Slow Cooker Smothered Pork Chops

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 6 bone-in pork loin chops, about 3/4-inch thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half moons
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan. If you have more than 2 tablespoons drippings, drain the excess. If you don’t have quite that much, supplement with canola oil. When the bacon is cool, transfer to a small bag or tupperware and refrigerate until later.

Heat the skillet with the drippings over medium or medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until they are golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side, cooking them in batches in the skillet if your skillet isn’t big enough to hold all six at a time in a single layer. When golden on each side, transfer the chops to the slow cooker and repeat with remaining pork.

Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat from the skillet; add onions, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water to empty skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour onion mixture over chops in the slow cooker. Add broth, soy sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar to skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves. Pour mixture over onions in slow cooker.

Cover slow cooker and cook on low until pork is tender, about 8 hours (or cook on high for 4 hours).

When ready to serve, carefully transfer chops to serving platter with a large spoon and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour liquid through a mesh strainer into a saucepan, reserving the solids. Transfer solids to a food processor or blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into remaining liquid in the saucepan. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with reserved bacon and parsley. Serve.

Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 lb package dried northern beans
  • ham bone, hocks, shanks or diced ham (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 6 cups water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Rinse and sort the beans for any pebbles. Add the rinsed beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and ham to the crock pot. Add water. Cover and cook on low about 8 hours, until beans are tender. Remove ham bone, shanks or hocks and pull off the meat. Add meat to the crock pot and mix. Serve with cornbread.

Baby Back Ribs

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 pounds pork baby back ribs
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cut ribs into serving-size pieces; rub with seasoning mixture. Place ribs in a 6-qt. slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low 5-6 hours or until meat is tender.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients. Transfer ribs to a foil-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan; brush with some of the sauce. Bake 15-20 minutes or until browned, turning once and brushing occasionally with sauce. Serve with remaining sauce.Yield: 8 servings.

Sloppy Ottos (Jason Koren via Taste of Home)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage
  • 1-1/2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
  • 2 medium green and/or sweet yellow peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 pretzel or regular hamburger buns, split
  • 8 slices provolone cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat 4-6 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain. Add sauerkraut, peppers and onion; cook and stir 8-10 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Spoon meat mixture onto bun bottoms; place cheese over meat. Replace tops. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 4-6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 8 servings.

Southern Coca-Cola Pork Loin

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 3.40.00 PM

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, crushed
  • 5 pounds pork loin roast, boned

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except for the meat, to form a marinade. Set the pork roast in a plastic bag with a zip-type seal, pour in the marinade and seal the bag. Set the plastic bag in a serving bowl large enough to steady the roast and keep the marinade ingredients from spreading away from the roast.

Let stand for 24 hours or overnight in the refrigerator, patting and turning the bag every few hours to ensure the meat marinates evenly. This helps the roast absorb the marinating liquids and creates a tender, juicy and flavorful roast.

Remove roast from marinade and discard the marinade. Place roast, fat side up, on rack in roasting pan. Insert roast meat thermometer so the bulb is centered in the thickest part. Do not add water. Do not cover. Roast in a slow 325 degree preheated oven until the thermometer registers to 175 degrees. Allow 30 to 40 minutes per pound for roasting, so for a 5-pound loin roast, you would be roasting for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours. During last 1/2 hour of cooking time, brush on the glaze. If you prefer, you can just as easily cook on the grill or in the smoker. Remove from the oven and out of the pan onto a platter; cover with foil tent to seal steam and rest the meat 15 minutes before slicing and this results in a much juicier roast. NOTE: Alternatively, you can slow-roast. Instead of roasting at 325, use a slow oven at 250 – 275 degrees, and allow almost twice as long. The meat will be even more tender. Use your meat thermometer or whatever means you like to achieve desired doneness.

Coca-Cola Sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup Coca-Cola
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Mix together all ingredients in sauce pan; simmer and stir to thicken. Brush or spoon glaze on meat frequently during cooking. You can also serve any remaining sauce with the sliced pork if you like.

Sausage & Cheese Bread

sausage bread vertwm
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Texas Pete hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups baking mix – Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Crumble sausage into a large skillet and cook along with onion until brown.
  4. Drain on paper towels and cool.
  5. In a large bowl, combine egg, cheeses, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  Mix well.
  6. Add baking mix, milk,  and mayonnaise.  Stir.
  7. To the mixture, add sausage & onions.  Mix until just blended.
  8. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
  9. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes.  Turn out to plate to serve.

Sausage Fennel Minestrone

Ingredients

  • 1 qt. chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 t. tomato paste
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. diced fennel
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 1 14 oz. can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 28 ox. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 t. dried thyme
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 1 c. cooked orecchiette
  • 2. c chopped kale

Directions

In a slow cooker, combine chicken broth, water, tomato paste, onions, fennel, celery, beans, salt, tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme.  In a nonstick skillet saute sausage, breaking into pieces until browned, 5 minutes.  Drain on a paper towel-lined plates, then add to slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high four hours.  Stire in orecchiette and kale.