Friday, September 19, 2008


I used to blog a lot more about food and it kinda makes me sad that its tapered off. I'm still cooking a LOT, and trying new recipes all the time, but with three kids now its just rare that my cooking makes news.

That said, I want to share a crockpot recipe that we absolutely adore in this house. Generally I'm not a big fan of crockpot cooking. Oh, I do it from time to time, but I'm never all that satisfied with how things come out and never all that convinced that I couldn't have done it better outside the crockpot.

However, this recipe is the exception!

Three notes:
  1. It calls for brining the pork chops overnight, which I think is WAY too long. I do it for about 4 hours and its perfect.
  2. I go a bit easier on the pepper for the kiddies, though even at the full amount its not as overpowering as you think.
  3. If you are using thick pork chops (like those from Costco... and I think those are the best for this recipe), you might need the full time in the recipe. If you're using thinner ones, you absolutely will not need as much time as in the recipe. Perhaps my slow cooker runs hot, but these are almost always done at least an hour earlier than the recipe indicates.
Now, for the the pièce de résistance!

Slow Cooker Pepper Pork Chops
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, slightly crushed
1 pound ice
4 (1 to 1 1/2-inch thick) bone-in pork chops
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 ounces dried apple slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, julienned
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Combine the vegetable broth, 1/2 cup kosher salt, brown sugar and peppercorns in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook just until the salt and sugar dissolve, then remove from the heat and add the ice. Place the pork chops into a 2-gallon zip-top bag along with the mixture and seal. Place in a plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

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

Place the apples in the slow cooker.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 12-inch stainless steel saute pan 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 apples.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan followed by the onions and saute until they begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth to the pan to deglaze. Add the black pepper and thyme and stir to combine. Transfer this to the slow cooker, set to high, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Decrease the heat to low and continue cooking for another 4 hours and 30 minutes or until the pork is tender and falling away from the bone.

Served simply with an roasted yam on the side its simply fantastic.

The baby cries, I must end before Jason gives me the evil eye!

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