Juicy cheese-topped pork chops roasted in French onion soup sauce. A meal worthy of company, but so easy, it’s also perfect for a weeknight meal!
Here’s a meal that will make your guests or your family feel very special because they’ll think you fussed big time. But you will have a secret–this meal is stupidly easy to make!
It contains caramelized onions, as any good onion soup will. This doesn’t rely on any canned or dehydrated versions of the soup either. I can hear groaning about making caramelized onions–and yes, made conventionally they are a huge pain in the butt because you have to watch over them and they seem to take forever (much like the proverbial watch pot), but did you know you can make them with little or no babysitting in your slow cooker?
I made a whole bunch of slow cooker caramelized onions the other day. I was dying to use some so I went searching for recipes that used them.
This recipe is a composite of several that I found on the net. Some had cheese, some didn’t. Some used canned onion soup–I really don’t like the condensed variety anyway. So I made a sort of patchwork quilt out of what I saw.
Years ago a restaurant in Middle Village, NY, where I’d eat frequently, always served their French onion soup with sharp provolone over the toasted bread. It was the best part of the soup and I wanted that factored in here. Of course Swiss and mozzarella are lovely too, but there’s just something about a GOOD aged sharp provolone (hint: it smells) that makes the soup so awesome. You have to get this provolone sliced in the deli department of your store. I always buy Bel Gioioso because it’s just the best. Ask to taste any other brand though–some are so mild, they taste like mozzarella. Avoid the pre-sliced in the dairy case–it’s not worth it.
The chops are coated with a nice whole-grain dijon mustard. I won’t lie, it’s pretty pricy. However, it’s SO worth it for the taste and the little crunch from the seeds. But if you have regular dijon on hand, that can be used in place of the whole-grain variety.
These are made in the oven, but they can also be made in the slow cooker. The best way to accomplish that is to start the caramelized onions in the linked recipe above either very early the same day or the night before, then when they are done, add the pork chops and the stock. However, I feel it’s more efficient to make the onions one day and this meal the next day and use the finished product.
- 4 boneless center-cut pork chops, about 1-inch thick
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup caramelized onions
- ¾ cup beef stock
- ¼ cup dry white wine (see NOTES)
- 4 tsp whole-grain dijon mustard -OR- regular dijon mustard
- 4 slices sharp provolone cheese
- 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme -OR- ⅛ tsp dried (see NOTES)
- ½ tsp salt (optional)
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil.
- Sprinkle pork chops with pepper and salt if using.
- Brown chops on both sides in hot skillet. Remove pork chops and set aside.
- Add the stock, thyme (if using) and wine to the pan and deglaze (that's scraping up all the browned bits so they dissolve in the liquid).Add the caramelized onions. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until liquid is slightly reduced.
- Spread 1 tsp of the mustard on top of each chop. Place chops in skillet with the onion/stock mixture.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until chops register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Place slice of cheese on top of each chop--I find folding the cheese in half works best and creates a double layer of cheese.
- Place the skillet back in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and just begins to brown.
The white wine can be substituted with an equal quantity of beef stock
SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS--Follow the recipe for caramelized onions bearing in mind they take about 10 hours so plan accordingly if you plan to make this meal along with the onions. If you do, at the end of the 10 hour cooking time, add the browned chops with the mustard spread on each as in the main recipe, and the stock and wine. Cook for an additional 5-6 hours. You can melt the cheese over the chops either in the microwave or regular oven.
I feel it's better to make the onions on one day and make the pork chops on another day. To do it that way, add the caramelized onions to the crock pot along with the stock and wine. Brown the pork chops, spread the mustard over them and place them in the slow cooker. Cook for about 5-7 hours on low, 4-6 on high, but check for doneness at the MINIMUM times. If you are using a casserole crock and you have the pork chops in a single layer, at the end of the cook time, place the cheese on top of the chops, cover and let the cheese melt. If you had to pile the chops in the cooker, you will have to melt the cheese either in the oven or microwave.