Monday, April 16, 2012

Comfort Food - Slow Cooker Smothered Pork Chops

The object of my affection
I'm going to say at the outset that I love my slow cooker! I think it is the greatest invention for people who work or are very busy. I often will put together a meal in the evening and in the morning before I got to work, I'll pop the insert into the slow cooker and when I come home I have a lovely pot roast or sugo waiting for me. I use it all the time.

This weekend, I had a lot to do in the patio to get it going for spring planting and I wanted to have something delicious for Sunday dinner. I remember as a kid, my Nana making a Sunday pork roast that was a Boston Butt roast that she roasted overnight in a very slow oven and it was ready when we got home from indoctrination at Washington Park United Methodist Church. The roast was spoon tender and had a yummy, crusty fat cap that she had sprinkled with flour, black pepper and garlic salt. It truly was delicious. America's Test Kitchen has done a similar roast that involves cooking it on Saturday, cooling it and refrigerating it overnight then slicing and reheating it the next day. I'm sure it is just as tasty, but more neatly sliced, than my Nana's but Oy, what a production! 

I recently came across a recipe for pork chops in a slow cooker cookbook that sounded like it may replicate the flavor profile of Nana's Pork Roast so I altered it a little and made it for dinner yesterday. All day long the house was an aromatic Pork-a-Palooza so that by dinner we were just crazed for it. Sure enough the pork was almost identical in flavor and texture to Nana's but the crusty fat-cap was missing. I should say that I really don't need the extra fat but it was missed, nonetheless. I am including the recipe I used below with some photos. It really couldn't be easier. Give it a try. I served it with horseradish smashed red-skin potatoes and peas. 

Frenchy's Slow Cooker Smothered Pork Chops

6 3/4-inch boneless center cut pork chops, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic
1/3 cup water 
vegetable oil for frying

Mix flour and seasonings in a shallow dish. Dredge pork chops in flour and brown in a med-high skillet.

Place browned chops in the bottom of a slow cooker. Lightly brown the onions in vegetable oil and put on top of pork chops in slow cooker
Mix the soup with the water and spoon over the chops and onions in the slow cooker. Set cooker to low and cook for 8 hours. 
Skim off what fat there may be (as you are using trimmed chops this should be minimal). You may thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch "slurry" if you'd like but I do not.
And here it is. Not what you'd call "haute cuisine" by any stretch of the imagination, but it was exceptionally tasty, tender, and could not have been easier. Do give it a try.

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