When you want an easy and delicious dinner waiting when you get home, these apricot pork chops are as simple as you can get. You only need to grab three ingredients in the morning and place them in your crockpot to have dinner covered. The dish includes meat and carrots, so you have protein and a vegetable. Simply add a starch of your choice and a bright green vegetable to round out the meal.
Apricot pork chops are easy enough to make for a family meal, but they also can be served to guests. They will be very tender after cooking all day in the slow cooker, and you won't have to worry about serving tough or dried out meat. They will be sweet and can satisfy a sweet craving.
You will need four boneless pork chops. You can substitute bone-in thick-cut pork chops if you prefer. You will need one small bag of baby carrots or one medium-to-large carrot, sliced. You can also use frozen sliced carrots (about 2 to 3 ounces). Use half of a jar of apricot preserves (about 1 cup). You can add salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon, and pepper to taste.
- Place carrots at the bottom of slow cooker;
- Place pork chops on top of the carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste;
- Spoon the apricot preserves on top;
- Cook on low six to seven hours.
Serve the pork chops hot. You might sprinkle them with some finely chopped herbs such as parsley or thyme to make a great presentation.
You can pair the apricot pork chops with a starch such as potatoes, wild rice, quinoa, polenta, biscuits, or rolls. Round out your meal with a colorful green vegetable such as a green salad, steamed broccoli, or roasted brussels sprouts. The acid of the salad dressing makes a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the pork. You may want to avoid sides that also have a sweet element, such as sweet potatoes or cole slaw. A vegetable that can be slightly bitter is a better pairing to provide interest for your palate. If you have time to cook them, collard greens or mustard greens can be a good pairing. A kale salad or kale and quinoa side would also work well.
If you spend an extra few minutes of preparation time and sear the pork chops in a skillet with oil or butter, that will add even more flavor. It will also enhance their appearance, especially if you will be serving them to guests. However, that involves having to clean another pan, so it isn't listed as an essential step.
You can add other vegetables to the crockpot, such as a medium sliced onion. You can make the dish more festive by adding spices such as pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. For a French twist, add some thyme.
Different fruit preserves can be used. Consider using apricot-orange preserves or peach preserves. If you are watching your sugar or carbs, you can use sugar-free preserves.