We all eat dinner together just about every night. Four to five nights each week we eat at the table and then the other two are usually our “To-Go” meals in the car. I am trying to instill good table manners such as please, thank you, please pass the … , use your fork and spoon properly in both of my children. But, when we had this dinner that all flew out the window.
I found this recipe for Slow Cooker Smothered Pork Chops from Center Cut Cook.com on Pinterest. It had ingredients I had on hand and it was a slow cooker meal. At first I was a bit skeptical because it had a bit of prep work before I could put everything into the slow cooker but I thought I would give it a chance.
First, my house smelled amazing all day. We started this dish fairly early in the morning. I cooked an entire pound of bacon because my children cannot smell bacon and not want some of it. Since I only needed 6 slices I let the kids have the rest, except for the piece or two disappeared with me.
This recipe is a bit fussy for a slow cooker meal but I learned that quickly browning the boneless pork steaks ahead of time helps them to stay together better than just putting them in the slow cooker. They are still incredibly moist but they don’t shred like usual. You have to use tongs to carefully remove them from the slow cooker or else they will just fall apart into chunks but mine made it out of the slow cooker perfectly.
What a delicious meal! My children lost all thoughts of manners when their food was gone, they picked up their plates to drink the gravy. I almost yelled at them but then I picked up mine and did the same! I know, scandalous. But, we all laughed and the kids asked if I could make the gravy into soup! (Hmmm. That may be an idea I have to explore.)
It had a bit of a German flavor in the gravy with the apple cider vinegar and bacon flavors. This is something we love so it was great for our family. I served this dish over egg noodles with a side of broccoli but next time I may serve it with a side of braised red cabbage and German potato salad.
- 4 boneless pork chops, thick cut, salt and pepper both sides
- 6 slices of bacon, cut in half
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1/4 cup of water plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 1 TBSP brown sugar
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 TBSP corn starch
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- dried parsley, for garnish
- Cook bacon over medium high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain, then store it in the fridge until later.
- Leave about 2-3 tablespoons of bacon drippings in the pan reserve extra to use a bit later. Add the pork chops to the pan and cook for two to three minutes per side, until they are nicely browned. Transfer the browned pork chops to the slow cooker.
- Add a bit more bacon grease to the pan if you have it. If there is no remaining fat add about a teaspoon of canola oil. Add the onions, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup water and cook until the onions are translucent. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits of pork chop on the bottom of the pan.
- Add in garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Pour this mixture over the pork chops.
- To the skillet combine chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Pour liquid over the pork chops.
- Add bay leaves to the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours, until the pork chops are tender.
- Discard the bay leaves and carefully remove the pork chops from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate. Place the pork chops in a warm oven or cover them with foil to keep them warm while you make the sauce.
- Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a large saucepan. Beat with an with an immersion blender for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until smooth. Heat gravy to medium high heat.
- In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons cold water with 1 tablespoon corn starch. Pour this mixture into the sauce pan cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and is bubbly.
- Stir in the vinegar, crumble the bacon that you cooked earlier in the recipe and add it to the pan, and season with salt and pepper to taste.