Slow Cooked Smothered Pork Chops with California Figs
Servings 6 people
- 4 slices bacon about 4 ounces, chopped fine
- Vegetable oil
- 6 bone-in blade-cut pork chops about ¾-inch thick
- Table salt and ground black pepper
- 3 yellow onions halved and sliced into 1/2-inch half-moons
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon
- ¼ cup water plus 2 tablespoons
- 3 cloves garlic minced or press
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups whole Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs about 12 ounces, stems removed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
- Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in pan (you should have 2 tablespoons fat; if not, supplement with oil). Refrigerate bacon.
- Heat fat over high heat until smoking. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 3 chops until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chops to slow-cooker insert. Repeat with remaining chops and transfer to slow-cooker insert.
- Pour off all but 1 teaspoon fat from skillet; add onions, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup water to now-empty skillet. Using wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from pan bottom and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Pour onion mixture over chops in slow-cooker insert. Add broth, dried figs, soy sauce, and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar to skillet, bring to boil, and add bay leaves. Pour mixture over onions in slow cooker.
- Cover slow cooker and cook on low until pork is very tender, about 8 hours (or cook on high for 4 hours).
- When ready to serve, reheat bacon in large saucepan until crisp and transfer to small bowl. Carefully transfer chops and figs to serving platter with large spoon and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour liquid through mesh strainer into now-empty saucepan. Transfer solids to blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth. Stir back into remaining liquid in saucepan. Mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and figs, and sprinkle with bacon and parsley. Serve.
NOTE: These pork chops are so tender that you’ll need to remove them from the slow cooker with a spoon. The recipe can be prepared through step 3 a day in advance. Refrigerate the chops separately and the onion and broth mixtures together. In the morning, place the chops in the slow-cooker insert; bring the broth and onion mixture to a boil in a skillet, and pour it over the chops. Proceed as directed. Recipe provided by Cook’s Country TV. Valley Fig Growers is a proud sponsor of Cook’s Country TV.