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Stuffed Brined Pork Chops



One meat my husband really loves is Pork Chops.  He loves nothing better.  Cooking pork chops can be a bit tricky I find.  There is an optimum length of time to cook them and it varies from chop to chop, depending on the type and the thickness of the chop. 



In the old days people were really afraid of under-cooked pork and so had a tendency to way overcook their pork.  My poor mum used to feed us chops that were so overcooked, you needed a ton of gravy or applesauce just to make them edible.  Bless her  . . . she meant well and had only our safety in mind. Everyone had the same fears with pork and overcooked their meat. It wasn't just her.


One thing which helps with the tenderness  of chops is to brine them prior to cooking.  This is a technique that I have only discovered in recent years and I have to say that it really makes a huge difference!  My chops were never dry anyways, but now they are even better! 



Its amazing what the magic solution of cold water, salt and sugar and an hour of time can do! 



For this recipe today you will want bone in rib loin chops that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick.  The reason you want them this thick is that you will be stuffing them . . .


I don't think you can get much tastier than a stuffed pork chop! 



The stuffing for these is a really simple one . . .  using simple ingredients.  Butter softened onion and celery, with a mix of herbs  . . .  thyme, parsley, sage and a bit of garlic . . .  some salt and pepper  . . .


Mixed with some white bread crumbs and some cream to moisten everything and get it to stick together.  I also add some chopped raisins for a hint of sweetness, but you can leave them out if you wish, or replace them with chopped apple, or dried apricots, or even dried cranberries.  All work well. 



You will want to cut a deep pocket in the brined chops.  I make only a tiny incision on the fatty edge, and then move the knife around inside to carve a pocket . . .  carefully.  You want a sharp knife and you don't want too large of an opening.  Too large and you run the risk of your stuffing bursting out during cooking.


You want all that tastiness to stay inside, which is why you want only a tiny opening on the edge.  I recommend no larger than you index finger.  It is quite doable, trust me on this.


Once you have the pocket cut you can stuff the chops.  I pop it in through the opening and then massage it around from the outside of the chop so that it fills the whole pocket.  Do take care not to let the stuffing get too close to the opening and press it well shut when you are done.  You could of course close with toothpicks, but its really not necessary and it actually makes them harder to brown if you do.


Once they are stuffed you simply brown them on both sides, pop them into a baking dish and then finish them off in a hot oven.  Easy peasy.

Yield: 4

Stuffed Brined Pork Chops

prep time: 1 hourcook time: 40 minstotal time: 1 hours and 40 mins
You will need thick, bone in pork chops for these (at least 1 1/2 inches thick).  They are brined first for an hour prior to stuffing, browning and baking. Let assure you that all the fuss is worth it.  Succulent, tender and delicious! Note you will need to brine the chops for one hour prior to starting.

ingredients:

  • 1/5 litres of cold water (1 1/2 quarts)
  • 3 TBS kosher or sea salt
  • 3 TBS granulated sugar
  • 4 bone-in  rib loin chops, 1 1/2 inches thick
  • (12 ounces each)
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 stalk celery, trimmed and minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 TBS dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp each dried thyme and sage
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 sliced sandwich bread, crusts trimmed and cut
  • into small cubes
  • 4 TBS raisins, chopped (optional)
  • 2 TBS heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBS vegetable oil

instructions:

  1. Whisk together the cold water with the salt and sugar until both the salt and sugar dissolve.  Place the chops into the mixture, making sure they are completely submerged.  Leave for 1 hour.  At the end of that time, remove them from the water and pat dry.
  2. To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the celery and onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened.  Add the garlic and herbs.  Cook for a further half a minute or so until fragrant.  Transfer to a bowl and toss together with the bread cubes and chopped raisins.  Season with some salt and black pepper. Add the cream and mash well together until you have a fairly solid mass that you can handle easily without it crumbling too much.
  3. Take each chop and cut a pocket into each.  Use a very sharp knife and just using the tip, puncture the chop on the fat edge, making a small opening, and then by carefully manoeuvring the tip of the knife, cut a pocket inside the chop without enlarging the cut on the edge, or poking through the surface of the chop. (This will help to make sure that the stuffing stays inside when the chops are cooking.)
  4. Preheat the oven to 230*C/450*F. gas mark 7.  Have ready a shallow baking dish large enough to hold all four chops.
  5. Stuff each chop with 1/4 of the stuffing, massaging the chop on the outsides to work it through to fill the pocket entirely. (I try to keep it at least 1/3 of an inch away from the pocket incision.)  Season your chops on both sides.
  6. Heat the vegetable oil in the skillet and brown the chops on both sides, about 3 minutes or so per side.  Transfer the browned chops to the baking dish.
  7. Bake the chops in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear.  Remove from the oven and tent for about 5 to 10 minutes with some aluminium foil. 
  8. Serve hot with your favourite sides.
Created using The Recipes Generator



These really are very good.  Tender and delicious . . . succulent.  I guarantee your family will love them.  I served them with mashed potatoes, some gravy, a bit of cauliflower cheese that I had leftover from another day and some frozen peas.  Todd was in pork chop heaven!  Bon Appetit! 



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Marie Rayner
4 Comments
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4 comments:

  1. I bet you cook meat to perfection!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Monique! Not always, but I do try! xo

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  2. I love your recipes. Thank you so much for taking the time to share them x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Kelly! I do love to share so I gain as much as my readers do actually! xo

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