Fruit Stuffed Pork Chops

Dear Mom,

I never thought I would say these words. But thank you for cooking for all afternoon just to make me a beautiful pork chop last week. I’m still salivating from the salty bacon, sweet and chewy fruit compote, and tender pork meat. Who knew I loved pork? Not me! 🙂

(Courtesy of Epicurious)

photo (3)

Serves 6

Ingredients:
Stuffing
1/4 lb. dried apricots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 lb. pitted prunes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2/3 cup ruby Port wine
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbs butter
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Pork
1 6-lb bone-in pork loin roast (10 ribs total), frenched, at room temperature for 1 hour
10 bacon slices

Sauce
1/2 cup ruby Port wine
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup water, divided
2 tsp arrowroot

Preparation:

Make stuffing:
Simmer apricots, prunes, and Port in a small heavy saucepan, covered, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.

Cook onion and shallot in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add apple and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until apple is just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in apricot mixture and cool.

Stuff and roast pork:
Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.

Make a pocket in center of roast by making a horizontal 1 1/2-inch-wide cut into 1 end of roast with a long thin knife, repeating from opposite end so pocket runs all the way through. Then make a vertical cut through center (forming a cross) to widen pocket. Push about 1 cup stuffing into pocket using a long-handled wooden spoon (you may need to stuff from both sides if roast is long). Reserve remaining stuffing for sauce.
Season roast with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and put in a large flameproof roasting pan. Wrap with bacon, between rib bones, tucking ends under roast. Roast pork 20 minutes, then reduce oven to 325°F and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted 2 inches into center of roast (do not touch bone or stuffing) registers 155°F, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours total.

Transfer roast to a cutting board, reserving pan, and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 15 to 20 minutes. (Temperature of meat will rise to about 160°F; meat will be slightly pink.)

Make sauce:
Skim fat from pan drippings and reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons fat. Straddle pan across 2 burners and add Port to drippings, then deglaze pan by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Strain pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids.

Cook shallot in reserved fat in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in pan juices, 1 1/4 cups water, and reserved fruit stuffing and bring to a simmer. Whisk together arrowroot and remaining 1/4 cup water until smooth, then whisk into sauce with any juices from cutting board.

Simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Carve roast into chops by cutting between ribs, then serve with sauce.

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