Monday, March 3

Good Eating Monday: Slow-Cooker Pork Chops & Apples!

Welcome to a new week in March!
Today's Good Eating recipe is one from Pillsbury. I signed up for 30 days of slow-cooker recipes from them, though I have to say this one for "Pork Chops & Apples" is the only one that struck me as interesting.
And it is delicious!
Pillsbury recipe users always leave lots of comments on recipes, so I read through those before trying the recipe. (always a good idea with Pillsbury's stuff.) There were a few good pointers and I've included those suggested revisions in the recipe (like not cooking apples for whole 4 hours or cutting them too small!)

Slow Cooker Pork Chops & Apples:

4 to 6 center cut, bone-in loin chops, (depends on how many come on a tray at your grocery.) Do not trim off the fat because, in a slow-cooker, that helps the meat be tender.
Salt & Pepper to season chops with.
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or any wine vinegar you have on hand.)
1/4 cup of either dried cranberries or raisins, whichever you prefer.
2 medium baking apples, peeled and sliced about 2 hours before end of cooking time into wedges about 1/4 inch thick or so. (This keeps them from turning to mush.)

Grease inside of slow-cooker with an oil spray. Set on low.
In a small bowl combine: brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon & red pepper.
In frying pan: add 1 Tbsp oil, season chops with salt & pepper and sear chops on both sides to seal in juices. Once chops are seared, remove from pan to a plate, turn off heat and add the 2 Tablespoons of cider or wine vinegar to hot pan & deglaze (so you pick up all that favor from searing the chops!)
Now take bowl of sugar/spice mix and sprinkle a layer onto the bottom of slow-cooker, then lay in 2 or 3 chops, turning them over so they're well coated coated with sugar mix on both sides. Layer in remaining chops, sprinkle with sugar mix, turn over, sprinkle with mix, then evenly sprinkle remaining sugar/spice over top. Add cranberries or raisins. Now pour the vinegar from the frying pan onto the top of chops. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, then add apple slices and cook another 2 hours. (Cooking time is a total of 4 hours to  4 1/2 hours.) Serve with sides of your choice.
This recipe would be great with other meats easily!

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