Saturday, February 1, 2014

Crock Pot Pork Chops

One day recently, I knew I was going to be snowed under in a project, and needed something I could just put on for dinner and forget about.  I had some pretty boneless pork loin chops in the refrigerator, so there was my starting point.  I reached out to some friends for something "inventive" to do with my pork chops, as well as scoured the internet.  The suggestion that hit me just the right way was to pan sear them, then make a little gravy.  Bingo!  The reason this resonated immediately with me, is that searing your meat first gives you this beautiful crust, and hand delivers the makings of a great fond (those brown bits that are stuck in the bottom of the pan that you NEED for a beautiful gravy).

Of course I added plenty of seasonings, and rounded out the flavor profile with onion and apples, which play so nicely with the pork.   A few hours later, I opened the lid to check my gravy, and to just gauge the resistance of the meat.  I was really taken aback when my spoon when right through the meat!  They were SO tender!  The true measure was when my (non meat eating) daughter said how delicious they were.  As luck would have it, this wasn't a day when I had bothered to pick up the camera even once.  So I gave it a little time and made it again... so I could pass it along to you!

You are going to have to be very forgiving on my measurements here.  When I season up my meat, I generally do not measure... I just shake, shake, shake.  Now come on!  Y'all know you do the same!

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Ingredients:   
  • Boneless pork chops (about 1" thick)
  • Seasonings - 
    • kosher salt, black pepper, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, Mrs Dash
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 granny smith apple
Step-by-step:  
Here's the general plan.  1. Season the meat.  2.  Flour and sear.  3.  Saute onions and deglaze pan. 4.  Throw it all in the crock pot.

1.  Season the meat well!  This is one instance where the thinner, less expensive pork chops actually work best.
kosher salt and black pepper

dried oregano + onion powder

garlic powder + Mrs Dash

Yes.  It's heavily seasoned.  But we want that!  Finally, some flour.  This is going to give us a golden brown crust.
Pat it on there well.  Both sides.  FYI - I floured both sides, but only seasoned one side.  That's why my seasoning looks so heavy.  Do it however you are most comfortable.
Get your oil REALLY hot!  The meat should start sizzling immediately when you add it.  I find that an iron skillet works best for getting a really good sear on the meat.  Once you put the meat down, just leave it.  Don't try moving it all around.  It will release when it's ready. 


We are looking for a pretty golden color on both sides.
 While the meat is searing, let's prepare what will become our sauce.  I used chicken broth, as I thought beef broth may be a little too overpowering. 

1 cup chicken broth + 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
A handful of the same seasonings that were on the meat.  Probably about a teaspoon of each.  I wanted to mirror the same flavors in the sauce.   Just throw them in the broth and mix them around.


Now, once the pork chops are brown, take them out and put them in the crock pot.  
To the same pan, add in the chopped onions.  The will sizzle and sputter in that hot grease!  This will cool down the pan immediately and start causing that fond to release.  Stir them around.  We want them to start cooking down until they are a bit soft.
Fully deglaze the pan with the seasoned broth that we made.
It should thicken up pretty quickly.  I betcha it's gonna smell great, too!  See how fast it turned into "gravy?"  That's from all the stuff that was in the bottom of the pan.  It would not have worked to do this in a new, clean pan.  Once it thickens up a bit, you can turn off the heat.
Let's turn our attention to this apple.  Apples and pork go really well together.  The Granny Smith apples are more conducive to cooking than some of the other sweeter varieties.  I'm going to core it first, just to remove the seeds.  
Slice the apple.  It doesn't matter how you do it.  Add the slices over the pork in the crock pot.
Pour the gravy over the pork and apples.  
I added about a half cup more of water, set it on high, covered it and walked away.  That's it.   Cook until super tender.  That will depend on how thick the pork chops are.... anywhere from 3 1/2 - 6 hours for the really thick center cut pork loin chops.  I would say start checking them at the 3 1/2 hour mark.
Several hours later, we have these gorgeous, tender pork chops with this amazing gravy!  Just about now you may be thinking of whipping up some mashed potatoes to go with them.  Yum!  

 
I hope you enjoyed this recipe!
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Written Method:  
Here's the general plan.  1. Season the meat.  2.  Flour and sear.  3.  Saute onions and deglaze pan. 4.  Throw it all in the crock pot.

1.  Season the meat well.  It's heavily seasoned.  But we want that!  

2.  Finally, add some flour.  This is going to give us a golden brown crust.  Finally, pat it on there well.  Both sides.  FYI - I floured both sides, but only seasoned both sides.  That's why my seasoning looks so heavy.  Do it however you are most comfortable.


Get your oil REALLY hot!  The meat should start sizzling immediately when you add it.  I find that an iron skillet works best for getting a really good sear on the meat.  Once you put the meat down, just leave it.  Don't try moving it all around.  It will release when it's ready.  We are looking for a pretty golden color on both sides.

While the meat is searing, let's prepare what will become our sauce.  I used chicken broth, as I thought beef broth may be a little too overpowering.   Add a handful of the same seasonings that were on the meat.  Probably about a teaspoon of each.  I wanted to mirror the same flavors in the sauce.   Just throw them in the broth and mix them around.

Now, once the pork chops are brown, take them out and put them in the crock pot.  

3.  To the same pan, add in the chopped onions.  The will sizzle and sputter in that hot grease!  This will cool down the pan immediately and start causing that fond to release.  Stir them around.  We want them to start cooking down until they are a bit soft.  Fully deglaze the pan with the seasoned broth that we made.

It should thicken up pretty quickly.  I betcha it's gonna smell great, too!  See how fast it turned into "gravy?"  That's from all the stuff that was in the bottom of the pan.  It would not have worked to do this in a new, clean pan.  Once it thickens up a bit, you can turn off the heat.

Let's turn our attention to this apple.  Apples and pork go really well together.  The Granny Smith apples are more conducive to cooking than some of the other sweeter varieties.  I'm going to core it first, just to remove the seeds.   Slice the apple.  It doesn't matter how you do it.  Add the slices over the pork in the crock pot.

4.  Pour the gravy over the pork and apples.  I added about a half cup more of water, set it on high, covered it and walked away.  That's it.   Cook until super tender.  That will depend on how thick the pork chops are.... anywhere from 3 1/2 - 6 hours for the really thick center cut pork loin chops.  I would say start checking them at the 3 1/2 hour mark.

Several hours later, we have these gorgeous, tender pork chops with this amazing gravy!  Just about now you may be thinking of whipping up some mashed potatoes to go with them.  Yum!  

8 comments:

  1. These make me hungry. Love the flavor combination.

    Linda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Linda! Hope you will give them a try!

      Delete
  2. these are in the slow cooker right now .. they smells so good ! Sadly I remembered after I bought the pork chops that I am going out for dinner tonight with girlfriends:/I might just have leftovers for brunch tomorrow

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lesley.... girl.. I'm sorry to laugh... but I had to giggle at that!!! Hope your leftovers are good!

      Delete
  3. I forgot to mention .. I succumbed to a delicious, melt in the mouth pork chop 2 hrs before I went out for dinner with the girls;) They were so good I am making them again today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yaayyyy, Lesley!!!! I'm so pleased!!!!

      Delete
  4. Love this! I've probably made it about 5 times and it was great every time! Thanks for the recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! So glad you have enjoyed this! I don't know how I missed your comment, but I was browsing this recipe to make for dinner this evening. :)

      Delete

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