Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pork chops slow cooked with creamy gravy and mashed potatoes ... in the Thermomix

I'm sorry that there has not been as many posts the last couple of weeks. One week, we just had a lot of leftovers and this week, The Boy has been out a few nights so I have not cooked much. I also haven't been well and have not had much of an appetite. One night, I just had a banana for dinner.

I've been wanting to try slow cooking for ages and I've been seeing a ton of slow cooking / crock pot recipes being pinned on Pinterest.

In the past, when I've tried a slow cooker recipe, it has not been particularly tasty and The Boy has been all "don't ever cook that again!" That was mostly my fault due to the fact that back then I knew nothing about cooking and I didn't know how to adjust flavors to something that The Boy would enjoy. I'm hoping that this time, with a little bit more cooking experience, I am able to make a recipe taste good.

So, in trolling through Pinterest, this recipe for pork chops with dressing and creamy gravy caught my eye and I decided that it would be great for our Sunday night dinner.

I'm going to serve this with mashed potatoes made in the Thermomix ... which is where the "Thermomix" part in the title comes from.

Here's the RECIPE for the pork chops:

  • 4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick (I used bone-in chops)
  • 1 onion, cut into rings about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 box stuffing or dressing mix (I used Stove-Top brand, pork flavored. Chicken flavored would also be great.)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup (I used Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of chicken soup)
  • 1 soup can water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted (optional, but recommended if your pork chops are very lean)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste or use seasoning salt, to taste

  • Season each pork chop with salt and pepper. Place in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • Scatter the onion rings over the pork chops.
  • Sprinkle the dry stuffing mix over the onions.
  • In a bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, one soup can full of water, and the melted butter. Pour over the dry stuffing mix.
  • Cover. Cook on high for 4 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes and a side salad.

I have to admit to being rather intimidated about the whole idea of slow cooking since my previous attempts have not been met with enthusiasm. That said, I was careful in what I did this time so that I could make sure that the dish was tasty.

I was generous with the salt and pepper when I seasoned the pork chops and I also browned them in a pan first. When I spoke to a chef friend of mine to ask him if it was possible for me to "crock pot" in the oven since I didn't have a crock pot, he told me yes, but he also said that I needed to brown the meat since that would bring out more flavor in the cooking.

We don't have the Stove Top brand stuffing mix mentioned in the recipe so I got the White Wings Stuffing Mix because it seemed to have the most spices in it compared to the other brand that was on offer. Even after that, since the recipe said pork or chicken flavored and this was just stuffing mix with herbs and spices, I added a teaspoon of chicken stock into the mix (just in case).

I did use the butter just because the butter just makes everything taste better. If you're extremely health conscious then you can skip it but it does make the meat cook a lot more tenderly.

I didn't use a crock pot (as I mentioned before, I don't have one!) but used a cast iron casserole pot instead. I put everything into the pot according to the recipe instructions, then put a sheet of baking paper on top of the opening of the pot and then put the lid on. My chef friend tells me that this seals in the moisture better and keeps the liquids from evaporating as much, though to be honest, my cast iron pots seal pretty well.

After a couple of hours the apartment started to smell pretty good. After 3 hours, I took the pot out of the oven to check on it (I also did a little taste test!). I poked the meat with the fork and it seemed like it was becoming quite tender. I also mixed some of the stuffing mix around that was sitting on top since it had not integrated entirely with the soup / gravy, then back in the oven it went for another hour before serving.

This turned out to be a really delicious and tasty meal. Very rich and creamy. There was a ton of gravy from the dish too.

Oh and by the way, this is my first time cooking pork chops. Since it's turned out well, I might do it again.

Of course, I was very remiss and did not update my blog post to talk about the wine that The Boy had picked out to drink with dinner tonight, so check out his blog post on what wine goes best with pork chops.

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