Apple Almond and Sage Stuffed Pork Chops

Apple Almond and Sage Stuffed Pork Chops
Apple Almond and Sage Stuffed Pork Chops
Spring has been a reluctant visitor here in Newfoundland this year. Even here in the far North East it has been colder than usual and now the seasonal rain, drizzle and fog seems to have settled in to keep company with the frigid temperatures...sigh. These butterflied pork chops were originally destined for the back yard grill but the cold and rain forced me to make other plans.

Embracing the make lemonade from lemons philosophy, I set out to make a comfort food meal to make myself feel a bit better about our hesitant spring which I hope we now bypass in favor of a straight jump into summer.

Barbeque Spiced Roasted Potato Nuggets
Unwilling to set out for a supermarket run in the rain, I took stock of what was on hand to work with. Some leftover toasted almonds that were sprinkled on a recent salad, some leftover fresh sage that I'd used in a recent roast chicken and a big bag of apples provided the inspiration for the stuffing in these chops. The combination of sweet apples, crunchy nuts and fragrant, earthy sage was fantastic and all complimented the pork beautifully.

To keep the pork from drying out, I used the pan rushing method where the chops are seared in a hot pan and then roasted in a hot oven to finish off the cooking. It worked perfectly and to complete the meal, we served the chops with some steamed, buttered asparagus and just to remind me that there was still still hope for a BBQ season, these Barbeque Spiced Roasted Potato Nuggets rounded out a perfect family dinner.

Apple Almond and Sage Stuffed Pork Chops

Recipe by Barry C. Parsons
An old fashioned baked cornbread stuffing, with the added deliciousness of thyme, pecans and apples.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: About 1 hour including baking time for the cornbread.
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: About 8-10 servings
  • 4 large butterfly cut pork loin chops 
  • 2 cups crusty bread cubes
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 egg
  • 2 small diced apples
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 stalk celery, diced small (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the garlic, onions and celery. Cook just until the onions have softened but not browned.
  3. Toss the cooked onion mixture with the bread cubes, apples, sage, salt, pepper and melted butter.
  4. Whisk together the eggs and chicken or vegetable stock well and pour evenly over the stuffing mixture.
  5. Add the toasted almonds and toss well to combine.
  6. Season the inside and outside of the butterflied chops with salt and pepper. Divide the stuffing between the 4 chops and press tightly into the butterfly cut.
  7. Add a little oil to a large, oven safe cast iron or heavy bottom frying pan and heat over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, sear the chops for a couple of minutes on each side to brown them.
  8. Place the frying pan directly into the hot oven for about 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees at the center of the meat and stuffing. 
  9. Let the chops rest for 5 minutes before serving. 
Apple Almond and Sage Stuffed Pork Chops

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