Pork dishes are perfect for the fall and winter months. This lean pork with apples, carrots, and green beans is nutritious and makes a full meal in and of itself. Use thick-cut pork chops so that the meat doesn’t cook too quickly. The thicker cut will help it stay nice and tender, by preventing it from drying out.
Some slow cookers get warmer than others, even on the low setting. If possible, check the meat after 3 to 4 hours, so as not to overcook it. Vegetables take longer to cook, and should be placed at the bottom of the crockpot, with the meat on top. 1 cup of liquid, such as a broth or water, is usually enough to add when cooking meat in the slow cooker.
Browning the meat on both sides before putting it in the slow cooker makes the pork more flavorful. In general, meat (but not poultry) should be quickly browned on all sides before adding it to the slow cooker for any recipe. This dish would be delicious with potatoes or rice.
Balsamic Glazed Pork with Apples, Green Beans, and Carrots
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork chops thick (about 3/4-inches) trimmed of any fat
- 2 cups carrots largely chopped (1-inch pieces)
- 2 cups green beans tough ends removed
- 3 apples such as Granny Smith or McIntosh, cored and cut into 1-inch thick wedges
- 1 cup chicken stock fat-free and low sodium, substitute vegetable stock or pork stock
For the marinade:
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce low sodium, substitute shoyu or coconut aminos
- 1/4 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon black pepper freshly ground
- Mix the marinade in a large bowl, and add the pork chops, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Place pork chops and in a hot pan on the stovetop and sear both sides, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes over high heat on each side, until just the outside of each pork chop is browned. Remove the pork chops from the pan. Add the marinade to the hot pan and scrape the bottom for any bits.
- Add the stock and vegetables to the slow cooker, and place the meat on top. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, until the pork chops are cooked through and vegetables are tender. Serve.
How do you eat healthy during the cooler months? Tell us about your favorite clean-eating comfort food recipe below.