Saturday, January 31, 2015

Smothered Pork Chops with Onions & Bacon

I'm not a huge fan of pork. Don't get me wrong. I love bacon (thin and extra crispy!) and ribs have become one of my favorite go-to crock pot recipes. But pork chops or pork tenderloin? Not so much. However, my husband loves pork chops and while I try to cook as many recipes that we both enjoy, every now and then I try to fix something that he loves that I'd just as soon skip.

While perusing America's Taste Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution, I stumbled upon this recipe and thought it might just be a winner. Forgetting that I already had plans for the night (margaritas and Mexican food with two co-workers!), I decided to go ahead anyway and make the recipe for my husband. The verdict? He said it was awesome. We had the leftovers a couple of days ago and I thought the pork was a little dry. I'll definitely give it another chance when I can actually eat it on the same day it's prepared.

Smothered Pork Chops with Onions and Bacon

4 oz. bacon (about 4 slices), chopped
3 onions, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 tsp. brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 bay leaves
6 (7-oz.) bone-in blade-cut pork chops, about 3/4 inch thick, sides slit to prevent curling
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium over medium heat until crisp, 5-7 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat left in skillet.

Add onions, 1 teaspoon sugar, garlic, and thyme to fat in skillet and cook over medium-high heat until onions are softened and well browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker.

Stir remaining tablespoon sugar, soy sauce, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until pork is tender, 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 5 hours on high.

Transfer pork chops to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves. Stir in vinegar and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon 1 cup sauce over chops and serve with remaining sauce.

Serves 6

My Notes:

Since I leave for work at 6:45 a.m, I prepped everything for this recipe the night before. All I had to do in the morning was heat the refrigerated bacon/onion sauce in the slow cooker before adding the chops.

I never bother to chop bacon. I simply fry it as I normally would and then break it into pieces or crumble as directed.

3 onions seemed like an awful lot, so I went with 2. 

I always use low-sodium soy sauce.

I didn't have any fresh parsley and I don't think it was missed.

I served this with rice for the first meal and mashed potatoes for the leftovers.

Next time, I'll probably just use 3-4 chops instead of 6.

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