Sweet & Spicy Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker

Krogers in our area have pork loins on sale for $1.97/pound. That’s a deal and I use a lot of pork loin, especially now that I’m making Canadian Bacon. By the way, while at Kroger, I checked the price of Canadian Bacon and it was $3.99 for 6 oz. or . . $10.64 per pound. Let’s see . . would I pay $10.64 for storebought or would I pay $1.97 per pound and make my own, which I think tastes better?

For grilling pork chops, I like to cut them into 1″ slices for Vince and about 3/4″ for me. From a pork loin that was about $12, I cut 7 packages of pork chops, each containing a chop for me and a chop for Vince so the price came out to $1.71 per meal for the pork. Not bad!  That’s why I buy almost all the meat we buy when it’s on sale. It’s a huge savings. Even the pork in the freezer from the pig we buy at the youth fair ends up costing more than this.

For one of the loins, I cut it in half, put the other half in the freezer and cut some very thick chops since they were going to be pressure cooked.

Pork Chops

Pork Chops

I seasoned those with cajun seasoning and browned them in the Instant Pot.

Chops

Chops

Once they were brown, I removed them from the pot, added one chopped onion and about 8 cloves of garlic to the pot and sauteed those for a few minutes. The pork chops were added back, along with a sauce I had made and it was all cooked together for 4-1/2 hours using the slow cooker feature of the Instant Pot.

Pork Chop Sauce

Pork Chop Sauce

As you read through the ingredients I used, which was just basically what I saw and what looked good, think about things you could add. 

  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Maybe leave off the brown sugar and add pineapple, maybe in sweetened juice, or maraschino cherries.
  • Cinnamon

I knew that I wanted to serve this over rice so I wanted it to be subtly sweet but more along the lines of a gravy.

Pork Loin

Pork Loin

It was delicious and Vince kept saying .. do you think you can remember exactly what you did so we can have this again? Do I remember anything? NO!  So, here it is before I forget.

Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker
Cooked in the Instant Pot. Deliciously tender pork with a hint of sweet, a hint of sour and a bit of spice!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 6 thick cut pork chops or about 3 pounds pork loin, trimmed and sliced into 6 thick chops
  2. Cajun seasoning - we like Slap Ya Mama
  3. 1/4 c. olive oil
  4. 1 onion chopped
  5. 6 - 8 cloves garlic - I left them whole but you can chop them
  6. 1/2 cup soy sauce - low sodium is a good choice because the cajun spices may have salt
  7. 2 T. Sriracha - or whatever amount sounds good to you
  8. 2 T. grated fresh ginger
  9. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  10. 3 T. apple cider vinegar
  11. 2 T. spicy brown mustard
  12. 3 T. cornstarch
  13. 6 - 8 green onions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Season the chops and set aside.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic (if desired).
  3. Beginning with the soy sauce and using the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the cornstarch, mix together in a bowl to create the sauce.
  4. Add the olive oil to the pot and saute or brown the chops.
  5. Remove the chops, add the onion and garlic and cook about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chops back to the pot.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chops.
  8. Place the lid on the pot and set to "slow cooker" and cook for 4-1/2 hours or until the meat is done and tender. I aim for an internal temp of at least 150. These chops are not going to dry out so if they go a bit over, that's ok.
  9. Remove the pork to a plate and allow to cool slightly.
  10. Change the pot settings to saute (or pour the liquid into a pan to be used on the stove top).
  11. Stir the cornstarch into 2 T. of cold water and stir til smooth.
  12. Add the cornstarch mixture to the hot liquid and whisk til smooth. Allow to continue cooking til gravy thickens.
  13. Shred or thinly slice the pork. I shredded it with two forks. Place the meat back into the gravy and allow to simmer just until the meat is heated. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the gravy gets too thick.
Notes
  1. We had this over rice with a side of asparagus. It would be great with the rice and only a side salad.
Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara http://www.patchworktimes.com/

Loving The Instant Pot

I still love the Cuisinart pressure cooker but oh . . I am terribly infatuated with the Instant Pot, and I haven’t even used it as a pressure cooker yet. As you know, I bought the Cuisinart pressure cooker several months ago and I have used it so much. Some days, I use it two or three times in one day. Last week when I was cooking beans and meat (not together), I was wishing I had two pots so that’s when I decided to order the Instant Pot.

You know I’ve already used it to make yogurt and that worked out so well. The milk didn’t scorch to the bottom of the pot, like it sometimes does on the stovetop and I didn’t go off and forget about it, let the temp get too high and have to throw it out.

Today I decided to use it as a slow cooker and a rice cooker (not at the same time!).  I have a slow cooker, but I’ve never been crazy about slow cooking because to me, everything I make tastes like a “crock pot”. Maybe it’s all in my head . . from all those years I stuck a whole chicken in the crock pot, added a few seasonings, went off to work and left it cooking all day and ended up with a dry, stringy chicken . . that tasted like a crock pot!

I’m not ready to say that the Instant Pot does not leave food with that crock pot taste but what we had tonight was perfect in every way and I didn’t notice a hint of crock pot taste! I will give you the recipe I used in a later post.

Chops

Chops

The chops were seasoned and browned in the Instant Pot and it did an excellent job of browning . . every bit as good as the Cuisinart. The Cuisinart is non-stick and the Instant Pot is not. The meat did not stick but there was a brown residue stuck to the bottom of the pan but after adding the liquid and letting it all cook for 4 hours, there was no scrubbing necessary.

A sauce was added and the whole thing cooked for 4-1/2 hours and it was amazing! 

Dinner

Dinner

Because I wanted to use it as a rice cooker, I took out the pork chops, and separately, poured the juice into another pan and thickened the gravy in that pan, then shredded the pork and put it back into the gravy. Had I not been going to use the Instant Pot as a rice cooker, I could have done all that in the same pot.

As a rice cooker, it takes 12 minutes to cook the rice. I opened it as soon as the 12 minutes were up and it wasn’t quite ready so next time, I will let it sit and let the pressure reduce on it’s own so I will probably allow about 20 minutes to cook the rice. I ended up putting the lid back on and cooking the rice one more minute, then letting it sit about 5 minutes before reducing the pressure and removing the lid and it was great.

I have the Zojirushi rice cooker; have had it for 5 or 6 years and have used it several times a week . . every week . . during that time. I love it but I think the Instant Pot cooked the rice at least as good, if not better, than did the Zoji rice cooker.

If I can put my slow cooker and my rice cooker in the storage room and clear out those two cabinets, that will be so helpful. 

One thing where the Instant Pot definitely wins over the Cuisinart . . 

Lid

Lid

Both handles have little slots and the lid will fit down into either handle. I can’t tell you how many times I take the lid off the Cuisinart and stand there thinking . . where am I going to put this? I have precious little countertop and it’s a pretty big lid. It is so convenient to be able to stand it up on the handle and not have to put a hot lid down somewhere.

I told Vince tonight . . I could have steamed the asparagus in the Instant Pot too but I was cooking the rice in there. Maybe I need another one!  He didn’t think that was a good idea.

I am very happy I got the Instant Pot to go along with the Cuisinart.

Dinner Tonight

Tonight we had the Beef Enchiladas I mentioned this morning. They were so darned easy to make and they were delicious! We also had Spanish Rice but I don’t like that so it isn’t on my plate. I made that for Vince.

Dinner

Dinner

Fresh pico de gallo is always better than storebought salsa so I made that this morning.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Then, I thought . . heck, I might as well make homemade tortillas too. After the snake incident (do you want to see a picture?), I thought about making one huge tortilla, and thus, one huge burrito, and calling it done.

Making Tortillas

Making Tortillas

But, I didn’t . . I made them right.

Tortillas

Tortillas

The enchilada recipe is definitely one I’ll make again. We just don’t get good Tex-Mex around here and added some jalapeno peppers and a bit more spice to ours and they were yummy!