Sunday, December 6, 2015

Slow Cooked Apple Chops

The secret to really great pork chops is to brine them overnight before cooking. Brining does NOT make things taste salty. It changes the chemicals inside the meat. The best brine’s have a mix of salt and sweetness. The other thing to remember when cooking pork in a slow cooker is to NOT overcook and use thick cuts.

This tasty meal used some donated apples and onions. This was balanced out with maple syrup and natural pineapple. Wow!


2 ½ cups chicken broth (divided)
¼ cup kosher salt
½ cup light brown sugar
2 (1 to 1 1/2-inch thick) bone-in pork chops
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 apples
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 can pineapple tidbits in juice
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon Herbs De Province
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Combine 1 cup of broth, kosher salt, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Warm just until the salt and sugar dissolve, then remove from the heat and add the ice to cool it down. You don't want this to cook the chops. Place the pork chops into a zip-top bag along with the mixture and seal. Place on a dish and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the chops from the brine, rinse, and pat dry. Season on both sides with the kosher salt and set aside.

Wipe out the slow cooker and spray.
With a mandolin, carefully slice a yellow onion. Peel, cut and slice one of the 4 apples.

Just cut in down the center. Then use a melon ball-er to scoop out the core. Place cut side down and slice.

Spread just a bit of the onion in the bottom of the cooker and turn on low.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat.

Saute the pork chops on both sides until golden brown, approximately 5 to 6 minutes per side. Once browned, place the pork chops into the slow cooker atop the onion.

NOTE: browning the chop is not just for looks. This is chemistry.. It is called the “Maillard” (my-YAR) reaction. That's a chemical reaction between amino acids and natural occurring sugars that give the meat a better flavor.

Add the rest of the broth and the herbs de province to the pan and stir to deglaze. This picks up any extra pieces of flavor for the pot that would otherwise be thrown away. Pour into the crock pot. And spread the apple slices over the top.

Take a couple of springs of thyme and tie together with kitchen string. (any 100% cotton string). 

Place on top, cover and let cook for 6 hours until the pork is tender.

At the 5 hour mark, peel and slice the remaining 3 apples. Drain the can of pineapple into the bowl with the apple and mix until the slices are coated with the juice. (be sure to use pineapple that is packed in 100% juice NOT syrup). Drain any extra juice out. Mix in the tidbits and about ½ cup of dried cranberries.
Remove the bundle of thyme!

Spoon this over the mixture in the slow cooker. Drizzle ½ cup of maple syrup over the top, cover and turn up the heat to HIGH for the final hour.

Serve this and you will be hailed a genius and streets will be named after you. Well almost!

For our music, remember the disco? Lets dance.



To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

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