Slow cooker makes tender, tasty pork chops

January 21, 2013 

The smoked paprika used to make these Easy Slow Cooker Pork Chops gives the chops a beautiful brown color and thus eliminates one of my crockpot pet peeves. I'm always bothered by that pasty yellow/white color that poultry and pork develops when it's cooked in the slow cooker without being browned in a saute pan first.

Easy, beautiful and tasty, I know I'll make these chops again and again. No knives are necessary for eating these tender chops. I adapted my recipe from allrecipes.com, mostly because I didn't have quite the right ingredients in the pantry. I didn't have garlic powder, so I minced an extra clove of garlic for a total of 3 cloves. I used dried thyme instead of dried basil and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

For the vegetable side dish, I quickly (about five minutes) sauteed some spinach and arugula in a teaspoon of olive oil and about 1/8 cup of the sauce from the slow cooker. I steamed a package of Steamfresh Birds Eye corn, asparagus and carrots in the microwave and then added it to the spinach and arugula mixture. Make sure whatever Steamfresh product you use is unseasoned, so you don't compete with the slow-cooker sauce.

For lunch the next day, I chopped up one pork chop and combined it with the leftover vegetables. I quickly made a couscous using some of the slow-cooker sauce and leftover broth instead of water. (Whisk together 1/4 cup broth and 1/4 cup slow-cooker sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup couscous. Stir. Remove from heat. Cover. Let sit 5 minutes. Uncover. Fluff with a fork. Add pork and veggies and a bit more slow-cooker sauce if desired.) I made my lunch in the morning and then heated the pork/couscous/veggies combo in the microwave at work for about 2 minutes, stirring after one minute.)

Easy slow cooker pork chops

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 to 6 hours on high or 3 on low

Serves: 4

4 thick cut boneless pork chops

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup vegetable broth

Rinse and pat pork chops dry. Cut a few little slits into each chop. Sprinkle and pat kosher salt and pepper on each side of each cop. Place all four chops into the slow cooker.

In a bowl, combine garlic and dried spices. Whisk together. Add olive oil and vegetable broth. Whisk to combine and then pour slowly into the slow cooker so that some liquid remains on top of each pork chop. Baste or flip chops a few times during cooking to get the most flavor into each chop.

Cook on low setting for 5 to 6 hours, until internal temperature of pork is 145 degrees or cook on high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours until the temperature is 145 degrees.

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