I promised myself I'd use my slow cooker more this winter, and these easy, yummy apricot pork chops solidified my oath to use this amazing cooking device often! What have I been waiting for? What have I been thinking?
Slow cookers, or as most of us call them, "Crockpots," are such a smart way to cook for a dozen reasons, so why have I not taken advantage of it more? I don't grab mine as often as I should because my beautiful stainless steel crockpot is BIG! It's great for a stew, but I just wanted to make some plump, boneless pork chops for two!
I am so surprised that Drew Barrymore, the darling little actress who starred in the movie ET, has a line of cookware and small appliances, but she sure does, and it's sold exclusively at Walmart! The collection is called Beautiful by Drew Barrymore, and the prices are amazingly reasonable.
I bought her set of two small slow cookers, each with a two-quart capacity, for just $15 this fall, and they are a perfect size for us! (And I pretend they're monogrammed!)
At Thanksgiving, I put my turkey gravy in one and used it again this week to make apricot pork chops for two! Now that I have made a successful slow cooker meal in a portion that works for us, I'll use it again and again, and you can bet I'll be sharing!
If you can't find Drew's smaller-size slow cooker, many other brands make a two-quart size. It's funny that just a small change, like having the right size crockpot, makes me so much more apt to use it, but I think it's a perfect size for a couple.
Most of all, you'll love these chops because they taste amazing and are tender and juicy. We've all had sad, dry, tough pork chops, but these will not disappoint!
You'll also love the short list of ingredients and the short time it takes to get them ready for the slow cooker. Then, it's hands off until serving time unless you want to check in on them occasionally and baste them, but it's unnecessary.
Pour a small amount of olive oil into a skillet on medium-high heat and brown the pork chops on both sides. Salt and pepper them to taste on both sides, then move them into the slow cooker.
Put the apricot jam, Russian dressing, and dry onion soup mix in the same skillet over medium heat and stir until everything is well blended. Use a flat scraper to loosen all the tasty little browned bits off the skillet, and pour this mixture over the pork chops in the slow cooker.
Cook the apricot pork chops on low for about two hours. They will not get more tender if you cook them longer because this cut of pork is pretty lean and has very little fat. An instant-read thermometer is handy to ensure the pork is done properly.
The National Pork Board suggests cooking the pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, then letting it rest, covered, for three minutes before you cut and eat it for maximum juiciness and tenderness. You can thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch slurry, which is delicious, spooned over rice or mashed potatoes.
I rinsed the cast iron skillet this time and cut Russet potatoes into wedges. I drizzled the potatoes with butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted them at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until they were easily pierced with my cake tester. They made a yummy side along with our old standby, French-cut green beans.
You could also bake these apricot pork chops covered with the sauce in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes or until they have an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
I'd be so tickled if you would share any great recipes for two, especially using a slow cooker! Here's another one you might like, courtesy of my sweet sister-in-law, Carol; Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin.
If you liked this recipe, you are my people! So please share this post on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest if you enjoyed this recipe today. It would really tickle me, and I'd be ever so grateful; thank you!
Love, GB (Betty Streff)
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