Slow-Cooked Smothered Pork Chops
(Serves 6) From Cooks Country
Prep Time: apprx 20-30 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs (high), 8 hrs (low)
4 Slices bacon, chopped fine
Veg oil if necessary
6 bone-in blade-cut pork chops, about 3/4" thick (i.e. the cheap ones with fat)
3 yellow onions, halved and sliced into 1/2" moons
1 t. plus 1 T. light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 T. water
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. minced fresh thyme
3 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 T soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. cider vinegar
1 T. minced fresh parsley
1. Fry bacon in large skillet over med heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels, leaving fat in pan (you should have 2 T. fat; if not, supplement with oil). Refrigerate bacon.
2. Heat fat over high heat until smoking. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 3 chops until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chops to slow-cooker insert. Repeat with remaining chops and transfer to slow cooker.
3. Pour off all but 1 t. fat from skillet; add onions, 1 t. brown sugar, 1/4 t. salt, add 1/4 c. water to now empty skillet. Using wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from pan bottom and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Pour onion mixture over chops in slower-cooker. Add broth, soy sauce, and remaining 1 T. brown sugar to skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves. Pour mixture over onions in slow cooker.
4. Cover slow cook and cook on low until pork is very tender, about 8 hours (or high for 4 hours).
5. When ready to serve, reheat bacon in large saucepan until crisp and transfer to small bowl. Carefully transfer chops to serving platter with large spoon and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour liquid through mesh strainer into now empty sauce pan. Transfer solids to a blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth. Stir back into remaining liquid in sauce pan. Mix cornstarch and remaining 2 T. water together in small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium-heat until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with bacon and parsley. Serve.
Make ahead: The recipe can be prepared through step 3 a day in advance. Refrigerate the chops separately and the onion and broth mixture together. In the morning, place the chops in the slower cooker insert; bring the broth and onion mixture to boil in a skillet and pour it over the chops. Proceed as directed.
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