11/07/2010

Apple Bacon Pork Chops

This is an odd recipe. I'll be the first to admit it. I'm shocked at how it worked, honestly. I just meant to make pork chops in the Crock Pot but then I was cutting up apples to make homemade apple compote (just a fancy word for chunky applesauce) that I put into some steel cut / Irish oats for my husband's breakfasts this week. I don't know why, but I just randomly threw about 2 apples' worth of freshly cut chunks into the crock pot onto my pork, layered bacon strips over it, and let 'er go all day.

Um, AMAZING. That's all I can say.  Who knew apples could be so savory? This was so incredibly good that I couldn't believe it happened by accident. Jason loved it so much that he told me that Roger will be screwed for life because he'll never be able to find a woman who can cook like his mama. Very sweet of him to say, though if any future daughter-in-law can't cook I'd love to help a sister out :)

Nonetheless, here's the recipe.

Apple Bacon Pork Chops
gluten-free; serves 8

Note the Bacon & Apple Chunks!!


Ingredients

4 thick pork chops (these are the Costco sized ones; you want 8 servings' worth)
2 apples, cored and sliced into chunks (no need to peel)
6 slices thick sliced bacon
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
2 t freshly ground nutmeg
olive oil
fresh cracked black pepper
sea salt
your favorite seasoning (I used Trader Joe's Everyday seasoning)

For the sauce:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
1 T granulated garlic (optional)
2 T dried chopped onions (optional)
freshly ground salt & pepper to taste

1. Turn 6 quart Crock Pot on low and lightly cover bottom with olive oil

2. Heat 2 T olive oil in large skillet on med-hi heat

3. Pat pork chops dry; add salt, pepper, & seasoning to each side

A great tip is to use a paper towel to gently pat on the seasoning so it sticks better. Be sure to set the chops on a dry place on your cutting board when you flip to the other side, too; this also helps the seasoning to stick.

4. Brown pork in skillet for 4 minutes per side; move into Crock Pot

5. Cover pork with apple chunks

Another tip: I just used an apple slicer & corer (like this one, though mine is Calphalon; Oxo Good Grips Apple Corer and Divider) and then cut each slice into six pieces. It's fast! And you don't need to worry about removing the skin for this, which is lovely!

6. Add the nutmeg and water

7. Layer the bacon over the apples; splash the Worcestershire over the bacon, gently shaking the Crock Pot if too much pools on top of the bacon strips.

Oh, and use good, thick cut bacon. If you're using cheap, thin stuff then I say don't even bother! We get great thick slices in two big backs for about $10 from Costco; I highly recommend it!

8. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

9. To make the sauce, remove the bacon strips and use a fork on a cutting board to chop them into small pieces. They should just fall apart mostly on their own.

10. Gently dig out the pork to rest, temporarily, on a cutting board; it was at this point that I cut each one in half.

11. Turn Crock Pot to high

12. Add bacon back into Crock Pot

13. Mix together cornstarch and cold water until no lumps exist; add to Crock Pot. Stir thoroughly

14. Add salt and pepper to taste; I think the onion and garlic did wonders for the rich depth of flavor, but it's your call if you don't have them on hand. I always have some from--you guessed it--Costco!

15. Gently nestle pork pieces back into the sauce; reduce to low after 10 minutes and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or so while you work on side dishes.

Ok, not the most appetizing pic, but here's the final product before serving!


I made garlic steamed broccoli and garlic mashed potatoes; I think this would go GREAT over good, whole grain brown basmati rice, which is what I'll try when I make it again!

Here are some additonal pictures because, well, why not? Remember that clicking on any image takes you to a much larger, hi-res copy.


The full monty, in husband sized portions
(w/ extra potatoes so I could make the leftovers fit in my preferred container. He didn't complain!)


This is the pork before adding the extra sauce over the top.
Seriously, don't skip the browning! It's so worth the extra 5 minutes of work!

No comments:

Post a Comment