We had our first dinner guests to our new house a few months back. Our dinner guests busted their behinds helping us move in and I knew I just knew I had to say thank you with one amazing meal.I was told one time, you think you find out who your real friends are after you get married and then you move.The people that help you move,now those folks are the best friends you will have for life.Funny thing is we had only known this couple for less than two months. They were just offering to help us move a few boxes in the house,little did they know a massive U-haul truck greeted them in the driveway.
Oh and four other cars packed full.
I'm telling you real friends.
I knew they would be our first dinner guests and this meal had to rock. I work full-time and dinner was on a weeknight. Hello slow-cooker time! I got a new slow-cooker cookbook right before we moved and I poured through the pages for a recipe. I came upon a pork chop recipe and believe you me this meal was a perfect way to say thank you to some wonderful friends. So break out the slow-cooker and your red wine!
I forgot to mention wine,what kind of dinner party would this have been!?!?!
Slow-Cooker Pork Chops with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms:
Gather together some mushrooms ( I used portobello mushrooms,well just cause.),bell pepper,garlic and onion.
The tomato sauce ingredients are salt,dried oregano,dried basil,fresh parsley,tomato puree and red wine vinegar.Oh and a bay leaf too.(not pictured,'cause I added it in at the end.Just 'casue.)
I decided to go for big,thick meaty boneless pork chops. The recipe calls for bone-in pork chops,either will work just fine.Pat dry your pork chops,season with salt and pepper and brown on each side.
Here comes the wine.It was the magic touch in this sauce.Magic people.
I like the idea of deglazing the pan and I'm sure glad the thought crossed my mind. It made for such a rich,luscious sauce and really made these some fancy dancy pork chops.Duh-vine.
This has become my red cooking wine of choice.It's a combination of zinfandel,merlot and cabernet sauvignon. It's a budget friendly wine and deglazed the pork chop wine in the bottom of that pan really well.
***Ok let's pause for brief moment in all of this pork chop goodness,gotta fill you in just a bit. I made all of these components the night before.I chopped up the vegetables,put them in a bowl and then in the fridge.I whisked up the tomato sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl.covered it and put it in the fridge. Now here's where the real fancy part happened : I browned the pork chops,deglazed the pan with the red wine and poured that sauce over the browned chops. Put them in a baking dish to rest,covered those babies with plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge.***
So here we the next morning,I assemble everything in the slow-cooker then head off to work.I just have to say,having all of that prepped made all of the difference in the world.
Slow-Cooker Pork Chops with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms
adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow-Cooker Cookbook
7 boneless,thick cut pork chops
8 ounces mushrooms,sliced
1 medium yellow onion,finely chopped
1 large bell,chopped
1 garlic clove,minced
114-ounce can tomato puree
2 TBL red wine vinegar
2 TBL minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
pinch of salt
1 dried bay leaf
1/4 cup red wine
1.Pat dry your pork chops and season with salt and pepper.In a large,heavy skillet heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown your pork chops on both sides.Remove the pork chops to a large baking dish to rest.Deglaze the skillet with the red wine and pour the red wine sauce from the pan over the pork chops.
2.In the slow-cooker put the mushrooms,onion,bell pepper and garlic.Nestle the pork chops on top of the vegetables.Add in the bay leaf.
3.In a small bowl whisk together the tomato puree,red wine vinegar,parsley,oregano,basil and salt. Pour the tomato sauce over the pork chops.
4. Cook the pork chops on low for at least 6-8 hours on LOW. When they are done cooking transfer the pork chops to a platter. Pour the tomato vegetables and tomato sauce over the pork chops.Serve immediately.
***I wound up cooking mine for 12 hours on LOW and they fell apart. It was perfect because they fell apart and it allowed me a little extra time to get other aspects of dinner ready for our guests.ENJOY!!!***