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Monday, February 26, 2018

Easy Crockpot Pork Chops


This recipe is as easy as you want to make it.  There are (many) versions of it out there that are incredibly simple.  This one is a bit more complicated, though still easy.  As I go through the steps, I'll tell you which ones you can easily skip and which you can't.  The prep can take anywhere from about two minutes to 30-45 minutes (including all prep time for chopping vegetables, etc).  It all depends on how much time you want to spend and how you want it to taste.  The more time you invest, the better it will be.  However it will be good even with the minimal two minute prep time.

Let's start with the basics of this recipe.  Most versions I've seen of this on the web call for the pork chops, a can of cream of chicken soup and a package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix.  That's it.  Put the pork chops in the crock pot, pour the can of soup on top then sprinkle on the dressing mix.  That's all there is to most of these recipes.

As much as I like simple, I also like great flavor.  I'm going to walk you through how to take this from a good flavor to a fantastic flavor.

It involves several more steps and a few more ingredients.  As I mentioned earlier, you can skip some of these steps and ingredients.  They really are optional.  Adding the extra steps may seem like it's a bit counterintuitive since one of the reasons for using a crockpot is simplicity; but I assure you the additional steps are worth the extra time they take.

Having said all that, here's the recipe and you can decide for yourself.



Ingredients


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom soup)
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
  • 1 cup flour*
  • 5 oz sliced mushrooms (my preference is portabella but whatever you like will work)*
  • 1 medium onion, diced*
  • 1 cup white wine*
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)*
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste*
      *optional


Portabella mushrooms

I LOVE this tool.  It allows you to very quickly prep your garlic.  It's called a
"garlic rocker".  Since I use a lot of garlic when I cook, it saves me an
 enormous amount of time.  If you're interested, you can see it here.

Onions diced and garlic minced


Directions


  1. Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste (I always brine my pork chops, typically overnight.  This isn't a necessary step although it definitely makes them much more tender and adds a great flavor.)

    Seasoned pork chops
  2. Coat the pork chops with flour on both sides (optional step).



  3. Brown the pork chops in the olive oil (optional step).



  4. Put the pork chops in the crock pot (I use a liner; it makes clean up MUCH easier.  Liners available here).


  5. Sauté the onions and mushrooms in the pan you used for the pork chops.  If there isn't enough oil, feel free to add more as needed.  You want to cook them until the onions are just getting soft and the mushrooms have started to create their own liquid.  This should take about 3-4 minutes (optional step).

  6. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds (optional step).


  7. Add the wine and turn up the heat.  You want to reduce the amount of liquid by about half (optional step).


  8. When the liquid has been reduced, add the cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom).  Mix everything together.


  9. Add the dressing mix and again stir everything together.


    After stirring in the dressing mix

  10. Pour the mixture over the pork chops.


  11. Put the lid on the crock pot.
  12. Cook for six hours on low or four hours on high.


  13. When they are done, remove the pork chops and stir everything else together.


  14. Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.


  15. Enjoy!
         
          Here you can see just how tender these are.  They are literally falling apart.




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