Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Vegetables and Soft Polenta

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Active: 1 hr 50 min
  • Yield: 3 servings
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Ingredients

Soft Polenta with Sage:

2 cups milk

Kosher salt

1 cup quick-cooking polenta

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup mascarpone

2 fresh sage leaves, cut into chiffonade

Roasted Vegetables:

2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

2 cups cauliflower florets

3 tablespoons olive oil

Crushed red pepper

Kosher salt

Seeds from 1 pomegranate, for garnish

Stuffed Pork Chops:

3 pieces bacon, cut into lardons

1/2 Spanish onion, cut into small dice

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1/2 cup Calvados

1 sprig rosemary, leaves finely chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins

Kosher salt

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 bone-in pork loin chops, 3/4-inch thick

Olive oil, for pan

1/2 cup sherry vinegar

1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions

Special equipment:
a silicone baking mat
  1. For the polenta: Bring the milk and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Season generously with salt. Slowly whisk in the polenta; when all of the polenta has been incorporated, reduce the heat to medium and immediately switch to stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta begins to pull away from the pan; add water if it becomes too thick.
  2. When the polenta is thoroughly cooked, it will look creamy and not feel gritty on your tongue. Remove the polenta from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, mascarpone and sage. Cover and keep warm.
  3. For the roasted vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
  4. Combine the Brussels sprouts and cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and some crushed red pepper salt; stir to coat. Pour the vegetables onto the prepared baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Roast until tender and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with pomegranate seeds.
  5. For the stuffed pork chops: Adjust the oven to 375 degrees F. Add the bacon to a skillet and cook over medium-high heat until almost crispy. Add the onions and sweat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully add the calvados (it may flame) and cook until almost dry. Add the rosemary, raisins and salt to taste. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, along with the breadcrumbs and the beaten egg; stir to combine.
  6. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt. Insert a paring knife into the curved side of each chop to make a deep pocket, about 2 inches wide. Stuff the pockets with the breadcrumb mixture.
  7. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and coat the pan with olive oil. Sear the pork chops until golden brown on all sides. Remove the chops to a baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, add sherry vinegar and maple syrup to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until reduced by half. (Keep an eye on the saucepan, as the mixture can burn quickly.)
  9. After 15 minutes in the oven, baste the chops all over with the maple-vinegar reduction. Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
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