Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pork Chops with Apples and Bacon

I'm always on the lookout for easy slow cooker recipes that will work for our Tuesday night suppers. Tuesday is homeschool co-op day which means we come stumbling in the door about thirty minutes before supper needs to be ready. It's a pretty tiring day, and I love being greeted by the smell of our meal simmering away.

I spied the inspiration for this particular meal over on Pinterest (how in the world did we plan meals before that glorious invention??). The original recipe was for stuffed pork chops, but y'all know what Sweet Brown says about that mess. "Ain't nobody got time for dat!" I simplified the process a bit, though the necessary prep work in this case adds so much flavor and keeps the pork chops moist.

Fully loaded slow cooker, minus the herbs, ready to cook.
Pork Chops with Apples and Bacon

4 thick-cut boneless pork chops
5 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 apples, cored and cut into about 8 pieces each (I used honeycrisp)
1 onion, peeled and sliced
3 celery ribs, cut into thirds
2 teaspoons salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
1 lemon
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/3 cup pecan halves
1 tablespoon honey
(Optional, but just because I had some in the fridge: 1 sprig each rosemary and thyme)

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until slightly crisp. Remove from skillet, leaving behind the pan drippings. In the same skillet, saute the onions until they take on just a touch of color. Place the onions and celery in the bottom on the slow cooker. Sprinkle the pork chops with lemon-pepper seasoning and salt. Using  the same skillet, sear the pork chops 3-4 minutes each side. Place the pork chops in the slow cooker. Sprinkle with paprika and cumin. Top with apples, bacon, and pecans. Drizzle with honey. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the mixture. Toss the lemon halves in. If using, toss in the herb sprigs. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

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