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A Braeburn, a Macoun, and a Pink Lady Walk Into a Bar…

April 17, 2009

…Substitute “crock pot” for bar, and you have the theme of today’s recipe, Apple Orchard Pork Chops. The goal of this recipe was to use only things I had in the house in a way that would celebrate Opening Day at the new and improved Yankee Stadium, and the maiden voyage of my new crock pot. Plus, I just love the pairing of pork and apples.  I figured, if one type of pork is good, two is better; if one type of apple  is good, four is better. So, this  double the pig-quadruple the apple  recipe was born.

The Yankees may not have turned in a strong debut performance, but this dish did the new crock pot proud.

I’ll be reviewing my new toy (the All Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker from Williams Sonoma) next week, but for now, just know that this thing rocks the free world.

On with the recipe. This one serves 6-8, depending on how many chops you use. It may not look like enough liquid going in, but the apples release a ton of juice as they break down.  Most of the apples, the onions, and the bacon just sort of melt away in the cooking.

I served this with egg noodles and steamed green beans.

Apple Orchard Pork Chops

2 lg yellow onions, sliced thin

4 slices Center cut bacon, diced

4 medium apples, peeled and cut into large chunks (I used a Braeburn, a Macoun and 2 Pink Lady apples, because that’s what was in my fruit bin)

6-8 boneless loin pork chops, trimmed of all visible fat

1 cup unsweetened apple butter

1/2 cup Calvados (you can use any brandy you like; I was working a theme)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsps dried thyme

1-2 cups chicken broth

1-2 tbsps olive oil

1-2 tbsps all purpose flour

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Coat the bottom of a large skillet, or the stove top safe liner from your fancy new crockpot, with a light film of olive oil. Add the diced bacon and sliced onions and cook over high heat until the onions are wilted and the bacon cooked, but not crispy. Remove bacon and onions with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.
  2. Add pork chops to the pan and brown quickly, about 1 minute per side. Remove these and hang on to them for later.
  3. If the fat is gone from the pan, add the remainder of the olive oil, and bring up to temperature. Drop the heat to medium, add the flour (1 tbsp per tbsp of oil you used), and stir to combine the flour and oil. DO NOT let this burn — it’s the roux you’ll be using to thicken the sauce. After about 1-2 minutes, add the Calvados or other brandy, and stir to create a thick slurry. Turn off the heat immediately.
  4. In the crockpot, add the onion and bacon mixture, the pork chops, then the apples. If you created the Calvados slurry in a separate skillet, add this now; if you have the fancy crockpot, the slurry will be on the bottom — either way is OK.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the apple butter, broth (start with 1 cup), worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt & pepper. Pour this over everything in the crockpot. If you can’t see the liquid at all, add another cup of broth.
  6. Close the lid and cook 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  7. When you’re ready to serve, skim off any fat.  The sauce is great over egg noodles.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Shan (Kear) permalink
    April 18, 2009 8:14 am

    You make my mouth water.

  2. E11even permalink
    September 29, 2009 9:12 pm

    you outdid yourself with this one my friend.

    going into the regular rotation.

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