Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Smothered Pork Chops

Today we are celebrating a birthday at our house today.  Nope it's not me (that is coming up soon though, yeah!). It's my oldest child.  He turned eleven very early this morning, yep it was an all nighter.  But that's okay he was sure worth it!
I seriously can't believe I have an eleven year old.  What happens to time when you become a parent?  Not only are all your brain cells sucked out, time flies by you without you hardly realizing it.  Totally not fair!

This guy though has been waiting "forever" for his birthday and he is so excited that it's finally here.  He is like me in many ways.  He loves to read, he is very good at school, has great aspirations (hopefully all his come true), is quite quirky (okay that trait really comes from his dad), and he loves meat.  A carnivore...just like his mom.  

When I made these delicious pork chops the other night, he kept saying he had died and gone to heaven, they were that good.  I love it when he compliments my cooking, which he does quite often and to his friends regularly.  He also keeps asking for this meal.  I mean what could get better than pork chops with bacon, all covered in an amazing sauce.  

Nothing much at our house anyways.  Plus it is cooked in the crockpot, perfect for summer!

Smothered Pork Chops

5 slices bacon, chopped
6 bone-in pork loin chops, about 3/4-inch thick
Salt and Pepper
2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half moons
1 t. plus 1 T. light brown sugar
1/4 c. plus 2 T. cold water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. dried thyme
3 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 T. soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. cider vinegar
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped

1.  In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan. If you have more than 2 tablespoons drippings, drain the excess. If you don’t have quite that much, supplement with canola oil. When the bacon is cool, transfer to a small bag or tupperware and refrigerate until later.

2.  Heat the skillet with the drippings over medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until they are golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side, cooking them in batches in the skillet if your skillet isn’t big enough to hold all six at a time in a single layer. When golden on each side, transfer the chops to the slow cooker and repeat with remaining pork.

3.  Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat from the skillet; add onions, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water to empty skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour onion mixture over chops in the slow cooker. Add broth, soy sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar to skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves. Pour mixture over onions in slow cooker.

4.  Cover slow cooker and cook on low until pork is tender, about 8 hours (or cook on high for 4 hours).

5.  When ready to serve, carefully transfer chops to serving platter with a large spoon and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour liquid through a mesh strainer into a saucepan, reserving the solids. Transfer solids to a food processor or blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into remaining liquid in the saucepan. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with reserved bacon and parsley. Serve.  So yummy, enjoy!

Blogging tips