Apple-Stuffed Thick Cut Pork Chops

I made this recipe for the first time about a month ago and it was so freaking good! So I had some pork chops thawing out the other day and thought I would appease my friend, Beth, and do a post about it. I still owe her a post on how to sear stuff. Oddly enough though, I just realized you’ve got to sear the pork chops before baking them in the oven. So I guess this could work as a time to try out those searing skills.

Before we get to that though, we need to make our stuffing and put wonderful little pockets for said stuffing to go in! Let’s do the stuffing first.

First off, breadcrumbs! I use the same bread I use for my sandwiches, just normal wheat bread. Cut three slices into 1/2 inch cubes and put them in a medium-sized bowl. To the bowl, add two cups of chopped apples. I used Grannie Smith, but you could use any kind. Next toss in a handful of chopped celery, which can be optional. I never seem to have any on hand when I decide to make this recipe, so I have to be honest… I’ve never put it in, but it makes sense. So if you want to use it, use it. If you don’t, dont.

Add handful of chopped fresh parsley and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the bowl. Don’t mix it yet because we still need to add the sautéed onions and butter.

sautéed onions

Melt a 1/4 cup of butter (or margarine) in a hot pan and then add a tablespoon (or more) of chopped onions. I am always surprised at that measurement, so I’ll usually just toss in a handful. If you like more, add more.

Saute the onions until translucent and soft then remove from heat and dump them into the bowl with all the stuffing stuff.

apple stuffing

Toss this well making sure the butter gets evenly distributed. Now that the stuffing is made, we can move on to making pockets in those pork chops.

Lay the pork chop on a cutting board, place one hand on top of the pork chop and using a sharp knife cut into the short side. Slide the knife in until you’ve sliced approximate 2/3 of the way through to the other side. Slowly work the knife horizontally down the pork chop until about half an inch from the end. You should end up with something like this.

pork chop

A lot of times, I won’t cut the pocket deep enough. Just use the knife to cut further into the chop.

apple stuffed pork chops

Next, stuff the stuffing into the pork chop. This part can be messy and yes, stuffing will fall out of everywhere. It take a certain amount of finesse to stuff them well, so take your time. I also thought tying them with kitchen string might work, but then I thought it might not because of the searing. I might try it next time. Don’t get rid of the extra stuffing! We’ll put it on top of everything before sticking it in the oven.

browning apple stuffed pork chops

Chop stuffed! Moving on to the next step. Heat up the pan you used for the onions again. You’ll want it good and hot, but don’t want the leftover butter to burn. Once the pan is hot, add a little oil if necessary and then place the chops into the pan.

Sear them for about 3-4 minutes on each side and then place into an ungreased baked dish.

apple stuffed pork chops

Now you can dump the extra stuffing over the pork chops. Cover the whole thing with foil and put into a 350° oven for 30 minutes.

apple stuffed pork chops

This is what it looks like at the half way point. So yummy! Uncover the dish and stick them back in the oven for another 15-30 minutes. This last bit really depends on how much you seared them. I only had them in for an additional 15-20 minutes. Just check on them and if you need to cut one open (do it – I do even though I know some people would consider it a mortal sin).

Once they are done, take them out of the oven and let them rest for about 5 minutes.

Then serve ’em up! These things are so ridiculously good and so simple! You will add these to your dinner rotation in no time! Enjoy!

apple stuffed pork chops

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Apple-Stuffed Pork Chops

INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbsp chopped onion
¼ cup butter
3 cups soft bread cubes
2 cups finely chopped apples
¼ cup finely chopped celery
2 tsp minced fresh parsley
¾ tsp salt, divided
6 thick-cut pork loin
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a small skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender.

Remove from the heat; add the bread cubes, apples, celery, parsley and ¼ tsp salt.

Cut a pocket in each chop by making a horizontal cut through the meat.

Sprinkle inside and outside with pepper and remaining salt.

Spoon stuffing loosely into pockets.

Tie loosely with twine

In a large skillet, brown the chops on both sides in oil. Place in an ungreased large baking pan.

Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Uncover; bake 30 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 145°.

Let meat stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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