Red cabbage and pork are natural partners. The sweetness of the cabbage really complements the juicy savory flavor of the pork roast in this wonderful and super simple recipe.
You can use green cabbage in this dish, but red cabbage is so much prettier and it does taste a tiny bit sweeter than green cabbage. The brown sugar, vinegar, and thyme add great flavor to the meat and veggies in this dish. This whole meal is so fragrant; when you come home after work your appetite will be tempted.
Make sure that you choose a pork shoulder roast for this recipe, not a pork tenderloin. The tenderloin will become very overcooked if it is prepared in this fashion. If you're not sure, ask the butcher for help in choosing the meat.
Because this is such a hearty recipe, you should choose lighter side dishes or serve the dish on some fresh baked pita. Fresh fruit, chopped and sprinkled with some lemon juice and a bit of honey would be delicious on the side, or have some steamed green beans or asparagus. Serve some rolls, either dinner rolls or savory scones, on the side too. For dessert, some brownies or an apple pie served with butter pecan ice cream would be a great finish. Or choose a baked dessert such as apple crisp.
Combine the cabbage, onion, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, and thyme in 4 to 5 quart slow cooker.
Sprinkle the pork roast with salt and pepper and brown in olive oil in a heavy skillet, about 5-6 minutes total, turning until browned on all sides. (You don't have to brown the pork if you don't want to; in that case, just sprinkle it with the salt and pepper and put it in the crockpot on top of the vegetables.) If you do brown the pork, add about 1/4 cup water to the skillet to remove the drippings, scraping the bottom of the skillet. Add this liquid to the crockpot.
Place the pork in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables; cover, and cook on Low for 7-8 hours or until the pork registers at least 145 F.
Remove the pork from the crockpot; cover and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing to serve with the cabbage mixture.