Slow Cooked Apple Bourbon Smothered Pork Chops




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Slow Cooked Apple Bourbon Smothered Pork Chops ~ that’s a delicious mouthful!  The pork cooks low and slow in the oven, or crock pot, and becomes fork tender in a rich gravy made with cider and bourbon.

Slow Cooked Apple Bourbon Smothered Pork Chops in a pot.

When it comes to pork chops, I think slow cooking in a braising liquid is the only way to go ~ otherwise I find them too tough.  The long, low, and slow cooking breaks down the fat and collagen in the meat and it becomes super tender.  The cider vinegar in this recipe provides a further tenderizing effect, and when you smother the finished chops in the rich gravy that they’ve been cooked in, you get a spectacular result.

TIP: For successful slow cooking make sure the meat is completely covered in liquid, and be sure you have a tight fitting lid.  You want the liquid to remain for the duration of the cooking.

Pork chops and shallots for Slow Cooked Apple Bourbon Smothered Pork Chops.

For smothered pork chops I used meaty pork loin chops, either with or without the bone.  Mine were about 1/2 pound each, the thicker the better.  You can really use any type of pork chop in this recipe, as long as they aren’t thin.

Shallots and apple for Slow Cooked Apple Bourbon Smothered Pork Chops.

You’ll want an apple, and some large shallots.  Mince the shallots and peel and dice the apple.  Then brown the chops on both sides and arrange them in a wide cast iron braising pan or Dutch oven.

Browned pork chops in a pot.

The sauteed shallots go in, then the apples, and the liquid.

Pouring sauce over apples and pork chops.

Tuck in some fresh sage sprigs and it’s ready for the oven.  I cook it at 275F for 3 hours.  I like to check after an hour to make the sure liquid is just barely simmering, not boiling, and I’ll adjust the temperature according to what I find.

TIP: You can do this in your slow cooker if you like, turn it to low and cook the chops for 6 hours.

Sage leaves on top of ingredients for slow cooked apple bourbon smothered pork chops.

When it’s done, remove the chops to a platter and puree the liquid into a thick gravy.  Serve ‘smothered’ in the gravy, with more on the side.

A plate of slow cooked apple bourbon smothered pork chops with a fork.

The inside of the lid (below) tells the whole flavor story…

Underside of pot lid used to make slow cooked pork chops.

An enameled cast iron braising pan is perfect for this dish.  It has a round, shallow shape that allows the meat to spread out and cook evenly.  The heavy cast iron walls moderate and retain the heat.  A 4 quart size works perfectly for this slow cooked pork chop recipe, and it’s a very convenient size to have around, I’ve used this same pan to bake my

It works well for a family of four, but you can find them in smaller or larger sizes to suit your needs, and at lots of different price points, too.  It’s one of my favorite types of pans.

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3.36 from 54 votes

Slow Cooked Apple Bourbon Smothered Pork Chops

Slow Cooked Apple Bourbon Smothered Pork Chops ~ that's a delicious mouthful!  The pork cooks low and slow in the oven, or crock pot, and becomes fork tender in a rich gravy made with cider and bourbon.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Yield 4 servings
Calories 308kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 center cut pork loin chops
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 large shallots peeled and thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 large apple any variety, peeled and chopped
  • 3 fresh sage sprigs or about 1/4 cup leaves
  • olive oil

sauce

  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 275F (check with an oven thermometer)
  • Whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  • Coat the bottom of a large cast iron braising pan with olive oil and heat on medium high until hot but not smoking.
  • Season the chops with salt and pepper on both sides, and then brown them for 2 minutes per side in the hot pan. Set aside on a plate.
  • Reduce the heat and add the shallots to the pan, along with a splash of water if it's very dry. Saute the shallots for a couple of minutes, until softened.
  • Put the chops back in the pan with the shallots, and add the chopped apples and sage. Pour the sauce over all. Cover tightly and cook for 3 hours at 275F. Check after one hour to make sure the pot is just barely simmering, not boiling. If your oven is too hot, turn it down.
  • Remove the pork chops to a plate. Remove the sage sprigs, and puree the gravy. Spoon it over the pork chops.

Notes

  • Nothing says you have to puree the gravy, if you like it thin, leave it as i

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 676mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

Slow Cooked Apple Bourbon Smothered Pork Chops pin.

 

 

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34 Comments

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  • Reply
    Michael
    September 26, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Sue, Well you’ve smashed my tastebuds again, another real cracker of a recipe! Smooth saucy tastes and wonderful flavours with the apple & pork in a brilliant sauce! Although I’ll have to fess-up now and say that I used this dish as the spectacle on a ‘veggie-pasta base’ of your ‘Wild Mushroom Pasta with Hazelnuts’ recipe. I had the benefit of prep-time on my side, so I marinated the Pork and one apple in the sauce for 24hrs beforehand – the pork/diced apple was so tender – it stunned my dinner guests. I also made up a second batch of the sauce (reduced) with a second fresh apple to add to this dish on the night, plus I saved a little for the gravy. Anyway the wholesome mix of the Apple/Pork dish with the earthy Wild Mushroom Pasta smells, flavours and textures was stupendous. By combining the slow cooked Apple-Pork recipe to a quick 30min Mushroom Pasta recipe didn’t overload the cooking appliances, nor compromise on prep-time! It was just a stroke of luck of enjoying two of your recipes and resulted in beautifully balanced food. My dinner guests and I thank you for spoiling us with great food ideas and the inspiration to improvise! Cheers…

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 27, 2020 at 6:45 am

      I can just imagine the aromas in your kitchen!!

  • Reply
    Jess
    September 25, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    If short on time, do you think cooking on high in crock pot will dry chops?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 25, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      I can’t say Jess, I’ve always cooked them on low. I would think the liquid would keep them moist enough, though.

  • Reply
    Martha Austin
    September 20, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    5 stars
    This was a delightful recipe – very flavorful. Since I’m not a fan of bourbon I combined the apple cider and bourbon amount (3/4 cup). I simmered 1 cup of apple cider until it reduced to 3/4 cup and then used that instead. Yum!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 20, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      I love the idea of reducing the cider, delicious!

  • Reply
    low and slow
    September 20, 2020 at 7:53 am

    This looks great I have sage in the garden and always looking for recipes to use it.What would you say to pork shoulder steaks 1″ thick?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 20, 2020 at 8:03 am

      I think that should work fine 🙂

  • Reply
    SherryinChicago
    September 12, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    These look perfect for a casual fall/winter night in. What would you serve them with?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 12, 2020 at 5:34 pm

      I’d suggest a green vegetable like broccoli, green beans, spinach, etc. Maybe a salad, and maybe biscuits of some sort.

  • Reply
    Leslie E Crandol
    June 16, 2020 at 4:23 am

    5 stars
    This is a delicious recipe. I had a pork loin, so I used that in place of chops. I also sliced 2 apples because we reallu like them. Fresh sage from my garden was just the thing. Thank you for always sending us delicious recipes.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 16, 2020 at 4:53 am

      Thanks Leslie, it’s good to know this works well with pork loin.

  • Reply
    Jordan
    May 3, 2020 at 11:58 am

    5 stars
    Hello! If making this in the slow cooker, how long would you cook the chops on low?

  • Reply
    Debbie
    April 16, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    5 stars
    This was excellent! Just the comfort food we needed for quarantine. But I will make it again and again.

  • Reply
    Karen
    February 4, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Hi. I made this recipe a few weeks ago and we loved it. Making it again today and have two questions. First, the sauce made as per the recipe does not fully cover the chops in my pan. What would you do? They won’t fit in a smaller pan. Second, will you please explain more about how to purée the sauce? I have not done this before. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Candace
    October 9, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Just popped this in the oven, Sue – it smells SO good! There was no mention of how much sage to use, so I just snipped three sprigs from my garden and popped them in with the chops and sauce.
    Cheers!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 9, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached, Candace 😉 I added the sage amounts in…hope you enjoy it!

      • Reply
        Candace
        October 10, 2017 at 11:34 am

        Same here, Sue! Thanks – it was absolutely wonderful! I’ll make it again and again!
        Cheers!

        • Reply
          Sue
          October 11, 2017 at 7:18 am

          I’m so glad Candace, thanks :))

  • Reply
    Jean
    October 7, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I started getting this ready for my crockpot and noticed that the recipe doesn’t say whether the shallots are minced, chopped or left whole! I assume they’re not whole. 🙂 Also the apples aren’t mentioned as to how many, when they are cooked, etc. The recipe sounds good so I am winging it, but beginning cooks might really need these details. It sounds great!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 7, 2017 at 9:41 am

      I just corrected that, thanks Jean. You can chop them, like I did here, or thinly slice them if you like.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    October 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    These sound mouthwatering Sue! My husband is a HUGE pork chop fan. He’s going to LOVE these!

  • Reply
    Monica
    October 3, 2017 at 3:14 am

    That’s a great fall dinner. My son loves pork chops so I cook it pretty often when I want to look like a hero. ; ) This looks amazing!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Hope this gets you lots of brownie points, Monica 😉

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    October 2, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Could you do this with a pork tenderloin? Would the cooking time be less?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 2, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      If you want to use pork tenderloin the cooking process is very different ~ more like a hot (400F) oven, for less than 30 minutes. You could definitely adapt these flavors for a tenderloin, but you might make the gravy on the stove top while the meat roasts.

  • Reply
    Carol Hyland
    October 2, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Thank you for this recipe, I’m going to be making this tonight! How many apples do you recommend and should they be part of the sauce when pureed?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 2, 2017 at 11:09 am

      I only used one apple, Carol, and the chunks you see in the final shot were just stuck to the chops as I lifted them out, before pureeing the sauce. If you like a few apple chunks, that works.

      • Reply
        Carol Hyland
        October 3, 2017 at 5:27 pm

        That’s what I did – 1 large apple. I didn’t have any apple cider, just pear cider but it worked beautifully. I have printed and saved your recipe for the next time… with the addition of an apple in the ingredients list :-). Cheers!

        • Reply
          Sue
          October 3, 2017 at 6:14 pm

          That’s great to hear Carol, and come to think of it, this would probably work great with pears instead of apples too.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    October 2, 2017 at 5:13 am

    What a wonderful autumn dinner. It looks perfect for a dinner party. I love that all the works done ahead of time!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    October 2, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Pork chops are my husband’s favourite, so I can’t wait to cook up a big pot of this for him. So perfect for apple season 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    October 2, 2017 at 4:21 am

    So very juicy and tender….3-hour-slow-cooking..wow, patience definitely paid off!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    October 2, 2017 at 4:10 am

    Wow, I can’t take my eyes off these chops – look how fork tender! I really need to try this recipe and boy I love that pan too. The gravy must be fantastic. Super recipe Sue!