I really haven’t intended to do this pork chop series, but my wee freezer is chockablock full of fantastic meats from Blood Farm, and I can’t seem to get enough of their super-savory swine. Their bacon is to die for, but these chops – laden with tender white meat, rich dark (white) meat, and enveloped with tasty fat - are to kill for. And they are HUGE — like 12-14oz each! With only an apple, an onion, and a few pantry items, I compliment this beautiful bone by stuffing it with a fantastic tilling, resting it on a bed of mashed cauliflower enriched with gorgonzola cheese (yup – leftover from my last pork chop supper), and draping it with a simple cream pan sauce. At only about $15 worth of ingredients and an hour’s work, I assembled a meal as elegant as anything Boston’s best restaurants could produce, while still being as homey and comfortable as Granny’s pork chops and apple sauce. Thanks to The Crepes of Wrath for the inspiration for the stuffing!
Stuffed Roasted Pork Chops with Gorgonzola Cauliflower Mash
2 large bone-in pork chops
1 head cauliflower
1 large apple (this is a Macoun)
3 slices sandwich bread
3 slices bacon, chopped
3 oz gorgonzola cheese
4 tbs butter (divided)
heavy cream (about 1/2 cup)
sea salt, cracked black pepper, cinnamon, dried savory, dried chives
I start with my stuffing. My cracked egg is mixed with my bread, which I’ve torn into pieces, my apple, which I’ve seeded and diced (but not peeled), and some sea salt, black pepper, savory, and cinnamon — a dash or so of each. I blend this well.
I also remove the leaves and stem from my cauliflower, and cut it into smaller florets. These get placed in my bamboo steamer and cooked off until I can pierce them easily with a fork – about 15-20 minutes.
Using my sharp boning knife, I cut three separate pockets into each pork chop: one in the large loin portion, and one in each portion of the tenderloin (on the other side of the T-bone). Usually, stuffed pork chops are boneless, but I couldn’t pass up the sweet meat closest to the bone – so I decided to super-stuff them by doing so in each large portion of protein.
I’ve salted and peppered my meaty bones and in they go. (See my cauliflower peeking out of the steamer in the background? It wanted to see what all my oohing and aahing was about.) I let them sear for about 3 minutes…
… before carefully flipping them to sear on the other side. I have to use my tongs to sort of press the meat onto the surface in places, since the stuffing has made them bulbous and not everything is making contact. About 4 minutes on this side, and then I throw the whole pan into the oven on 350° for about 10 minutes to finish cooking through. When they’re ready, I remove them to a plate to keep warm and whisk 1/2 of my my heavy cream and about a tablespoon of dried chives to the pan-juices, bringing it to a simmer over high heat until just thickened (about 5 minutes). I season with salt and pepper, too.
Using mashed, cheesy cauliflower instead of potatoes reduces the heaviness of this meal by several orders of magnitude, even if the heavy cream and gorgonzola add back a little of the weight. My pork chops are perfectly seared, and the stuffing is sweet and savory thanks to the tart apple and thick smoked bacon. Each bite falls onto my fork with just the gentlest of prodding, and when slathered with mash and gravy, each bite takes me one step closer to a heaven where the hearth is always steadily aflame, where the rugs are always soft underfoot, and where the company always feels like family. Another triumph for the other white meat – and another scrumptious supper for me!