Thursday, October 21, 2010
Pork chops and apple sauce. Say it with me like Peter Brady, come on, you know you want to. Pork chops and apple sauce! Its a favorite flavor combination, and for good reason!
This recipe was a collaboration between myself and Jenn from Jenn's Food Journey. We were chatting the other day, discussing what was for dinner and between the 2 of use we came up with this modern interpretation on a stuffed pork chop and apples. I have to say this was a very successful endeavor, the pork was delicious, the stuffing was light and fruity and the sauce...oh my goodness the sauce! When you're working with a sauce Queen like Jenn, well you know you're gonna get a good sauce!
The sauce is a simple pan sauce, or reduction. By concentrating the pan juices you get all the delicious flavor from the pork, herbs and stuffing, then adding the wine, vinegar and stock, well it makes for an incredibly flavorful sauce. Sour from the vinegar which plays nicely off the sweet fruit stuffing and gently flavored pork. Spices like clove and cinnamon are absolutely perfect with pork. The sauce is highly concentrated and slightly salty, but don't let that scare you. The sauce is intended to be drizzled over the meat, allowing a small bit of its golden goodness to flavor each bite. It is not a gravy - not intended to be poured over everything on the plate. The sauce is the perfect compliment to the apple stuffed chops. I can't wait to make this one again!
Apple stuffed pork chops with pan sauce
makes 4 chops
1 apple, peeled and diced fine
1 shallot, diced fine
1 clove garlic minced
6 leaves of sage minced fine, divided
1 rib celery, finely diced
2 T golden raisins soaked in hot water
1/2 c bread crumbs (I used fresh from stale bread but the canned kind should work)
4 center cut 1.5 inch thick pork chops
2 T white wine
1/2 c chicken stock
1 T cider vinegar
1 t apple quintessence (optional, can use cider or apple juice/cider concentrate )
1/2 t cinnamon, divided
kosher salt & pepper
2 T olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F
Heat a small sautee pan over medium high heat. Add 1 T of olive oil, the diced shallot, celery and garlic. Cook until the edges start to brown (about 5-10 minutes).
In a smallish bowl add the bread crumbs, apples, drained raisins and cooked shallot mixture. Add 1/3 of the chopped sage and a pinch of salt and dash of pepper. Mix well and allow to cool while you prepare the pork chops.
In a small bowl mix 1/3 of the chopped sage about 1 t kosher salt and some black pepper along with 1/4 t cinnamon and a pinch of cloves. Mix well so you have an herbed salt mixture.
Cut the pork chops down the center leaving the fat side attached. This is referred to as butterflying the chops. Once all chops are cut open take a handful of the stuffing and press it into the chop making as equally thick of a layer as possible.
Heat a large oven safe non reactive (stainless steel for example, don't use cast iron here unless its enamel coated) over medium high heat and add the remaining oil to the pan.
Equally distribute the herbed salt over the chops and rub it in on both sides. Once the oil is hot add the chops and cook until deeply browned on one side. Flip chops and transfer pan to the hot oven and allow to finish cooking in the oven. Cook until an internal temperature of 160F is reached (about 10-15 minutes).
Once chops are cooked remove from the pan and allow to rest while the pan sauce is prepared. Add all the liquids (stock, wine, apple quintessence or cider concentrate (OPTIONAL) and vinegar) and the remaining herbs and cinnamon to the pan. Heat the pan over high heat, scraping bottom of pan to remove any cooked on bits. Reduce sauce by half and serve with pork.
Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Amount Per Serving including sauce
Total Fat 21.5 g
Saturated Fat 7.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.3 g
Cholesterol 182.5 mg
Sodium 882.6 mg
Potassium 1,033.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Sugars 6.1 g
Protein 65.7 g