Cranberry Stuffed Pork Chops

So maybe this should have been posted a little closer to Thanksgiving since it incorporates cranberries but I think this has a nice holiday feel to it that will work with the Christmas season too.  Essences of cloves and cinnamon along with the cranberries really dress up a boring boneless pork chop!  If you aren’t aware already, I don’t like pork chops and Daniel does.  To work around this, I find ways to make a chop tastier for me and that almost always includes stuffing it with something.  It is getting to the point that I might have to start a new category all its own called “Stuffed”.  This meal has multiple steps so plan a simple side dish with it, I chose my wrinkled green beans.  It isn’t difficult though, and the end result is worth the effort in our opinion.  Lets get started!

Messy Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried cranberries or cherry flavored crasins
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 TBS brown sugar (or Splenda brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp chili powder *does not add heat, just flavor!
  • 4 boneless pork chops 1″ thick – no less or the pocket will be like the little one on your inside jean pocket, basically worthless.  
  • 1 – 2 TBS olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black whole peppercorns *cut these out if you don’t like spicy, they have a sneaky way of showing up whole on your fork.
  • 1 tsp cranberry stuffing (recipe follows)
  • 1/4 cup cranberry water – reserved from step one

Step One: the filling. (first group of ingredients) Prepare 30 minutes in advance.  Put the cranberries into a 1 – 1 1/2 cup boiling water, allow to soak for 30 minutes.  This will fluff them out and give you a cranberry flavored water that you want to save 1/4 cup  of for later in this recipe.  Drain after 30 minutes (saving the 1/4 cup), mix in the cinnamon, cloves, chili powder and 1 TBS of the brown sugar. Put them in a food processor and blend to desired consistency, I like mine a little chunky.

Step Two: the chop.  (second group of ingredients) Preheat your oven to 400° F.  Make a pocket in your pork chop by cutting about 1/4th an inch from each side, being careful not to puncture the back.  Widen it with your fingers if needed. Season the outside to your taste with salt and pepper and stuff each pocket with filling, reserving 1 tsp for the sauce.  Once that’s done and the stuffing is packed in well and won’t all fall out (much) during the flipping, brown the chops 2- 3 minutes each side on high heat, longer if needed to get it golden.  Once everybody is the right shade of yummy, transfer to a plate to wait for a little bit.

Step Three: the sauce.(third group of ingredients) On high heat combine the chicken stock and wine and reduce to 2 cups.  Add all the other ingredients and reduce further until thickened.  Put your chops in the pan, spooning a little sauce over top and let them roast for 8 – 12 minutes.  I lean towards 8, you can always put them back!

This recipe is a tasty way to get dinner on the table, even if it is pork chops!  Dukan Diet Worthy Stage 3 and higher and has been a standing favorite at our house for a few years.  I wish I knew where I got it from, most likely the Food Network but when I searched, did not find this recipe.  Maybe it was retired.

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