Cheap Recipe: Slow-Cooker Pork Chops with Fruit Stuffing

30 Sep

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

This stuffing has a very rich flavor next to apple-flavored pork chops. (Pictured here alongside Candied Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows.)

This stuffing has a very rich flavor next to apple-flavored pork chops. (Pictured here alongside Candied Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows.)

I made this last weekend  rather than during the week because my Crock Pot has an old-school manual dial instead of a digital programmable function, and I’ve learned from experience not to let this recipe go longer than 5 hours in the slow cooker. But, provided you’re either around the house or have a programmable cook function on your crock, it’s a tasty dish with lots of flavors vying for your taste buds’ attention!

This is another old recipe I ripped off from Pillsbury, but I altered the cook time because six hours is way too long in my slow cooker. If you’re used to how your Crock Pot cooks things, go with your gut instinct on cooktimes rather than following all of my slow cooker recipes to the letter, because all slow cookers heat at their own pace.

Two big butterfly chops. (Sorry for the shadow...it was a weird time of day and the lighting in my kitchen was goofy.)

Two big butterfly chops. (Sorry for the shadow...it was a weird time of day and the lighting in my kitchen was goofy.)

Begin with 4 small, boneless pork chops or 2 butterfly-cut chops. (This is for a 4-quart Crock Pot. If you’re using a larger one, you may want to add additional meat and stuffing for an even cook time with bonus leftovers!)

Lay the thawed chops in the bottom of the slowcooker and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Pour 1/4 cup♥ apple cider or juice over the chops and set aside for a few minutes.

Chef’s Note: If you’re not a regular apple juice drinker, this whole recipe only uses a total of 1/2 cup of it between the chops and stuffing, so to avoid a big expensive jug of juice going bad in your fridge later, you can just get a single-serving size bottle of juice, or even be creative and substitute with something you have on hand. I have been known to swap out juice in recipes with one of my toddler’s drink boxes or another item I had on hand…

In a large saucepan, combine another 1/4 cup cider or juice, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. (You can use all cinnamon if you don’t have nutmeg on hand.)

Boil the butter and spice mixture.

Boil the butter and spice mixture.

Add a cup (usually one storebought pouch = one cup) of dried fruit, any variety. I like

Any dried fruit will work, but these are usually cheap and easily found.

Any dried fruit will work, but these are usually cheap and easily found.

the dried raisin/cranberry blend because it’s cheap, but I’ve also used kitchen scissors to quarter dried apricots instead, which is also good.

Bring mixture to a boil, remove from heat and immediately stir in contents of one 6-ounce instant stuffing mix.

If desired, chop up a rib or two of celery and add to the stuffing mixture. Dump the mixture over the pork chops in the Crock Pot

Celery is optional, but good.

Celery is optional, but good.

 and cook on LOW setting for 4-5 hours. To serve, spoon out the stuffing into a bowl and

Pile the stuffing over the chops to cook.

Pile the stuffing over the chops to cook.

serve alongside the chops. The stuffing will be darker in color than normal stuffing because of the spices and fruit juice. I like to pair this meal with Candied Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows and serve sour lemonade to drink.

Look at that juicy chop. Mmmm...

Look at that juicy chop. Mmmm...

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