This meal is only for people who like to spend a few minutes prepping food, then relaxing as intoxicating aromas of savory pork and bacon, sweet applesauce and tart sauerkraut fill the air in perfect harmony. If that isn’t your thing, you won’t want to make this.
But if it is (at 24 weeks pregnant it’s really getting to be my thing), then you’ll want to pull out the slow cooker and make these pork chops with apple-bacon kraut asap!
This meal is a good memory from my childhood (though my parents made it in the oven). I remember being happy every time we had it. My dad still makes gargantuan batches when he has a thanksgiving feast at his house (along with turkey, cranberries, herring and vodka – you know, the usual fixin’s). Point being, you can take this concept and turn it into a main dish for a large crowd.
Three out of four of us devoured this – even my son who won’t touch fresh sauerkraut (call it cabbage for these folks – the applesauce mellows the sourness so you can get away with it). That is considered a win in my book, especially when cooking something outside the usual rotation.
Our daughter is very choosy about fruits, particularly apples. She tried a little then stuck with some censored bites of fall quinoa that I served on the side. She also pulled out some fresh sauerkraut from the fridge (her fave).
Hooray for an easy, nourishing meal!
A few more simple meals to try:
Pork Chops with Apple-Bacon Sauerkraut
6 ounces bacon, diced (about 6 slices)
2 pounds boneless pork chops (bone-in would be great too)
1 jar sauerkraut, drained and very lightly rinsed (about 25 ounces, I use Bubbies refrigerated brand)
1 jar applesauce (about 25 ounces, I love Gravenstein applesauce from Trader Joe’s)
1-2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
salt and pepper
1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and saute the bacon, moving it around until almost crisp. Set bacon aside. Keep about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan and reserve the rest of it in a small bowl nearby.
2. Up the heat to medium-high and sear the pork chops in the bacon fat for 1-2 minutes each side. Add salt and pepper while they are searing. I had two batches of chops to sear so I added a little reserved bacon fat in between.
3. In the slow cooker, stir together the sauerkraut, applesauce and bacon pieces. Nestle in (even bury) the pork chops into the sauerkraut mixture.
4. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, until the internal temp reaches at least 145 as per foodsafety.gov. (My slow cooker runs hot so I set it for 3 hours and then it switches itself to warm. It’s not as easy to dry out your pork chops as it is in other recipes because all the juices from the applesauce and sauerkraut keep them moist.)
NOTE: Alternately, if you are away all day, you could prep this meal in a pan in the morning and pop it in the oven when you get home at 350 for about 30 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chops), until the internal temp reaches at least 145 as per foodsafety.gov.