Apple & apricot pork chops

The slow cooker is a fantastic tool for the busy wanna-be chef. They come in really handy for soups, roasts, chops, shanks, and any other cut of meat that is best braised. Most slow cookers these days will automatically switch to a warm setting once they have finished cooking. Most of us are uncomfortable leaving the house with an oven on or pot simmering, right? I have no reservations leaving a slow cooker whatsoever.

3–4 thick pork chops
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups (300 g) onion, sliced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock
¼ cup (60 mL) apple cider vinegar
¼ cup (60 mL) dry sherry
1 cup (150 g) dried apricots, chopped
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1½ tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1½ cups (150 g) apples, chopped

  1. Rub salt and pepper over pork chops. Heat avocado oil in large skillet. Brown pork chops over high heat (about 3 minutes per side).
  2. Remove from skillet and place in bottom of slow cooker.
  3. Return skillet to stovetop and reduce heat to medium to melt butter. Add onion and cook until they begin to soften. Add ginger and cook until fragrant (a few minutes).
  4. Pour in stock, vinegar, and sherry. Now add the apricots, nutmeg, sage leaves, and cinnamon stick. Bring this to a simmer for 1–2 minutes.
  5. While simmering, place chopped apple over the pork chops in crock pot.
  6. Pour the contents of skillet over chops and apples.
  7. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
  8. When cooking is done remove contents from crock pot to serving plate. Careful, the meat will be very tender and may fall from bones. I recommend that you use a slotted spatula. Pour remaining liquid in sauce pan and reduce over medium heat. Pour over chops as a sauce.

Variations—Replace apples with pears or mango. Feel free to swap out sherry for additional stock if you so choose.

Plan Ahead—Have ingredients measured out ahead of time. You can get this dish started on a lunch break and eat it that night.

Hint—This dish will freeze well if there happen to be leftovers.