With the cooler weather today in Michigan I had the urge to get out my crock-pot and cook comfort food. Maybe it was a nesting impulse in preparation for the fall season. All I know is the aroma throughout the house was intoxicating as pork chops simmered in the crock.
Potatoes were eliminated as a starch dish due to the over-abundance of potato soup I made last week (enough for an army). Instead, I opted for barley and I’m glad it did. It was a perfect pairing with the au jus used for the pork.
You don’t necessarily need to cook these chops in a crock-pot; you could simmer covered on a stove top. I was working outdoors and didn’t want to concern myself with stove top cooking.
Here’s what you need:
- 6 thin sliced boneless pork loin chops (you can use 4 thick cut boneless pork chops, but you will need to bump up the cooking time to 4 hours on low or 6 hours on high)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used organic). You can also use chicken broth.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Original blend (found in the spice section)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Quick cook barley
In a large skillet, brown chops in olive oil. Remove from heat and transfer to crock-pot. If you are using thick cut chops, be sure to cut a couple of thin slits in each chop with a knife. This will help them cook evenly throughout. Set aside.
In a large whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over chops in the slow cooker. Cover and slow cook on medium for one hour (thin cut).
Once chops are done, turn off slow cooker. Drain off the au jus into the pan used to brown pork chops. Thicken with a roux to a medium consistency.
Prepare barley per package directions. Use an ice cream scoop to plate the barley. Arrange chops and barley on plate. Drizzle both with the roux mixture. Garnish with sprigs of basil or parsley.
Optional: serve a side of au jus for dipping
Two thin cut chops with two scoops of barley and 1/3 cup au jus is in the neighborhood of 345 calories. Serve with a mixed green salad.