Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Crockpot Adventures- Braised Pork Chops with Arugula Peach Salad

I started with four pork chops from Trader Joes, two packs of two pork chips. I had never cooked pork before, so I really had no idea what to look for in a pork chop. I still don't know, but found that these tasted wonderful after sitting all day in the crockpot, which is all that matters really. I put generous amounts of salt and pepper on both sides of the pork chops and placed them in my heavily oiled, large Le Creuset grill pan to sear on either side. 

When done, I placed them on a plate and put them off to the side. Then, I added finely cubed pancetta from a packet, 1/2 a yellow onion, and a lot of garlic. I absolutely think garlic makes every meal better. You can never ever have enough garlic. I did not pour off any of the fat. I also think fat makes everything taste better, especially meat. the pancetta, onion, and garlic mixture saute until it turns brown. 

When browned, pour in about 4 ounces of beer or dry white wine. Transfer this to the crockpot. Pour in 1/2 cup of chicken stock and mix. The recipe call for 1/2 cup, but I think that crock pot recipes should be flexible allowing for different lengths of cook time and different types of crock pots. I own the Cuisinart Multicooker. I find that it cooks really fast and well, so I place a bit more liquid in the crockpot to cover the time that the crockpot is just on warmer if I know I won't be home in time. 

Place pork chops inside the liquid. Set the crockpot of low and cook for about 7 hours. 

I did all of the prep at night, placed the crockpot in the refrigerator ready to go for the morning. I took the crockpot out at around 6:30am. It cooked until 1:30, and then was on warm until around 5. The pork chops were still moist and delicious. 

For the arugula salad with peaches, I grilled the peaches on my Le Creuset grill, tossed a simple dressing of olive oil, white wine vinegar, and honey, and laid the peaches on top the arugula. If you have honey mustard or stone ground mustard, you can add that to the dressing. I have always thought of the dressing as the way the French dress their salad because I learned how to make it from my French landlord while studying abroad in Paris. 

This recipe was pulled from the William Sonoma The New SLow Cooker cookbook. 
It was delicious. My 2 year old son ate almost one whole pork chop to himself, and my husband said it was the best meal I had ever made, which doesn't say a lot since I am just starting this cooking thing, but it made me very proud!

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