Stuffed Pork Chops with Fruit-Infused Balsamic Glaze
No plain old other white meat here! This pork chop is stuffed with a moist stuffing and drenched in a fruity and tangy balsamic glaze.
Last week I made a sweet and salty dessert pizza, which called for a fruit-infused balsamic glaze drizzled on the top. Well, I do not know how to cook small so the result was a good amount of glaze left over in my fridge.
Now that stuff only has a shelf life of about a week, maybe two, so I really wanted to use it up. Normally I would take a little culinary treasure such as a glaze and use it for something pretty fancy like a fillet mignon. However, I had two choices in the fridge — pork or chicken.
I had plans for the chicken, some sort of Mediterranean dish is in the back of my mind, so I went with the pork.
Now making pork, especially stuffed pork, with children around can be interesting. You may want to reserve a plain chop for the kiddos. I know my son stood there looking at me while I was stuffing the chops as if to say “Seriously, lady, you don’t expect me to eat that, do you?” I did not. However, there were others to feed and they have an appreciation for good stuffed pig.
Now, fruit and pork have long been good friends; however, pork is usually paired with apples or raisins. I don’t really love cooked apples and, now that I’m thinking about it, raisins either. Pork itself, I believe, needs work done ... a little lift and tuck here and there. However, stuffed pork with a tangy fruit glaze ... well, that dish is ready to hit the town.
A few tips. Make sure and dredge the pork in flour. It really does help achieve a nice crust and help the pork stay moist during the baking process. Also, when you are finishing the pork in the glaze, only cook it long enough to coat the pork; you will know that it's been in long enough when the surface of the pork starts to turn the color of the glaze.
So ... let’s cook and dress our pork up for a night on the town!
Very sharp knife with a fine tip
Medium mixing bowl
4 boneless pork chops
3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper
¼ c flour seasoned with salt and pepper
For the stuffing
2 c bread crumbs, unseasoned
Add milk or chicken stock until the breadcrumbs are moist
½ large onion, caramelized
¼ c chopped green pepper
2 strips of bacon, diced and cooked crispy
½ tsp each salt and pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp rosemary
½ tsp garlic powder
For the glaze
1 c Balsamic vinegar
1 c sugar
½ c blackberries and raspberries
(see end of recipe for instructions)
Putting It All Together
Begin with the onions and bacon. Add the diced bacon to the large skillet and cook about half way, and add the onions. Cook until the onions are soft and caramel in color and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon and onions from the pan and set aside.
To make the stuffing, mix the egg and the breadcrumbs and then add milk or chicken stock a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is moist but not wet. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with your hands until you can form the stuffing like Play-doh. Take the sharp knife and insert it into the meat side of the pork chop, in the center and half way in. Slice the chop as far back as you can and as wide as you can, leaving about a half-inch of connected pork at the sides and the back.
Stuff the chops and season both sides with salt and pepper. In the same skillet as you used for the bacon and onions, add the canola oil and heat until smoking, then reduce the heat to medium-high. On the small plate place the flour and add a little salt and pepper. Dredge the pork chops in the flour on all sides. Place in the hot skillet and brown on both sides. Transfer the chops to the baking pan and place in a 375-degree oven for about 35 minutes.
Now if you made the pizza from last week then you had leftover glaze, if not then add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan; add the sugar at the same time. Heat over medium flame until the mixture begins to thicken. Then add the fruit and let thicken until the fruit begins to break down and the glaze is thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from the heat.
Take the glaze and transfer it to the large skillet. Remove the pork chops from the oven and heat in the glaze over low heat for about three minutes per side. Remove the chops from the pan and plate using spoonfuls of the glaze to garnish the chops. Serve with sauteed asparagus spears as a refreshing side.