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Apple Glazed Stuffed Pork Chops

Apple Glazed Stuffed Pork Chops

Ingredients

Scale

Brine:

  • 2 cups cold water (or 1/2 water and 1/2 apple juice)
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 6 peppercorns

Chops:

  • 4 1″ thick pork chops (or larger) about one and 3/4 pounds, total
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse, dry bread pieces, about 2 slices
  • 1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or white wine or combination (to moisten stuffing)
  • 1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed (more concentrate or apple juice boiled down to a thick consistency will work even better and apple (or another) jelly works also)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for sauteeing chops

Instructions

Brine:

In a non aluminum mixing bowl, combine brine ingredients and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. (Kosher salt is best, but table salt will work because this is a short brine; on longer brines, avoid salt with iodine. Use 2/3rd the amount of the kosher salt if you’re using plain old table salt, in this case 2 tablespoons.

Chops:

Cut a pocket in the pork chops with a very sharp knife for the stuffing, carefully bringing the pocket as close to the edges of the chop as possible without going through. Place the chop on a flat surface and gently press with the palm of your hand on the top. Cut about a 2 to 2 1/2 inch opening along the side of the chop that isn’t lined with fat – if the whole side of the chop is opened up, the stuffing may fall out, so try to keep the opening small. Take small slicing, sawing motions, continuing to go deeper into the chop, keeping the knife horizontal.

Open the chop and feel inside to make sure you’re getting it open as much as possible. Make the pocket as large as possible, getting into the sides.

Add chops to the brine and open the chops a bit once inside the brine. Brine for one to two hours in the refrigerator – while the longer time is better (but don’t go over two hours or the pork may have a mushy texture), even 15 or 20 minutes does make a difference, and the brine can be made as the chops are prepared, while the stuffing can be made as the chops brine.

Saute apple, celery, and onion in butter until they are tender and have given off most of their liquid. Mix stuffing ingredients: bread, apple, celery, and onion. Add broth or wine until the stuffing is barely moist, gently folding with fingers or spoon.

Remove chops from the brine and quickly rinse, then pat dry inside and out. Discard brine. Stuff each chop firmly with a quarter of the stuffing mixture.

To Bake:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In an oven proof skillet, lightly brown one side of the chops in a little olive oilr, turn over and glaze with the apple concentrate. Place in oven and bake, uncovered, until chops are cooked through and center of stuffing is hot. Stuffing should register 160 degrees. Baste chops with apple concentrate every 10 minutes.

Total baking will be 20 to 30 minutes for boneless, 35 – 40 minutes for bone-in. Depending on how thick the chops are and how much they were browned, and how hot the oven is, they can be done several minutes earlier – the oven thermometer is your best bet in getting the chops at just the right temperature.

Drizzle the pan drippings left in the pan over the chops before serving.

To Grill:

Prepare grill for indirect heat. Place stuffed chops on grate away from heat. Cover grill and cook until chops are cooked through and center of stuffing is hot. (It should read 160 degrees on thermometer.) Baste with apple concentrate every 10 minutes. Cooking time will be 25 to 35 minutes for boneless, 40 to 50 minutes for bone-in.

Keywords: Apple, apple juice, Bargain Meal of the Week, Bread, breadcrumbs, Brine, Cabbage, Chicken Stock, Fruit, German, leftover bread, Pork, Pork Loin, Tyler Florence, Wine

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