Slow-Cooker Pork Chops with Onions and Garlic and Herbs de Provance Oh My!

So, one of my favorite things to do is find new recipes for yum yums on the web and try them out. One of my other most favorite things to do is fiddle with the recipes and tweak them to make them more my taste and style, and, let’s face it, better. I’m also a firm believer that onions and garlic make everything better, and, when combined with the correct spice mixes, you can take something that could ordinarily be quite boring, like a chicken breast or pork chop, and transform it into something totally awesome.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve seen numerous recipes on the web that mixed pork chops with onions, but all called for cooking in a skillet. In my personal opinion, pork chops can be quite tough if they’re not given enough time to cook. They are also a blander cut of meat that need additional time to have flavors cook into them to get them all good and tasty. I prefer to cook pork chops in the slow cooker (assuming the grill is not available due to winter and all) and hence, after some fiddling (and use of the skillet for par-cooking) the following recipe was born!

Ingredients:

4-6 boneless pork loin chops sliced about an inch thick (I used 6 chops and they reheated as leftovers beautifully)

2 Large Sweet Yellow Onions (Halved and sliced thinly)

3 Large Garlic Cloves (minced)

Salt + Pepper, to taste

1 Tablespoon Onion Powder

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

The Spice House Lake Shore Drive Seasoning

1-2 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence

2 Tablespoons Fat of Your Choice (I used 1T butter and 1T olive oil)

Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

Instructions:

1.  Rinse your pork chops in cool water and pat dry on paper towels.

2.  In a large skillet, heat the fat you’ve chosen to use on medium-high heat. While the skillet is heating, season your pork chops with the salt, pepper and Lake Shore Drive seasoning. Be liberal with your seasonings, the chops will taste better for it. Once the skillet is ready, add your chops and cook them 2 minutes on each side. You don’t want to cook them fully, you just want to get them started and give them a lovely brownish tinge. Remove the cooked chops and set aside on a platter.

Look at those gorgeous par-cooked chops!

3. To the still hot skillet, add 1-2 Tablespoons butter and let it melt.  Add the onions and garlic and cook thoroughly in the butter, letting them brown and start to sweat and be beautiful. Kind of like the onions in this picture.

4.   As the onions and garlic keep cooking, season them with the onion powder and garlic powder, and then add your Herbs de Provence. Stir everything in well and let the mixture continue to cook on medium heat. You don’t want your onions or garlic to get blackened, just to continue cooking down and looking gorgeous.

5.  After about 20-25 minutes of cooking, add balsamic vinegar to the cooking mixture and mix it in. You can use as much or as little balsamic as you prefer, based on your personal tastes. I used approximately 2 Tablespoons.  Stir the vinegar into the cooking onions, and they should look like this:

6.  Now, to the slow cooker! Put your slow cooker on LOW, and using tongs place your pork chops on the bottom.  Whatever you do, save the juices from the pork chop plate for later use. Then, pour all the onions and garlic from the skillet into the slow cooker on top of the chops. The onions are going to do a magnificent job of cooking down onto the chops and adding all sorts of wonderful flavors to them.

7.  Your skillet will likely have lots of little bits of pork and onion and garlic stuck to the bottom of it.  We are going to deglaze the pan to get those yummy bits into a quick sauce to also add to the slow cooker.  Put the skillet back on the stove, and over high heat, add the juices from the pork chops plate and add 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Turn that baby up to the highest heat you have and bring it to a gorgeous boil. You’ll want to use your wooden spoon to stir it and get all the bits off the bottom of the pan.

8.  Let the broth boil until it has reduced by about half.  Taste test it, of course, and if needed add a pinch of salt or pepper to your personal taste preferences.  Once the sauce has reduced by half, turn your heat off and pour over the chops and onions in the slow cooker.

9.  Cover and cook for 4-6 hours, mixing occasionally if you’re around to do so. Serve the chops with a good heaping of the onions on top, and the veggie of your choice.

As I said above, since I made 6 thin chops with this recipe we had plenty of leftovers. I stored it in the fridge in regular Tupperware and reheated in the microwave. The chops reheated deliciously and made a great lunch the following day.

Hope everyone enjoys!

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