years or older to enter the giveaway.
  • Giveaway is open to residents of the USA only.
  • You must provide a valid email address in order to be notified in case you are the winner.
  • The winner will have 48 hours to reply.
  • The slow cooker cannot be shipped to a P.O. Box.
  • Giveaway ends on Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 11pm (CST) and the winner will be announced here on this post the following day.

Hamilton Beach is partnering with several bloggers this month to bring you new slow cooker recipes. Follow the hashtag #SlowCookerMeals for more inspiration! Be sure to also follow Hamilton Beach on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, where they are always sharing great tips and recipes.


Balsamic Braised Pork Loin

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 2lb. pork loin, trimmed of excess fat
1 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 1/4 tsp. pepper, divided
1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1/3 cup water
1 sprig fresh rosemary

Heat a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Season the pork loin with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper, making sure both sides are evenly seasoned. Sear the pork loin on all sides until golden brown. Remove to a clean plate and set aside.

In the same pot over medium heat, sautee the onion, carrots and garlic, tossing frequently until they are lightly browned. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove the vegetables to another clean plate. 

Raise the heat to medium-high and add the chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, honey and water to the pot. Stir to loosen any browned bits off of the bottom of the pot and let the mixture bubble gently for 1 minute. Turn off the heat. 

Place the vegetables into the crock of the slow cooker and spread them evenly over the bottom. Place the pork loin on top of the vegetables and then pour the balsamic vinegar mixture over the pork and vegetables. Place the sprig of rosemary on top of the pork loin. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours. The pork should fall apart and be very tender at the end of the cooking time. Remove and discard rosemary sprig at the end of the cooking time.

Comments (22)

My favorite fall slower cooker recipe is Taco Soup.

Posted by Birdiebee

I love to make a hearty beef stew with lots of carrots,onions,potatoes and a thick gravy.

Posted by cindy jones

Caldo de res (mexican beef stew is my favorite)

Posted by neiddy

My favorite fall slow cooker recipe is Chili!!

Posted by Wendy Rozema

my absolute favorite dish for fall is my 3 ingredient sausage chili

Posted by christine j

Flavia, this is such a great fall meal and I definitely love the convenience of a slow cooker!

Posted by Phoebe Lapine

Monday I made DELICIOUS lentil soup in my scratched-up, dinged-up, on-its-last-legs slow cooker.

Posted by Jean D.

My favorite fall slow cooker meal is chili.


Beef stew

Posted by David Bell

I like Crock-Pot Caramel Apple Crisp.

Posted by HS

Pulled pork is the best!

Posted by Donna

I love cider, but also roast beef with veggies. It was my mom's recipe.


I like to make a warm-spiced beef stew in a slow cooker during the fall and winter. May make chili too.

Posted by Lisa Brown

I love to make vegetable lasagna in a slow cooker. Hearty and warm to come home to after a long day at work

Posted by Karen D

Chili is my go-to. This braised pork loin looks like it would be a great alternative to the standard pot roast slow cooker recipe I know. Looking forward to trying it.

Posted by Stephanie K.

A hearty beef stew slow cooked in the crock pot not only tastes great, but makes the house smell amazing!

Posted by Michele S.

Our favorite fall slow cooker recipe is chicken teriyaki

Posted by Rosa

love a good crockpot chili!

Posted by Megan Baringer

Yankee Pot Roast is a favorite fall favorite in the slow cooker for us folks in New England!

Posted by Karen

I love to make hot chocolate in my slow cooker as the weather cools down.

Posted by Melissa C.

My family loves my slow cooker ma and cheese!

Posted by Adrianne

Pulled pork is my favorite is the slow cooker! Just made it yesterday!

Posted by Jen
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