I know I’ve mentioned that fall isn’t my favorite season but my, oh my, do I ever love the seasonal foods in this time.
Pumpkin, squash, cider, apples, spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and…pork. Yummy, fatty, heritage breed, pastured pork. If you haven’t yet purchased your hog this year, this is your reminder that it’s the season to start checking in with your family farmer for good, local, and sustainably raised pork.
With everything good about fall in hand, I made a simple and humble meal in my slow cooker.
This meal would taste just as warm and comforting braised on the stovetop for a couple hours; however, I made it in my slow cooker to accommodate our busy soccer schedule. The boys are still playing hard so it’s nice to come home to a warm dinner, fully prepared.
Slow Cooked Cider Pork Chops with Pumpkin and Apples
In order to make this meal taste as if it’s braised in a cast iron dutch oven for hours, the thick pork chops are first seasoned and browned on the stove top.
Once the chops are browned with a nice formed crust, they’re removed and placed into the slow cooker. In the same pan, onions are added and sauteed until they just begin to turn translucent. Not overdone.
Apple cider, a couple tablespoons of flour, salt, and pepper are added to make a roux thick as gravy.
This delightful mixture is poured all over the pork chops in the slow cooker.
To finish, chopped pumpkin and apples are given their place in the slow cooker and sprinkled with a dash of nutmeg, and cardamom. To make things that much better, sprigs of fresh thyme are intermixed to do what they do best.
It doesn’t take that much time to prepare as most of the work is done while you’re enjoying your day.
A delightful fall meal of cider pork chops with pumpkins and apples that's started on the stovetop and finished in the slow cooker.
- 4, 1” bone in pork chops
- 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 large white onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tbls flour
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 tsp salt
- dash of pepper
- 1 mini pumpkin, peeled and sliced (about 3 cups pumpkin slices)
- 2 tart apples, peeled and sliced into wedges
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme
- In a large skillet or cast iron pan, gently heat 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil.
- Season the pork chops with salt and pepper.
- Working in two batches, add the pork chops and brown on both sides until a nice crust forms; 5-8 minutes per side. Once browned, remove from the pan and place them on the bottom of a 6-7 quart slow cooker.
- In the same pan that you used to brown the pork chops add the onions and saute until they just start to turn translucent. Do not overcook. Once sauteed, add the flour and stir through for about a minute; then, add the apple cider, 1 tsp salt, and a dash of pepper and continue to stir until the mixture thickens.
- Once thickened pour the onion mixture all over the pork chops in the slow cooker.
- Finish by adding the pumpkin, apples, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cardamom, and thyme to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Do you have any savory pumpkin dishes you’d like to share with us? Please do so in the comments below