I'm really not a fan of pork. Sure, I like bacon and a good glazed ham (however, let's just forget the "Dinner" incident, shall we?). I like pulled pork on occasion. But, this last fall we had the chance to get a whole pig for just the price of processing. Homegrown, grain fed, super nice meat. And, I said yes. And, our freezer is chock full of pig. So, I've been searching high and low for exceptional pork recipes.
I visit Mormon Mommy Blogs daily and always check under the cooking category for new ideas. I came across this recipe and thought I would give it a try.
San Francisco Chops
4 1" thick bone in chops or 6 thinner chops
1-2 Tbsp. oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Brown chops in oil. (Ok, I modified a little. I used 1 Tbsp. butter and 1-2 Tbsp. oil. The butter adds flavor but the oil lets you keep the temperature high for a better browning experience.) Once browned, remove chops to greased slow cooker. Add garlic to drippings in pan and cook until just golden, stirring continuously. (I used pre-minced garlic. This time I used the garlic paste in a tube that you find in the produce section. I squeezed out a couple of dollops. Just right and no messy chopping.)
Have ready to stir in (so the garlic won't burn while you prep):
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth (or 3/4 teaspoon chicken bullion mixed with 3/4 cup hot water)
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
Cook sauce, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chops in slow cooker. Cook on low 7-8 hours or high for 4-5. Remove chops from slow cooker. Combine 1 Tbsp. cornstarch and 1 Tbsp. water, mix until smooth. Stir into sauce to thicken - use a whisk to get all the goodies off the bottom of the slow cooker. Remove bones from chops (they will practically fall out) and place meat back into the sauce. Cook on low for 30 more minutes. Serve over rice.
Verdict: Awesome! In fact, Allen exclaimed, "YOU made this!?!" because it was so good. To which I said, "No, I had it catered. Duh, I made this. Dork!" (like I'm some sort of slouch in the kitchen, anyways Mr. All-I-know-how-to-make-is-chicken-nuggets-and-roadkill-Taco-Soup. Alas, I digress. Anyhow...) The meat was so tender and the sauce was fantastic. At first I wondered how this would be easier and less work than regular cooking since the recipe calls for browning the meat. I'd say, from start to finish, I browned the meat, had it in the cooker and had done the prep dishes in 15 minutes and all before we left for preschool and doctor's appointments. I almost left out the red peppers because of Lexi, but I decided to leave them in and I'm glad I did. I think it tempered the sweetness of the sauce. And, she asked for seconds so I'm pretty sure she didn't even notice. When we had our piglet processed, I had the processor package my chops in 3's so I only used 3 good sized chops. The sauce to chop ratio was perfect. So, if you're going to use more meat, double the sauce. Next time, I'll double everything so we have more left overs. Definitely a keeper.