Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Stuffed Pork Chops

Thick cut, bone-in, pork loin chops, filled with a simple cornbread and mushroom stuffing and baked.
Thick cut, bone-in, pork loin chops, filled with a simple cornbread and mushroom stuffing and baked. Shown here with sour cream sauce, succotash and a side salad.

Stuffed Pork Chops

I rarely buy thick-cut pork chops, but it's really an absolute when you want to stuff them. Chops already are fast cooking, but when you create a split pocket in them it's essentially like creating two thinner cut chops with goodness stuffed in the middle!

Although there are a multitude of stuffing mixtures that can be used, I chose to make a simple trinity enhanced, cornbread based stuffing using some leftover cornbread and mushrooms I had on hand. Whether you choose to brine your pork chops or not is a personal decision, though it does provide a little bit of insurance against overcooking, should you not have an internal thermometer.

Skip the chit chat, tips and step-by-step pictures and jump to recipe.

Today, I had rolled up a fatty (no, not that kind) for the smoker so I decided to bake my chops on the Traeger with some applewood pellets. Now these fatties, I guess depending on the Q'er you follow, are made quite a few different ways. Mine was my first, so I kept it very basic and didn't do the bacon explosion version of bacon wrapped sausage, but it was still pretty darned good y'all!


But this is about pork chops today, so here's how I make my stuffed pork chops. As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step by step pictures below.


Allow pork chops to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Carefully cut a deep pocket in the fat side of each chop with a sharp paring knife, cutting toward the bone, but not all the way through. Season on both sides with salt, pepper and paprika; set aside.


For the stuffing, melt bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery; cook and stir about 4 minutes until tender. Add the mushrooms and cook another minute. Add the garlic and cook another minute longer. Add cornbread or bread crumbs and seasonings, toss and add enough chicken broth to lightly moisten. Set aside.


I had this fatty I wanted to put on the smoker, so I chose to cook my chops on the Traeger, but for the oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spoon stuffing into slits of chops and thread an oiled toothpick along cut edge, if desired. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil a large, 12-inch cast iron or other heavy skillet over high heat, just until it begins to smoke. Sear chops, in batches of two, on both sides, add 1/2 cup water to skillet, return all chops to the skillet and transfer to oven. Bake, uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Actual cooking time will depend on your own oven.


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Recipe: Stuffed Pork Chops

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

Ingredients

For the Chops:
  • 4 thick-cut (1 to 1-1/2 inch) brined, bone-in, pork loin chops (*See Note)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and paprika, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
For the Stuffing:
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings, butter or cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1-1/2 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread or fresh bread crumbs, toasted
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Sour cream sauce, optional (recipe below)
Allow pork chops to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. With a sharp paring knife, carefully cut a horizontal, 2-inch long pocket in the fat side of each chop, cutting almost to the bone, but not all the way. Season on both sides with salt, pepper and paprika; set aside.

Melt bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery; cook and stir about 4 minutes until tender. Add the mushrooms and cook another minute. Add cornbread or bread crumbs and seasonings, toss and add enough chicken broth to lightly moisten. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spoon stuffing into slits of chops and thread an oiled toothpick along cut edge, if desired. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil a large, 12-inch cast iron or other heavy skillet over high heat, just until it begins to smoke. Sear chops, in batches, on both sides, add 1/2 cup water to skillet and return all chops to skillet. Transfer to oven. Bake, uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Actual time will depend on your oven, so monitor temperature. Remove chops from skillet immediately and set aside, tenting loosely with foil, and allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving, preparing sour cream sauce below, if desired.

*For the Brine: Before brining, ensure that the pork chops you purchased haven't already been enhanced by being injected with a sodium solution. If so, do not brine. Combine 6 cups water, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup kosher salt. Whisk brine, place chops into a gallon sized zipper bag and pour the brine over. Seal and place bag into a bowl in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.

For the Traeger: When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 325 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange the chops directly on the grill grate. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and an internal temperature of 145 degrees F on an instant-read meat thermometer, plate and loosely tent with foil. Rest for 10 minutes.

To Toast Crumbs: Grate toasted bread. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, add grated crumbs and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

For the Sour Cream Sauce: To the skillet drippings, add a splash of water and scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Stir in 3 tablespoons of flour and cook for 4 minutes. Slowly stir in 1-1/2 cups water and cook until blended well and bubbly, Reduce heat to low and whisk in 1/2 cup of sour cream until heated through Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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