This slow cooker pork in cider recipe is so easy to make!
And once you’ve prepped and piled all the ingredients into the pot, it literally takes care of itself.
This recipe was last updated in 2022.
The key to making an exceptional pork in cider dish is to get as much flavour as possible out of every single element.
And whist you could just chuck it all into the pot and walk away, the resulting dish will be a little thin. And it’ll lack the creamy, rich mouthfeel of just spending a few more minutes upfront.
So if you have the time, take a moment to sear the pork before placing it into the slow cooker pot.
Then gently fry the onions in the remaining meat juices until they’re silky smooth.
And finally, deglaze the pan with a splash of water, scraping up all the brown gunk stuck to the bottom of the frying pan.
I promise it’ll be worth the extra step!
As always, when using pork, please try and source good quality meat from an animal that has lived a humane life.
If you have a trusted butcher nearby then I would recommend chatting with them about where they get their pigs and how humanely they’ve been kept.
Another upside to getting this joint of pork from my local butcher was that he threw the bone in for free.
Whilst there is a little meat on the bone, the reason this made me so happy is that the bone contains more nutrients and marrow that all add to the nutritive value of the meal.
As you’ll see in the following steps, I seared the bone along with the diced meat. Then I buried it in the slow cooker to leach out its goodness into the gravy.
How to Make Slow Cooker Pork in Cider
1/ sear the pork
Searing the pork and frying the onions first is optional. Highly recommended, but not essential.
So if you’re short on time and just need to get dinner on, feel free to skip it.
Dice the meat if necessary into bite sized pieces.
If you have a choice in the meat you buy, try to find some pork that has a little fat running through it. I find that when slow cooking meat, the very lean cuts can become a little fibrous in texture.
This lightly marbled piece of pork will stay moist, juicy and extremely tender.
Dust the diced pork with the flour, salt and pepper.
Mix together until each piece is coated well.
Preheat a heavy bottomed frying pan over a medium high heat.
Add a teaspoon of cooking oil and swirl evenly around the pan.
Place a handful of the meat in an even layer in the pan, being sure not to crowd the pan. You may have to sear it in batches.
Leave for around 4 minutes, then stir to sear the second side.
Tip into the slow cooker and repeat until all the pork is seared.
2/ fry the onions
Dice the onions and add a little more oil to the pan if necessary. The pork may have left enough oil in the bottom of the pan.
Turn the heat down and gently sweat the onions in all that wonderful porky flavour stuck to the base of the pan.
When soft, tip them into the slow cooker pan too.
3/ deglaze the pan
Now is the time to release all that magic flavour from the base of the pan.
Put it back on hob and turn the heat up to high. Pour in some water, about 100ml or so should be enough.
Bring it up to a ferocious boil and carefully start scraping at the sides walls and bottom to unstick all those meaty bits.
Please excuse the steamy photo below! But you’ll see that the rim on the left has been scraped pretty clean – you want to do this all over the pan.
As you’re working the water will reduce and you’ll end up with a thick brown liquid.
You know what to do – pour it all into the slow cooker!
4/ add the cider
Next, pour the cider in on top of the pork and onions.
I’m using a one litre flagon (a flagon is a traditional glass cider bottle with a little handle) of Scrumpy cider.
Scrumpy is an old fashioned hard cider with an alcohol content of around 7% from the South West of England.
It’s fermented and not particularly sweet. If you can’t find Scrumpy, look out for a ‘dry cider’ instead.
Add the Dijon mustard and give everything a good stir to combine.
5/ turn on the slow cooker
Place the lid on the slow cooker and switch it on.
What setting you put it on will depend on how far ahead you want to eat.
- If it’s cooked on high, it’ll be ready in 3+ hours.
- If it’s cooked on low, it’ll be cooked in 6+ hours.
The beauty of a slow cooker is that whichever setting you use it’ll gently bubble away until you’re ready to serve.
It won’t dry out or burn, and can be safely left on for several hours.
6/ thicken the gravy
About 30-60 minutes before you’re ready to serve, mix the cornflour and cold water together in a small cup. Stir into a thick slurry, then pour it into the stew.
At this point also add the wholegrain mustard and season with salt and pepper too.
Stir the pork in cider well, then taste the gravy to make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.
Replace the lid and cook for a further 30-60 minutes, or until you’re ready to eat.
I love to serve this comforting pork in cider dish with a pile of buttery mashed potatoes and a green veg such as peas or green beans.
Any leftovers can be cooled down to room temperature before placing in the fridge.
If you would like to freeze the leftovers, chill in the fridge overnight. Then move into a small Tupperware or glass tub with a lid.
Try to use them up within a couple of months, although they’ll likely last much longer than that.
And that’s it! Do drop me a comment down below if you have any questions.
And please feel free to tag me in any pics you share online, I love seeing my recipes getting made all around the world! You can find me pretty much everywhere as @hedgecomber :)
- 1 kg pork - diced
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oil
- 500 g onions - chopped
- 100 ml cold water - to deglaze the pan
- 1 litre dry cider
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp cornflour - heaped
- 3 tbsp cold water
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard heaped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
Cut the pork up into bite sized pieces.
Place into a large bowl and dust with the flour and a salt.
Toss together so all the meat gets coated.
Preheat a heavy bottomed frying pan or skillet over a medium high heat.
When hot, add the oil and swirl around the pan.
Add a single layer of the pork and allow to sit still for a few minutes. When there is a golden crust built up on the underneath of the meat, turn and sear the second side.
Tip into the slow cooker and repeat with the rest of the meat.
In the same pan, add a little more oil if it looks dry (the pork has likely left a little oil so this might not be necessary).
Tip in the onions and reduce the heat.
Cook the onions for 10-15 minutes, or until the onions have collapsed and combined with all the meaty juices on the bottom of the pan.
Pour into the slow cooker.
Finally, to deglaze the pan, turn the heat back up to high.
Pour in the water and using a wooden spoon or spatula, carefully scrape away at the base of the pan as the water boils.
When the water is brown and the pan is looking a bit cleaner, pour it into the slow cooker.
Pour the cider over the meat. You only need to use enough to cover the meat, but as I LOVE this gravy so much, I used the full litre!
Add the Dijon mustard and salt, give it all a good stir.
Then put on the lid and switch the slow cooker on whichever setting you prefer:
* If it’s cooked on high, it’ll be ready in 3+ hours.
* If it’s cooked on low, it’ll be cooked in 6+ hours.
About an hour from the end of the cooking time, mix together the cornflour and cold water to form a thick slurry.
Add this, the wholegrain mustard, salt and pepper to the slow cooker.
Give it one final stir and allow it to finish cooking.