Sunday, October 12, 2014

Apple and Rosemary Stuffed Pork Chops


I was walking through Costco yesterday trying to decide what I wanted to make for our Sunday dinner this week when I came across these beautiful pork chops. We haven't had pork chops in a long time and I'm not usually a big fan because all I can typically find are the thin little pork chops in the grocery store. These ones were about two inches thick and even though they were boneless, which is usually another strike, they looked perfect.

I actually really enjoy shopping for a meal without a recipe in mind. I tend to get most of our meat at Costco and I'll just walk up and down the meat isles to see what looks good. Once I find a meat that looks good, I might do a quick search for some good recipes, check if I've got the ingredients that I need and then I'm set! If the kids are along with me, it may be more or less swayed by their opinion or my desire to get in and out as quickly as possible. It's highly scientific.

Back to the pork chops. I also hate pork chops that are dry, as I assume most people do, and they are so easy to over cook. Pork can be so so good when it's cooked right but people tend to over cook it. A few years back, the USDA actually lowered the cooking temperature recommendation to 145 degrees, which is what most restaurants were already doing. A little pink is just fine and your meat will be so much better!


To help even more I decided to brine the meat overnight to add extra moisture and flavor. I used apple juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper and then let them sit for 12 hours.

Our garden is about finished, especially now that we've had a few nights with frost, but I've still got my rosemary and sweet onions in the ground that I wanted to use up. I sauteed the onions and the apples and then combined them with honey, apple cider vinegar and freshly chopped rosemary.


 The thicker the pork chops you can find for this the better. You make a cut horizontally across the front of the chop, almost all the way through, and then stuff it with the apple mixture. Use toothpicks to help hold it closed again and then they're seared on a hot pan before being quickly simmered in a honey broth.



The result is a syrupy mildly sweet sauce that coats the pork chop, filled with a savory sweet mixture that pairs perfectly with the juicy meat. This is great for a Sunday meal or a fancy dinner too. You could even make it all the way up through stuffing them a day before an event and then cook them right before.

 Apple and Rosemary Stuffed Pork Chops
 Inspired by McCormick

Ingredients

Brine
2 cups apple juice
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 thick cut pork chops

Stuffing
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 1/2 cups chopped apples
3 tablespoons honey divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup chicken broth

Directions

Brine
In a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 cup of water, apple juice, pepper, salt, sugar and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer making sure to stir occasionally to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from heat and add to a large bowl with 2 cups of ice.

Once the brine has cooled add pork chops. Brine for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Remove pork from brine, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Stuffing
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes. Add apples; cook and stir 5 minutes longer or until slightly softened. Spoon mixture into small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the honey, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and garlic powder; mix well. 
Cut a horizontal slit in center of each pork chop to form a pocket. Spoon 1/4 cup of the apple mixture into each pocket. Secure with toothpicks. Mix remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Coat pork chops evenly on both sides with rosemary mixture. 
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet on medium-high heat. Add pork chops; cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Mix broth and remaining 2 tablespoons honey until well blended. Stir into skillet. Cook 5 minutes longer or until pork is desired doneness. Remove pork chops from skillet; keep warm. Cook mixture in skillet 3 minutes longer or until reduced by half. Remove toothpicks from pork chops. Serve pork with sauce mixture.


 

1 comment:

  1. I bet these chops made your house smell absolutely amazing! I definitely want to make them.

    ReplyDelete