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Hard Cider Braised Pork with Apples and Onions

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Cider Braised Pork with Apples and Onions 2

Hard Cider Braised Pork with Apples and Onions ~ this slow cooked pork loin is fork tender and infused with all the flavors of Fall.  It’s a super comforting one pot meal.

Cider Braised Pork with Apples and Onions

This is one of those meals that you know is going to be great right from the get go.  The ingredients tell the story: a plump loin of pork, neatly tied with butcher’s string so it won’t fall apart during the long braising, a large bottle of hard cider, a couple of rosy Honey Crisp apples, an onion, and a handful of fresh thyme.  You have only to brown the onions and the meat before layering everything in a slow cooker.  At the end the liquid gets boiled down on the stove and reduces to a super charged sweet tart gravy.  I like to serve this with roasted veggies like carrots and Brussels sprouts, and maybe some mashed potatoes or polenta to sop up the extra juices.

Cider Braised Pork with Apples and Onions 2

I’m not sure there’s a prettier sight than dinner, all settled into the slow cooker, as you pop on the lid and say so long for 6 hours.  It’s a wonderful thing.

Slow Cooker Cider Braised Pork with Apples and Onions

If you like you can shred the pork after it’s cooked.  I like to slice mine, so I made it ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge till dinner.  The longer you let it cool down, the neater your slices will be.

Hard Cider Braised Pork Loin with Apples and Oinions

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2.67 from 12 votes

Hard Cider Braised Pork with Apples and Onions

Hard Cider Braised Pork with Apples and Onions ~ this slow cooked pork loin is fork tender and infused with all the flavors of Fall.  It's a super comforting one pot meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
slow cook 6 hours
Yield 4


  • A large heavy bottomed pot


  • 2 lb boneless pork loin
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 apples any type will do, I used Honey Crisp
  • 22 oz bottle of hard cider about 3 cups
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs plus more leaves for garnish


  • Rub the pork loin with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Heat the remaining oil until very hot in a large heavy bottomed pot. Brown the pork on all sides. Put the pork aside.
  • Add the onions to the same pan and stir until they soften and get some color. Put the onions on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with the pork.
  • Add the cider to the hot pan and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, this will give you great flavor.
  • Thinly slice the apples, no need to peel. Arrange the apples around the pork. Pour the cider into the slow cooker. Tuck in sprigs of fresh thyme and cover.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Remove the pork, onions, and apples to a platter and cover loosely with foil.
  • Pour the remaining liquid into a saucepan and remove the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil and cook until the gravy is reduced by about half, and slightly thickened, (it won't be real thick.) Taste to adjust the seasonings.
  • Slice or shred the pork, and serve with the gravy. Scatter fresh thyme leaves over all.


logocropCider Braised Pork with Apples and Onions is the ultimate fall meal!

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  • Reply
    Patty Kady
    October 4, 2019 at 10:54 am

    I would like to make this with a pork shoulder and not use a slow cooker. Do you think that would work?

    • Reply
      October 4, 2019 at 11:43 am

      Yes, you can definitely do this in your oven, cook it low and slow, like 325F for 4 hours or so.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Hi! Would it work if I prepped this the night before, “assembled” it in the crock pot, and put it in the fridge for the hubby to turn on in the morning?

    • Reply
      October 30, 2017 at 10:13 am

      I’m sure that would work, crock pot recipes are so forgiving. Let us know how it turns out 🙂

  • Reply
    plasterers bristol
    September 7, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    This sounds lovely and really tasty. Thank you for sharing this.


  • Reply
    October 4, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Gosh, that looks delicious! Mouth is watering!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    You’re darn tootin’ this looks like a winner. Pork, apples and onion are perfect. Add the hard cider and thyme… so have to pin this one!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2014 at 6:37 am

    it’s beautiful recipe !
    thanks Sue,

  • Reply
    Dawn @ Words Of Deliciousness
    October 3, 2014 at 5:13 am

    This looks wonderful. Pork tenderloin is on off my favorite meats. I love using the slow cooker everything come out nice and tender.

  • Reply
    [email protected]+Scrummy+Lane
    October 3, 2014 at 1:21 am

    That gravy sounds divine! I love that you’ve cooked it in the slow cooker but kept it in one piece.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I will be making this soon. Looks amazing!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s+Recipes
    October 2, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    The braised pork looks ever so tender and juicy. I love the use of cider here..awesome flavours.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Another great meal, love hard cider love this time of year.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 5:58 am

    My mouth is watering just looking at that beautiful meal. I love the comfort foods of fall and the fact that I can cook this in my slow cooker. How easy it that.

    • Reply
      October 2, 2014 at 8:06 am

      Thanks Cathy!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 2, 2014 at 5:33 am

    What better combo! Cider will feature next pork dinner.

  • Reply
    [email protected]+Floating+Kitchen
    October 1, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    This sounds delicious and so perfect for fall. And yeah for using the slow cooker!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Wow Sue, this sounds amazing! What a wonderful meal and a perfect time to share this recipe before the holidays! Can’t wait to try it. Have a great day!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Interesting! I’ve used cider, but never hard cider – which I happen to love, thanks to visiting the UK so many times. Try pear cider next time – I bet that’s yumy too!

  • Reply
    Kathy Walker
    October 1, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Apples and pork are the perfect marriage! I just got a bushel of apples yesterday so this is great timing….I haven’t used hard cider so this will be fun….and tasty!

  • Reply
    [email protected]+The+Café+Sucré+Farine
    October 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Oh my goodness Sue, this is the perfect fall dinner party dish. I love that it could be made ahead and refrigerated. Actually I love everything about it! Pinning!

  • Reply
    [email protected]+Riffs
    October 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Wow! This is wonderful! I love cider (hard or not). And pork. And apples. And braised things. So you think I’ll like this? 😉 Guess so!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    This sounds SO delicious and just the sort of thing my family would enjoy when they come to my home for a large family dinner. Usually I do some big cut of beef or even lamb and/or ham at Easter. I’m ready for a change. However, I’m not a big crock pot fan. It has it’s uses, but for something like this I would prefer to do it low and slow in the oven. What are you suggestions for doing this in the oven? I assume about 325 degrees but for how many hours? Also, where do you get hard cider? This time of year we have regular cider (now always pasturized according to state law and which the “old timers” like my dad, don’t care for quite as well) at all of the many fruit stands around me. (I live in orchard country in western Maryland) but I don’t remember even seeing hard cider at the liquor stores. I have to admit, I’ve never looked for it either. How long would regular cider have to sit before it “hardens” anyway?

    • Reply
      October 1, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      You can definitely do this in a low oven, and hard cider is pretty readily available, I think people miss it because it looks a lot like beer. It’s usually sold alongside beer, in fact. As far as making it yourself from regular cider, I’m not sure, but you’ve gotten me interested, I’ll check into it!

  • Reply
    john | heneedsfood
    October 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Pork and apples are two ingredients that will always work together, and with some slow cooking they become nothing short of heavenly.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    This is like a grown up “Pork Chops and Applesauce” from my Brady loving youth. I guess I’m dating myself. GREG

  • Reply
    Karen Swan
    October 1, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I was looking for something to do with the pork loin in my freezer…now I know. This sounds wonderful! I just bought fresh apple cider from a local orchard yesterday, do you think that will work okay instead of hard cider?

    • Reply
      October 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      It would work, but it will be very sweet. If you want you could add some brandy to the liquid, or even a little apple cider vinegar for some kick.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2014 at 11:05 am

    What is hard cider and where do you buy it ?

    • Reply
      October 1, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Hard cider is a very old alcoholic drink, it’s basically fermented cider. You can find it right in with the beer in your regular store.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Now I know what I’m cooking this weekend or at least after I get to a store for the pork loin. I can taste it already, Yum!!

    • Reply
      October 1, 2014 at 9:37 am


  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    October 1, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Oh my – this looks and sounds like pure dinner perfection. The flavor must be out of this world! You knocked this recipe out of the park Sue!

    • Reply
      October 1, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Thanks Tricia — I have a weakness for the texture of slow cooked meats, they are so tender!