T loves pork; I think most men love pork, maybe everyone loves pork… I am not a big pork eater. As a child I would not even touch the stuff… I thought it was pure fat!
Anyway… I decided to make stuff pork chops for a belated Valentine’s Day dinner. They went over well, I even enjoyed mine. They were very easy to make I always keep a pint of homemade seasoned croutons in the pantry alongside a pint of toasted seasoned breadcrumbs, and one pint of crushed cracker crumbs. When I need to make any one of the three I always make a few extra so I have them the next time a recipe could call for them. It makes it (life) so much easier.
I had some pork broth in the freezer that I thawed and added:
- Around 3∕4 cup of pork broth, you could use chicken broth
- 1∕8 cup of diced onion
- 1∕8 cup of diced celery
- One clove of diced garlic
- Some fresh Parsley that I chopped up
- 1 Cremini Mushroom diced up
- About 1∕8 cup of dried tart cherries, save until the last-minute to add to the simmering pot
I put everything into a little sauce pan except the parsley and cherries. I simmered this until the onions and celery were just soft. This too will reduce some giving the broth more flavor. I added the dried tart cherries and parsley just a few minutes before I needed to put this broth mix in with the bread mix.
While that was simmering I put some of the seasoned baked croutons in a Ziploc bag and rolled a roller pin over a few times (when I make my seasoned croutons I make them about an inch in size.) I wanted them broken up in smaller pieces. Add about half that amount in seasoned toasted bread crumbs and add in 1 Tablespoon of cornmeal. Then add about ½ teaspoon of sage, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you have a favorite bread stuffing than by all means use it!
Then spoon all the onion, celery, garlic, mushrooms, parsley, and cherries out of the broth and stir them into the bread mixture. Add just a bit of broth at a time into the mix, you do not want to get the stuffing too moist or soggy! Let it cool down before adding one egg and mix it in. Once it is thoroughly mixed leave it to dry out a bit. Now it is time to stuff the pork chops.
I had the butcher cut a pocket in each of the pork chops for me. It makes it that much easier. Once you have the stuffing ready, rested, patted, and loved stuff each pork chop as full as you can get it, using your hands. (This is where I normally loosely stitch close the hole with some regular dental floss… as you can see by the photos I forgot until they had been in the oven about 30 minutes, too late!) When finished wash your hands and then seasoned both sides of the chop with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to keep hands clean I use tongs to flip the pork chop over to get all sides seasoned. Then wrap them up individually in aluminum foil and close it tight, place each in a baking pan and bake for about an hour at 350˚. The timing could be different depending on the size and thickness of the chops.
I had a little stuffing left over so I used one of my small baking dishes and added a couple of tablespoon of broth on top of the stuffing put a cover on it and baked in the oven while baking the stuffed pork chops. When I was checking on them I could really smell the tart cherries cooking in the mix. It all smelled so succulent and luscious.
While they were baking I made a cream sauce:
- 1 Cup of pork broth or you can use chicken broth
- 1 Cremini Mushroom sliced in half and then sliced into thin slices
- About the same in diced onions that you have in the sliced mushrooms
- One clove garlic diced up small
- Some chopped Parsley
Put all in a saucepan and simmer until it has reduced by half. When it is done while it is still at a low boil I whisked in 1 teaspoon of butter and then a couple of quick splashes of heavy cream. I added just a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper and let it simmer to thicken stirring every once in a while. Sometimes when I want a nice cream soup I make this sauce as a soup… it is delicious!
I forgot we had roasted brussel sprouts on the side; they were a perfect side dish to the stuffed pork chops.
When you have baked the chops there will be some wonderful juice in each packet, I add it to my cream mushroom sauce! Once I had the chops out of the foil I put them back in the baking dish and put them under the boiler for just a few minutes to lightly brown them.
The stuffed pork chops came out pleasing to the eye. The dried tart cherries were a very nice complement to the dish. The chops were moist and delicious and the broth cream sauce put it over the top, T loved them, which was all I needed to know….
Look what we found today on our walk… out front… spring is giving us a peek!