Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pork Chops in a Cranberry Thyme Sauce!

Pork Chops with Cranberry-Thyme Sauce
½ cup butter melted
4 boneless pork chops 6 ounces each
1 cup white wine
1 cup cranberry sauce
1 small onion(s) chopped
¼ cup fresh thyme chopped
Unit salt and pepper to taste

Who knew you could buy fresh thyme you didn't have worry about keeping alive?!  I got this stuff in a ziplock at Publix!

Lightly brown the pork chops in a skillet.
In a small bowl, combine the butter, cranberry sauce and white wine.  
Arrange the pork chops in the bottom of the stoneware. Sprinkle the salt and pepper, onion and thyme over the pork chops.
Pour the sauce into the stoneware and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 4 to 6 hours.

I could tell you this recipe was passed down through my Austrian step-grandmother but that would be a lie.  Honestly I was bored and was messing with my Sunbeam crock-pot app  on my iPhone (I actually am on my 2nd Hamilton Beech Crock-pot which I LOVE!) when I found this recipe.  It sounded WAY to fancy to be good – but let me tell you, it is crockpot FABULOUS!  Darren said it smelled like a stew – but I think he mean's Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon.  Let me tell you friends, I wish this blog was scratch-n-sniff because OMG! that stuff smelled SO good it was like pork chops slow cooked in a good port wine all day.  Fruity, buttery, onions and thyme and pork...I am not a big pork lover but good night this smells DEE-LISH!

My 2nd thought , after the euphoria of the sniffing, was what are we going to eat with this?  Rice is too blah...potatoes will suck up the juices and it will be a big mess.  I was thinking polenta but Darren doesn't like that because of the I am making butter fried corn bread.  Heck no! Not from scratch – out of a box.  SUPER easy.  Just pre-heat the oven as directed on the box of mix you prefer, mix up the batch, when the oven is ready put 1/3 of a stick of butter in a cast iron skillet and put it in the oven for 5mins or till melted (don't burn the butter).  Then pour the batter in and cook as directed – great with chili and everything else.  My dear friend Charlotte Bethel Burbank of Louisiana taught this yankee how to make that and it is super yummy scrumptious!

Then I thought this fancy dish needed a fancy veggie and I suggested asparagus...but, Darren said, “ makes your pee smell funny”, so that was out.  Then I remembered I had frozen some fresh green beans from the Richland Park Farmer's Market, which I love to go to.  We will have those – steamed!

Sure does look yummy!

The tasting~
Oddly for the stick of butter it calls for, it was not as rich and heavy as I thought it would be - which for me is a good thing.  It does have a very German flare, so if you like that kind of food – here's to you!  Darren said he liked it even though he's not a fan of German food but that it was ok.  Not something he would want every week.  We both felt the corn bread and fresh green beans were a good pairing to the flavors.  The cool think is that the flavors married in the cooking but you could still taste everything in a good way.

This would make a good presentation to guests.  Also some tips:
  • use ½ the amount of onion
  •  use light butter instead of fully leaded
  • cook no more than 7hrs – the meat stays tender but it gets a little dry.
  • pair it with a white wine like a Pinot Grigio and even though I am not a Reisling drinker that might also work.  Maybe a fancy beer would do as well.

I am sure if I didn't cook it at long it would have tasted just as good as it smelled.  Onward and upward to the next adventure!  Have a recipe you want me to try - send it to me!

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