This "Cajun Pork Loin with Vegetables" is a wonderful meal that is just perfect for cooler weather. It is hearty and the leftovers are even better the next day! The pork turns out so tender and tasty! I cooked this in my cast iron Dutch oven, because it conducts heat so well and just makes any cut of meat fork tender. I will also give slow cooker directions for this at the end, because it will work in your slow cooker also. Here is what you will need:
4-5 pound boneless pork loin
1 Tbs. Cajun seasoning (I used Tony Chacheres Creole seasoning)
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups beef broth
4 cups water
4-5 potatoes, peeled and quartered or halved if they are small
1 bag of baby carrots
2 medium sweet onions, peeled and quartered
1 red or green bell pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut in one inch pieces
additional seasoned salt and pepper for the veggies to taste
Pat the roast dry with a paper towel. In a bowl, mix the Cajun seasoning with the next 4 spices to make a rub. Sprinkle this mixture on both sides of the pork loin. Really pat it on there. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven that is ovenproof. Brown the pork loin on both sides. I like to get it really brown over pretty high heat. Add the beef broth and the water, cover and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and add the veggies around and on top of the pork loin. Sprinkle the vegetables with seasoned salt and pepper to taste. If you need to add more water, do so now. The vegetables shouldn't be covered in water, but the water should be up to the bottom of them. Some cookware loses liquid more than others in the oven. Cover and place back in the oven for 1 more hour.
I don't like to cook the vegetables in with the meat for the whole 2 hours, because I think it overcooks them and breaks them down in the oven, especially in this cast iron Dutch oven.
To plate this, remove the pork loin to a cutting board and allow it to rest about 5 minutes. After it rests, slice it in thin slices and lay them on a large platter. Place the vegetables all around the meat, then drizzle some of the juices over all. If you want thicken the remaining juices with a little cornstarch for a thicker gravy, you can. We just spoon it, as is, over the meat and vegetables. It is so moist and so full of great flavor.
***For the slow cooker, season and brown the pork loin in a skillet the same way, then place in the slow cooker, with the vegetables on each side of the meat. You will need a large slow cooker. Use the beef broth and 2 cups of water. Set on low for 8-10 hours.