Today I am sharing with you one of my most favorite meals ever.
As in it was the meal I requested for my birthday, when I came home from college on break, and any other time my mom said the magic words “What would you like me to make for you?”. We call my mom “Cici” for the kids (that’s her initials. C. C.) So I call these Cici’s Pork Chops.
You may be wondering right now “Jenn, if this is your favorite meal, and you’ve been blogging since 2006, why have you waited 8 years to share it with us”.
Because it just isn’t pretty. I mean really–look at my photo up there. It just isn’t something that LOOKS good. Not only that but it sounds weird. Sauerkraut and tomatoes? Ew. I admit it, if I didn’t know how delicious it was I too would look at that photo and those ingredients and be very, very skeptical. Actually, I’ve made this meal three times since the new year with the intent to photograph it and share it, but each time it just looks, well, like it does. So I finally gave up and said “self–they are either going to like it or not, there is no way you can be true to how this is cooked and come up with a pleasing photo”. So here we are!
The ingredients for this dish are super simple. Pork Chops. Seasoned Salt. Sauerkraut. Stewed Tomatoes. Onions. Really–that’s pretty much it. A couple of caveats: I’ve typically used either the Kosher Sauerkraut, the kind they sell in jars in the refrigerator section of the store, or homemade. These are milder krauts, not as vinegary as some. You can make this with the bagged or canned kraut as well–but if you try it and think the flavor is good just a tad too sour then next time you might want to try the Kosher kind. For the stewed tomatoes I use home canned or the plain, unflavored kind.
I make the chops by first seasoning & browning the meat (I use my Homemade Seasoned Salt and some Pepper), then layering them in my slow cooker with the sauerkraut, stewed tomatoes and sliced onions. Usually I’ll get about 2 to three layers depending on the number and size of the pork chops. I’ll sprinkle a little more seasoned salt on the middle layer as well. Turn it on low for 6-8 hours and you come back to fall off the bone tender pork. I put all the pork on a platter and then scoop the sauerkraut/tomato mix into a separate bowl to be eaten as a side dish.
If you are in a rush you can skip the browning step (although it adds additional flavor) and you can cover and bake the entire dish in the oven instead of using the slow cooker (I’d say about an hour and then check). I’m sure you could probably make this in a pressure cooker as well, but I haven’t tried that.
The leftover broth is very flavorful (but tangy from the sauerkraut). I sometimes will just put the liner in the fridge overnight, scoop off the layer of fat in the morning, stick it back into the slow cooker, toss in some lentils and other odds and ends and make a soup for the next day.
I hope some of you give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!
Cici’s Pork Chops
- Pork Chops 4-6
- 1 Quart Sauerkraut (roughly 1 LB or 2 cans)
- 1 Quart Stewed Tomatoes (or 2 cans)
- 2 Onions medium
- Seasoned Salt
Season pork chops with seasoned salt and pepper. Brown in a skillet.
In slow cooker layer 2-3 browned pork chops, 1/2 sauerkraut, 1/2 tomatoes, 1 onion and some seasoned salt--repeat with a second layer.
Cover and cook 6-8 hrs on low.
Serve pork and sauerkraut/tomato separately.
You may skip browning the pork, but this will result in a slight loss of flavor (browning adds a lot!) and a more "gray" look to your meat.
You may use plain salt instead of the seasoned.
You can layer all the ingredients in a casserole dish, cover with foil (or a lid) and bake for an hour in a 350 oven (please check and adjust the time as it will vary depending on the thickness of your pork chops and your individual oven)