Slow Cooker Pork with Plum Jam

cold plum treeRemember those summer days when we were rolling in plums? The tree is cold and lonely now, but our shelves are WELL stocked with plum jam. Let’s just say, one can only eat so much toast. We wondered if there was a savory way we could use up some jam. An answer presented itself when we brought home From a Polish Country House Kitchen from the library. After salivating over many of the winter appropriate recipes in the book, we began to notice a pattern. Apparently there are a lot of plum trees in Poland and many of the dishes involve prunes. What thrifty people. Upon the book’s suggestion, we adapted a recipe to include plum jam and used the slow cooker instead of the oven to ease our schedule. I hope you’ll find this easy, tasty dish comforting for your winter evenings. The jam will give you a little sweet reminder of sunny days.

plum pork roastPolish Style Pork Roast with Plum Jam

2.5-3 pound pork arm roast (or a comparable piece of pork)
1 large clove garlic
2 tbls. dried marjoram
2 tbls. olive oil
4-8 ounces plum jam
coarse salt, pepper
1 1/2 c. water

  1. Rinse the pork, pat dry, and cut a deep pocket in the side of the roast.
  2. With a mortar and pestle, grind marjoram and garlic together to form a paste. (Alternatively, you can mince and mash with a fork.) In a small bowl, mix this paste with about 2 tbls. olive oil, 2 tsp. coarse salt, and many grinds of pepper.
  3. Rub this paste all over the meat and inside the pocket. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. (Overnight would work just fine, too.)
  4. After the meat has rested, fill the pocket with jam. Tie it closed with butcher’s twine.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium high. Brown the roast on each side (even the ends) for about 1 1/2 minutes each side. Place the roast in the slow cooker and deglaze the pan with the water. Pour this and any scraped browned bits from the skillet into the slow cooker. Cover and cook at least 6 hours.

plum pork roast 2Note:

  • To make tying a little easier, lay your string out in rows on a plate. Then, place your roast on top of it. Bring strings together and tie.
  • We served it with cabbage, beans, and sweet potato one night and mashed potatoes the next. What a great, simple winter meal!

How to Make Plum Jam

plum jamWe’re lucky to have a plum tree that provides an ample harvest every two years. The last time it was ‘fruitful,’ I wasn’t prepared at all and wound up making way too many plum cakes. This year, I was ready. I did my research, gathered my jars, and made jam. A whole lot of it.

This recipe doesn’t use pectin and has a lot of sugar. Adjust the amount according to the tartness of your available plums. Mine are very tart, almost inedible alone.

Makes 16 half-pint jars.

8 pounds of small plums, rinsed
4 cups of water
12 cups sugar (adjust according to sweetness of plums)
1/2 cup lemon juice

  1. Prepare yourself for canning. Read through the general guidlines on NCHFP’s site. For jam, equipment that you’ll need includes: medium canner with rack, tongs, canning funnel, jars and lids.
  2. Prepare your area. Wash the jars and rings in the dishwasher, leaving them inside to stay warm. Rinse your lids in mild soap and water and place in a saucepan with a few inches of water. Keep these warm on low heat. Fill your canner about two-thirds full of water. (You can also keep a teapot of water on medium, just in case you find that you need to replenish the water in the canner.)Bring plums and water to a boil.
  3. In a large pot, bring plums and 4 cups of water to boil over medium. Reduce the heat to low. Cover. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. With a potato masher, gently mash the plums. The pits should float to the top. Skim the pits out with a slotted spoon.Skim the pits from the top.
  5. Add sugar and lemon juice.
  6. Pour the hot jam into your sterile jars. If needed, wipe off drips. Use tongs to place the lid. Add the ring and tighten only to just ‘fingertip’ tight. (Think: pour, wipe, lid, ring.)
  7. Place the full jars in the canner. Be sure that you have at least two inches of water over the tops. Process (boil) with the lid on for ten minutes.
  8. Remove jars from canner and place on racks. Be careful not to let the jars touch. Place a dish towel over the top, to slow cooling.Remove the jars to racks.

And now, enjoy your jam whenever you like. A batch of crumpets is probably in order.

Adapted from Well Preserved. Necessary soundtrack for jammin’? A little reggae, of course. Thanks to M, who was the real brains of this operation.