Saturday, September 6, 2014

Apple Stuffed Pork Chops with Sauerkraut

These chops are a perennial favorite in our house. Once the first signs of Autumn arrive, I'm making up a batch. There's just something wonderful about apples, pork, bread dressing and sauerkraut in a single dish that we find irresistible.  

Julian's Apple Stuffing with Pork Chops and Kraut
As you can see here, I tossed in a few Brussels sprouts which I had lightly cooked previously. They added a nice, fresh green vegetable to the dish. This really is a one-dish meal with your starch, protein and vegetable all ready at the same time.  For an even simpler preparation, you could use Stove Top Stuffing instead of making your own.

Ingredients
4-6, 1 to 2 inch thick pork chops, semi-boneless
12 ounces prepared sauerkraut
Stuffed and Ready for the Oven
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

For the Stuffing:
1/2 cup butter
1 large celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small carrot, grated
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12-14 ounces dried bread croutons (see note)
1 small Gala/Fuji Apple, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon white granulated sugar

Note: I prefer the Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing for this recipe, but certainly any good croutons of any variety will work fine.

Cutting a pocket in the pork chops.

Directions
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut a pocket into each pork chop as shown. Prepare the baking pan by coating with olive oil or cooking spray (Pam). Add the sauerkraut and sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir lightly and set aside.

Melt butter in a large sauce pan. Add the chopped celery, onion and carrot. Stir regularly until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the chicken stock, milk, thyme, sage, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring regularly for 10 minutes.

Place the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Add the hot stock mixture and toss gently to combine. Add the apples and work in.  Stuff the chops and place on top of the prepared sauerkraut. Sprinkle lightly with the white sugar, and additional salt and pepper to taste.

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 30-40 minutes, until a thermometer reads 145-150F. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Stuffing ready for the pork chops.


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