Why I don’t use my crock pot more often is beyond me! But I’m slowly coming around! 😉 This dish takes all of 15 minutes to put into the crock pot and get going, then 5 hours of cooking until the chops are literally melt-in-your-mouth tender. Then half-cook some rice, add, and another 30 minutes with the lid off, 30 more with it on, and you’re done! I’ve made this dish on the stovetop before and not slow-cooked at all, and boy does the “low ‘n slow” turn it into something completely different altogether!
It becomes rich and creamy as though you were eating risotto – – without all of the standing and stirring over the stove! And the pork loin medallions become so tender that you could cut them with a spoon if you had to! No knife is even needed! Except maybe to butter your bread with! 😉
I was going to add some peas at the end, but totally spaced it. They would’ve been really wonderful in this as well and would be a kind of Italian “Risi Bisi” of sorts. I don’t know which is more fun, eating this wonderful dish, or saying “risi bisi”! 🙂 Though traditional risi e bisi is made with risotto and no tomatoes, and certainly not cream of mushroom soup added, this dish turned out every bit as tasty considering it was made with regular ol’ plain rice and cooked in a crock pot! I think the combination of the creamy soup and the little bit of starch from the rice is what turned it so creamy. Then the richness of the tomatoes made the pieces of the puzzle all fit like Cinderella’s glass slipper!
With everything going on in this dish, not much is needed to serve along with it. Especially if adding peas at the end. We simply enjoyed this with bread and butter and a simple dinner salad. If you’re planning on serving this to your family and have children, there would be plenty enough for four using 3 larger (regular-sized) pork loin chops and then just cut the third one in half to make 4 servings. You’ll need to double the sauce and rice mixtures, and use four regular loin chops to make 4 adult-sized servings, though.
If peas are not desired, oven-roasted asparagus with parmesan, or a balsamic vinaigrette, or even wrapped in prosciutto would be wonderful for a romantic dinner for 2, or for a dinner party for 4! Just because it was made in a crock pot doesn’t belittle it! 😉 And that 30 minutes of leaving the crock pot lid off – – 30 minutes before it’s done – – makes the entire house smell sooooo delicious while it thickens the sauce! *Use the last 30 minutes (lid on) to finish up any side dishes! This would be a perfect dish for company with almost nothing to fret over at the end! Warm some bread or some rolls, pop some pre-wrapped prosciutto-asparagus into the oven, and plop the bowl of salad onto the table. Wah-LAH! 😉 Pour me a glass of wine! 😀
So dig out ‘n dust off your crock pot for this one! It will free up your oven for holiday baking and practically make itself too!
It was so much fun to make, easy as can be, economical, and tasted like a million bucks! Speaking of a “million bucks”, the lottery just rolled over again… and it’s up to a half a BILLION dollars!! So, if you don’t hear from me after Tuesday – – I’ll be relaxing on a private, tropical beach somewhere enjoying a Pina Colada with a cute li’l pink paper umbrella, my toes buried in the soft, warm sand, and listening to the waves kissing the shore….well, one can dream!!!
PORK MEDALLIONS with CREAMY ITALIAN RICE & TOMATOES
(*Use 4 larger, regular thick-cut pork loin chops and double the sauce and rice mixtures to serve 4)
4 thick-cut small round pork loin medallions (about 1 1/2 lbs.), trim excess fat leaving just a little
generous amount of seasoned salt and coarse ground black pepper (or to taste)
3 Tbl. butter
1 (10.3/4 oz.) can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, (undiluted)
1 ( 14.5 oz.) can Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano, with the juice
1/2 tsp. jarred minced garlic, more if using fresh
1 Tbl. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup red wine, optional but very good!, can sub beef bouillon dissolved in hot water
1 large rib of celery, thinly sliced at an angle
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 cup water
1 Tbl. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup plain white uncooked rice
more salt and pepper to taste if needed
**1/2 cup frozen sweet baby peas, unthawed, optional
To crock pot add: soup, tomatoes with juice, garlic, dried herbs, sugar and wine. Stir to combine.
Season pork loin medallions liberally on both sides with seasoned salt and coarse ground black pepper. In medium frying pan, heat butter until melted over med-high to high heat, and fry medallions browning on both sides. Nestle each into crock pot, turn on to LOW heat, and place on lid.
Add celery and onion to frying pan with the butter and juices, and sauté over medium heat 3-4 minutes until al dente. (Crisp-tender.) Add to crock pot, (butter, juices and all), stir in carefully, re-adjust chops covering with sauce, place on lid and cook for 5 hours on low.
After the 5 hours, in small saucepan, add water, butter, salt and rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover and turn to LOW. Simmer until halfway done. About 7-8 minutes. Add to crockpot stirring in carefully to not break up chops.
Leave lid off and continue to cook on LOW for another 30 minutes, stir a little, then cover and cook 30 minutes more or until rice is very tender and mixture is thick and creamy like a risotto.
*Times depend on your own crock pot as about all of them cook differently. Mine ran kind of hot, so you may need to cook yours a bit longer at the end.
**For an Italian Risi e Bisi style of dish, frozen sweet baby peas can be stirred in 1-2 minutes before serving.