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Smothered Pork Chops

My mom-in-law made this recipe last year and I remember thinking they were the best pork chops I have ever eaten.  She gave me a photo copy of the recipe and it looks like it came from the magazine Cook’s Country.  There are a lot of steps but it is worth the effort!

Smothered Pork Chops

4 slices Bacon, chopped fine

4 bone-in blade-cut Pork Chops, about 3/4-inch thick

Salt and Pepper

3 Yellow Onions, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half moons

1 tsp. plus 1 Tbs. Light Brown Sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. Water

3 Garlic Cloves, minced

2 tsp. fresh Thyme, minced (I used 1 tsp. dried Thyme)

3 cups low-sodium Chicken Broth

1 Tbs. Soy Sauce (be sure it is gluten-free)

2 Bay Leaves

1 Tbs. Cornstarch

1Tbs. Cider Vinegar

1 Tbs. fresh Parsley, minced (I used 1 tsp. dried Parsley)

  • Fry bacon in large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.  Transfer bacon to paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan (you should have 2 Tbs. bacon drippings, if not, supplement with Canola oil).  Refrigerate bacon.
  • Heat drippings over high heat until smoking. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels (VERY IMPORTANT!! I did not do this and promptly got 2 very painful oil burns on my arm.  Hot oil + liquid do not go well together! :-)) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook 3 pork chops until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side (they will be appropriately browned when you do not get any resistance when trying to lift the meat).  Transfer pork chops to slow-cooker insert.
  • Pour off all but 1 tsp. of fat from the skillet; add onions, 1 tsp. brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt and 3/4 cup water to now-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 6 minutes.  Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, (the smell alone makes this recipe worth making!) about 30 seconds longer.  Pour onion mixture over chops in the slow-cooker insert.  Add broth, soy sauce and remaining 1 Tbs. brown sugar to skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves.  Pour mixture over onions in slow-cooker.
  • Cover slow-cooker and cook on low until pork is tender, about 8 hours (or cook on high for 4 hours).
  • When ready to serve, reheat bacon in large saucepan until crisp and transfer to a small bowl.  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.  Transfer solids to a food processor or blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth.  Stir back into into remaining liquid in the saucepan.  Mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl and stir into sauce.  Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 8 minutes.  Add vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with bacon and parsley.  Serve.

    Make Ahead: the recipe can be prepared through step 3 a day in advance.  Refrigerate the chops separately and the onion/broth mixture together.  In the morning, place the chops in the slow-cooker insert; bring the broth and onion mixture to a boil in a skillet then pour it over the chops.  Proceed as directed.

    Smothered Pork Chops

    I served the pork chops with mashed potatoes and Brussels Sprouts, (which were an adventure in and of themselves and will take up their own separate post!) and sweet potato pie for dessert.

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