We sat down Saturday morning to pencil in the week’s menu. It’s a thing we do because running out of an essential ingredient isn’t an option when you live 20 minutes from the closest grocery store. It really is just a guide for the week. I can’t remember a single time when we haven’t diverted from the menu, but it gives us a good grocery shopping list for the weekend.
Lately, the menu includes at least one night we label “experiment.” Often it includes the type of meat: beef, pork, chicken, etc. From there I grab a couple of cookbooks and pick a recipe to try. This week, I stumbled on a recipe for stuffed pork chops.
I’ve never had a lot of luck stuffing things. The flavors are great, but the finished product always seems to fall apart. Despite that, I dutifully picked out some thick cut pork chops at the store. I grabbed a bag of my favorite stuffing mix even though the recipe included make-from-scratch stuffing directions.
I got to work slicing open pockets in the slab-like chops and stuffed them full of the oniony herb-flavored bread chunks.
I double checked the recipe. How is it possible I don’t have to stick a toothpick or something in the meat to hold the stuffing in? OK … next step, sear the chops.
From there they go into the oven. The recipe said they should cook for an hour. I checked after 30 minutes and they were already done. The chops were pretty! We poured the wine and sat down to eat. This whole process was far too easy; I was skeptical!
It was good. The meat seemed a little boring, but including stuffing in a bite added a lot of flavor. Greg was in protein heaven. These are BIG servings. He devoured his. I saved half of mine for lunch the next day. All-in-all, this was a success. It seems like a great recipe to teach to my grandkids. Here’s my abbreviated recipe:
STUFFED PORK CHOPS Ingredients: Thick cut chops Your favorite stuffing Butter Salt and pepper to taste Instructions: --Make the stuffing. Cut a pocket in the chops - don’t cut through the ends or the back. --Fill the pocket with stuffing. --Heat a little oil and butter in a frying pan and sear the outside of the stuffed pork chops. --Put the seared chops into an oven safe dish and cook at 350℉ for up to an hour. For well done chops, the internal temp should be at 170℉. We prefer ours a little less done and typically stop the cooking at 150℉. --Serve with your favorite vegetable.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Sometimes you just gotta stuff it.
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