This week’s recipe choice, Crock Pot Smothered Pork Chops, was the responsibility of one of my sisters-in-law, but instead of staying home and slow cooking, she went on vacation. To a beach house. In Mexico. She’s probably lounging by the pool that overlooks the ocean right now, not even thinking about the pork chops she didn’t make.
I’m not jealous. If I were in Mexico with damn near half of my in-laws, I could be enjoying the beautiful Pacific Ocean from a lounge chair in between naps, but I’m drinking a Corona and sweating balls in this stifling humidity, which is pretty much the same thing.
Because my sister-in-law fled the country, we scrounged a recipe on Wednesday, and we didn’t really read the recipe before making it on Thursday. This recipe was complicated. Far too complicated for me to follow, so I didn’t. Slow cooker recipes should be uncomplicated, so I scaled this one way back. It is rewritten with far fewer steps, and although you will need to dirty a pan, it’s to fry bacon, and that’s a noble cause. You’ll put a bunch of other things in that pan, but it’s already dirty, so who cares?
CROCK POT SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS
5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
6 bone-in pork loin chops, about 3/4-inch thick
salt and pepper
2 medium onions, sliced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh parsley or basil, chopped
1. Fry bacon in a large skillet to desired doneness. I like my bacon crispy. Leave the drippings in the pan. If you have more than 2 tablespoons drippings, drain the excess. Try not to eat all of the bacon. You’ll need it for later.
2. Salt and pepper the pork chops and add them to the hot bacon grease. Brown pork chops on both sides, and add them to the crock pot. You may need to do this in shifts.
3. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat from the skillet; add onions, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water to empty skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and soy sauce to the skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves. Pour skillet contents into slow cooker, on top of pork chops.
4. Cover slow cooker and cook on low until pork is tender, about 6 hours (or cook on high for 3 hours).
5. When pork is tender, remove chops to a plate and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour everything else into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into the saucepan. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with reserved bacon and parsley or basil. Serve.
This was a great recipe for pork chops. I used an immersion blender to purée the onions into the sauce, which was delicious.
These were good. My husband thought they were tasty and my toddler was in love. I stuck to the recipe and wouldn’t change a thing.
My husband says this is one of the better pork chops he’s had in some time. I could have eaten the sauce with a spoon, and maybe I did. I needed five slices of bacon, but I made a pound because I knew my greedy children would be sneaking their thieving hands up and grabbing slices off of the counter. I usually have to make triple the bacon I need. For snacking, you know.
I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make these Crock Pot Smothered Pork Chops.