So last week was the week of dinner parties. One day, we had James & Brady over for make your own tacos (we served Primal Palate’s Beef Tongue and Liz brought Elana’s Dirty Cauli Rice – yum!). Then we hosted a cookie making party and dinner with FitDaffy. On Sunday, we had our Meetup. And in the middle of it all we had my dad and his wife over. I cook for flavor, not for fanfare. Putting on dinner parties fancy enough to show off a little but be kid friendly can be a challenge. Especially 4 times in one week. It was a mentally exhausting week, but we sure did eat like kings. And now we get to play a game of This Week in Red (ground) Meat!
For my dad, I wanted to make a glamorous Paleo meal… we’ve been trying to get them on the wagon. We thought the half dozen baking pork chops we had from our local butcher would be just the thing. Stacy had originally wanted me to make her this recipe, but I couldn’t find the link. Having just triumphantly made a bacon chicken, I had bacon on the brain and thought it’d be a perfect pairing with the fresh farmer’s market York apples we’d just acquired.
By the way, while this meal was made by me independently, I’d be remiss not to mention that in writing this post I found something similar here and she got the idea from the Food Network. Sometimes something is so awesome that everyone instinctively does it.
Apple & Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops
6 1″ thick pork chops
2 Tbsp lard
2 medium baking apples (Gala and York are our favorites), peeled, cored and diced
10 strips of bacon, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minces
4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
- Ask your butcher to “pocket” your baking chops. If you need to do it yourself, use a 4-6″ knife and pierce the fatty side of the chop. Wiggle your knife side to side until your “pocket” is about 5″ long and 3″ wide (70% of the chop)
- In a medium pan (we recommend a cast iron skillet or dutch oven), melt lard over medium-high heat
- Cook apples, bacon and onion until onion is softened and bacon is crispy, about 8 minutes
- Add garlic, sage, paprika and lemon juice and toss for 2 minutes
- Remove stuffing from heat, transfer to bowl and set-aside
- ♥ Salt and pepper each side of pork chop, stuff it with as much stuffing as you can fit and use a skewer or toothpick to close and prevent spilling (about half of the stuffing will be leftover)
- Insert pork chops into the hot pan to sear on each side, cook each side of the chops for 5 minutes in hot pan over medium-high heat
- Transfer pan/dutch oven to 350 degree oven and bake uncovered for 35 minutes
- To serve, warm remaining stuffing and spoon on top of each chop
Unfortunately, since we’re dealing with high heat and sharp knives, there’s not much your kids can do to help (♥); but, Cole and Finn were both fascinated by what I was doing. I felt like I was on Iron Chef with a studio audience, pulling off something fancy!