Apple, Cranberry, and Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops

Fall is pork season. Bacon, sausage, pork chops, it’s all delicious. It’s also creeping up on final’s season at Columbia, which means final projects! yay! Last night I combined the two fall standards, coercing a friend into helping me with my Spanish project by way of pork-stuffed-pork and a few Brooklyn Brewery Lagers.

This recipe is definitely not the least labor intensive, as it has a few steps along the way, but it’s actually quite simple and the result is a delicious stuffed pork chop that is special enough for anyone you feel like celebrating…or someone you’re bribing…two categories which often overlap on the venn diagram of life.

The stuffing is a true ode to fall with apples, cranberries, bacon, apple cider, shallot, and dijon mustard to give a little spicy kick. Be sure to buy the thickest pork chops you can find, as they’ll be easier to slice and ensure a good stuffing-to-pork ratio. While thin pork chops are fine for lots of stuff, here a thin chop risks overcooking and drying out, so I’m serious when I say “go thick.”

I served the sliced chops (count for about 1/2-3/4 chop per person) over crispy baby brussels sprouts roasted with bacon and brown sugar, fluffy quinoa, and a simple sauce made by whisking butter into reduced port. It’s fruity depth rounds out a perfectly balanced dish!

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Stuffed Pork Chops (Serves 3-4) 

  • 2 center cup pork chops (1.5″-2″ thick)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup apple, diced into 1/4″ cubes
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot water and drained
  • 1 tbsp apple cider
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (fat reserved)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp salt (plus more for seasoning)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  1. Combine vinegar, salt, sugar, and 1.5 cups room temperature water in a medium, non-reactive bowl. Add pork chops and add more water (if needed) until the chops are just covered. Soak chops in brine for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  2. Sautee shallot in reserved bacon fat over medium heat. Once translucent and beginning to brown, add garlic, cranberries, and apples. Add apple cider and stir to combine.
  3. Transfer mixture to a small bowl. Add bacon, parsley, and panko to the bowl. Combine gently and season to taste.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F.
  5. Pat pork chops dry and slice a ‘pocket’ into each chop with a pairing knife. Spoon approximately 1/3 cup stuffing into each pocket, handling gently.
  6. Sear chops on each side over high medium/heat in an oven-safe pan, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer pan to the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of butter to the pan, basting butter over the chops, remove to a cutting board to rest.
  7. Add remaining stuffing to the hot pan, toasting until browned.
  8. Slice chops cross-wise with a sharp knife. Serve over quinoa and crispy brussels sprouts with a port wine and butter sauce. Top with toasted leftover stuffing.
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