I shouldn’t have been surprised when Thanksgiving arrived on the third Thursday of November; it always does. Every year. Same time. What I had trouble with was efficient dinner planning that also involved avoiding poultry. Enter: my Crock Pot. With increasingly busy afternoons and less time to plan ahead for dinner, I have a feeling I will rely on this little piece of kitchen equipment more and more.
Now, for avoiding poultry. I like making pork chops, but more often than not, they dry out. The often-proposed solution for this is to brine them. (A brine is a salt, sugar, water combination that will make the meat more tender when cooking.) My problem with this is that on most days I’m lucky if I remember to take something out of the freezer on time, and trust me, there are plenty of days when I don’t. But when I do, then I’m stuck with potentially dry meat. Not appetizing.
I had one of these days last week. I managed to remember to defrost the pork chops on time, but didn’t feel like making a brine and then having to carefully watch the soaking time. If meat sits in a brine for too long, it can become too salty. I looked at my Crock Pot, then the pork chops, then the Crock Pot again, and finally back to the pork chops. In the end, as I so often do, I decided to “wing it.” This approach doesn’t always work out well for me, but this time it did.
Emergency Pork Chops
4-6 boneless medium- to thick-cut pork chops
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Caramelized onions from two onions
- Season pork chops with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker.
- Add chicken broth.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
- When cooking time is done, remove chops from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Top with caramelized onions.
Notes from my experience:
I got really lucky with this one. The flavor was mild but not bland, so my kids ate it. My husband loved the sweetness the onions provided.
I love this recipe because I did not have to brown the pork chops first.
If you have a favorite simmer sauce or barbecue sauce that can always be added at the end of cooking for a different type of flavor.
This recipe was originally published seven years ago as part of Tracy Bermeo’s “Crock-It” series. Tracy’s goal was to create slow cooker recipes that would simplify dinner for Verona’s busy parents. If you like pork, you can also try her recipes for Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder With Cranberry Sauce and BBQ Pulled Pork.