Pork chops, kind of like meat loaf, is the dish we all had growing up and the majority of us probably hated. These suckers are tricky; they can dry out in a matter of minutes and if you don’t season them properly they are about as tasty as drywall. First things first, I always go for boneless pork loins rather than chops. Both are relatively inexpensive, I just feel you get more bang for your buck with the pork loins as they have no bone and more meat. Secondly, I always advocate brining these guys whenever possible. I won’t get all Mr. Science and explain how the brine locks in water which in turn results in a moister and more tender piece of meat but trust me any time you are working with a dry meat like pork or turkey you are better off giving it at least a good 15 minute soaking. Toss them in a Ziploc baggie and throw in ¼ cup of salt for each quart of water you add.
The recipe below is pretty good by itself but you can amp this baby up a number of ways and make it so much more sweet or savory. Swap out the rosemary for some fresh sage, or throw in a handful of golden raisins or cranberries with your stuffing mixture…or maybe sauté granny smith apples with the onion…I’m getting hungry just thinking about the possibilities! Either way enjoy and please, feel free to share some of your tips with me in the comment section below.
Stuffed Pork Chops
4 boneless loin chops, about ½ to ¾ inches thick
2 slices sandwich bread, cut into small squares
1 half of an onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
¼ cup low sodium chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
¼ - ½ cup low sodium chicken stock
In a medium skillet over medium high heat add the butter, olive oil, onion and a dash of salt and sauté until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Throw in the bread and rosemary and a couple good cranks of freshly cracked pepper. Cook until the bread pieces begin to toast and brown in color, about 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Now preheat your broiler and let it get nice and hot. Cut a small slit in the side of each pork loin with a pairing knife. Insert your index finger and open up each loin to create a pocket for the stuffing. Now that your stuffing mixture has cooled pour ¼ cup of chicken stock into the mixture to soften the bread. Take a round tablespoon of stuffing and insert into the pocket of each of the pork loins. Once all the loins are filled with the bread mixture press down on each so they are as flat and even as possible. Salt and pepper each loin on both sides and place in an oven proof skillet. Toss the skillet into your preheated oven and broil for 7-8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately put the pork on a plate to rest and tent with aluminum foil. Now it’s gravy time! All those brown drippings left in that skillet are pure heaven. Transfer the skillet to a burner and put it on medium low heat. Toss in the butter and start scrapping up all those brown bits. Once your butter is nice and foamy add your flour and mix well, cook this mixture (or “roux”) for about 2 minutes. Begin adding your chicken stock a little at a time and whisk like crazy to get all the lumps out. Add as much or as little chicken stock until your reach your desired consistency.
Serve your stuffed chops on a warm plate; doused in gravy along side some fresh lima beans and you will have a meal that makes both your tummy and your family very happy!