I really wanted to try my hand at stuffed pork chops. Well, I can say that I’ve tried them. They were really good, they were just somewhat difficult to maintain correct temperature on each side with a 2 year old dancing around under my feet! What can I say? I’m really good at dodging a Psy-Dancing Tiny Person while cooking at the same time. You can stuff these with just about anything, but for this recipe I chose hot Italian sausage, sweet potatoes, and green onions. Fantastic flavor combination! They are relatively quick to make, so it’s a feasible meal on a work night, provided your chops are already thawed.
The hardest part is getting the stuffing in the chop and shoving “enough” into the pocket without it spilling all over. You can pin it with toothpicks if you want to–I found that I was able to fill it enough without it spilling, only if I cut the inner part of the pocket large enough. You can basically cut it all the way back to the bone; however, you don’t want the front opening to be the entire width of the chop. My cut was about two inches at the front and ended about an inch from all sides of the chop.
Stuffed Pork Chops (Whole30 Compliant)
4 bone-in pork chops (you want about 2″ thick)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4″ cubes
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage (ground or removed from the casings)
1/2 C finely chopped green onions
1/2 C finely chopped peeled Granny Smith apple
salt and pepper
Kerrygold/ghee/or coconut oil
5-6 sage leaves (or 1-2 tsp dried sage)
juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic, skin-on and smashed
1.- Preheat oven to 350. In medium skillet, heat about a Tbsp of your fat-of-choice over medium-high heat. When hot, cook ground sausage until done, crumbling during the process. Remove to a paper-towel lined bowl.
2.- Add another Tbsp of fat to the heated skillet. Reduce heat to medium. When fat is hot, add sweet potatoes and cook about three minutes (until starting to soften). Add the apples to the pan and cook another minute or two (until everything is browned). Remove from pan and add to bowl with sausage. Stir in green onions and set bowl aside.
3.- Using a small paring knife, cut a pocket into the fatty-pad of each pork chop. You want the opening two be about two inches and make it as wide as you want on the inside (within an inch of the ends). Season each side of the chop with salt and pepper. Scoop a few spoonfuls of the stuffing mixture into each pocket. If you want to, you can close the openings with a toothpick.
4.- In large oven-proof skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of fat over medium-high heat. When hot, add pork chops to the pan, making sure not to crowd them too much. Cook them for 2-3 minutes on each side. Add garlic cloves and sage to the pan. Add lemon juice directly to the pan and move entire skillet to the oven. Cook another 8-12 minutes.