Originally published by Sweet Lemon Magazine, November 6, 2013 – Republished with permission.
When life gets hectic, some things, like making a real sit down meal for yourself, tend to get pushed aside in favor of putting in a few extra hours at work or a few more miles on the treadmill. However, when you have a little extra time, it’s important to treat yourself (or your family, friends, or significant other) to something a little bit special. This recipe for stuffed pork chops takes advantage of a great seasonal flavor (apples!) and is, surprisingly, easier than it looks.
– Paper towel
– 2 cutting boards
– Vegetable peeler
– Melon baller
– 2 sharp knives
– 3 small bowls
– Set of dry measuring spoons
– Butcher’s twine
– Medium sized cast iron frying pan
– Meat thermometer
– 2 butterfly cut pork chops
– ¼ of a large white onion
– ½ of a medium sized Granny Smith apple
– 1 teaspoon of paprika
– ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
– ¼ teaspoon of salt
– ¼ teaspoon of pepper
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Ready, Set, Cook!
1) Preheat your oven to 400°F. Once you’ve done that, rinse your pork chops to rid them of any bacteria and set them aside on one of your cutting boards. (Tip: Having designated cutting boards for meats, poultry, veggies, and fruits helps cut down on the possibility of cross-contamination of bacteria.)
2) Using one of your sharp knives thinly slice your onions as pictured above. Set them aside in one of the small bowls.
3) Wash, peel, and core your apples. (Tip: Slicing the apples in half and using a melon baller to remove the core makes the job much faster.) Using your second sharp knife, slice the apples as pictured above. Set them aside in one of the small bowls.
4) Mix the paprika, nutmeg, salt, and pepper together in the remaining small bowl, using the teaspoon to ensure the spice blend is well mixed. (Tip: You can also use a mortar and pestle for this step.)
5) Divide your onions into four parts. Lay about a quarter of the onions on the right hand side of each open pork chop. Divide the apple slices in half, then layer them on top of the onions. Layer the apple slices with the remaining onions and close the pork chops over them. Rub the outside of the pork chops with the spice blend, then tie closed with two pieces of butcher’s twine per chop.
6) Heat the olive oil in the cast iron frying pan. Once the pan and oil are hot, place the pork chops inside and cook until browned, about 2-4 minutes per side depending on the size of your chops, flipping once to ensure that both sides are evenly browned.
7) Once the pork chops are browned, put the cast iron pan into your pre-heated oven and bake until the pork is cooked to 160°F-170°F. Test by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chop. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your pork chops. (Tip: If you don’t own a meat thermometer, cook the pork until no pinkness remains and the juices run clear.)
8) Remove the pork chops from the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes before clipping and removing the twine. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!
By Ally Stuart