Thursday, 9 January 2014

Sausage, sage and onion stuffed pork chops

Earlier this week, I got a good deal at the butcher's counter. They had inch thick pork chops on display at a discounted price, cheaper than the packaged chops on the shelves that were half the size. I had the butcher pick me out 3 nice ones and tucked them into the freezer once I got home as I wasn't going to use them immediately.

Yesterday, I took the chops out of the freezer for tonight's dinner. I also had a pack of sausage meat, and wanted something I could cook up that would use both. I decided to do a stuffed chop.

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For my stuffing, I picked up a pack of sage and onion stuffing from the shop - one of the instant stuffings to save time, just add a cup of boiling water and let it sit for 10 minutes. To this I added 2/3 of the sausage meat and combined thoroughly.

The other 1/3 was used to stuff one of the chops without the stuffing mix. My older son has several food quirks related to his ASD and doesn't eat bread stuffings. He does however like plain sausage stuffing and it doesn't take any extra effort to make one this way for him. So that I could tell the difference between this and the other chops I stuck a couple cocktail sticks into it before breading.I made sure to remove these before serving!

On to stuffing the pork chops...

Pork chop pocket
I took each chop and using a very sharp small knife I cut a pocket into the meatiest part. I then opened this pocket up and filled it with a couple large spoonfuls of the stuffing mix. After stuffing I let them to rest while I prepped the bread crumb coating.

You'll need a couple eggs (1 egg isn't quite enough for 3 chops) and about 1 cup dried bread crumbs.

Whisk the 2 eggs briefly in a shallow dish. Add a pinch salt and pepper to season.

Dip each of the stuffed chops into the egg and then coat it with the breadcrumbs. I pour out half the bread crumbs onto a sheet of greaseproof paper (baking paper) and add more as needed. Coat both sides, then let the chops rest while heating about 1/2 inch depth of fat or oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet.

Make sure the skillet is on a medium-high heat.

Carefully place each chop into the hot fat and leave to cook for about 5 -7 minutes on one side, check to see
Pork chop
if it is browned enough then flip over and cook the other side another 5 minutes.  Test for doneness by either checking the firmness of the meat - at it's fleshiest part it should be as firm as the end of your nose. Or, cut a small slit in the top to check. With experience and practice, you will learn how to judge doneness by touch better.

I then transfered the chops to an oven dish lined with kitchen paper and put it in the bottom of the oven to keep warm. To keep the chops from going soggy in the oven, I prop them up on their side, bone side up. 

I made a milk gravy using the cooking fat to go over the top. But these would be equally good with freshly made apple sauce.

I did have some stuffing mix leftover. These I formed into 4 X 2-inch diameter balls and baked in the oven for about 45 minutes. Those'll get eaten as snacks tomorrow, or I will heat one up for my lunch.

Pork chop image credit: By Sir James (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons