Stuffing a pork chop with sausage or other ingredients adds another dimension of flavor and visual appeal to a plain cut of meat. Make a pocket in the meat and create a gourmet treat by stuffing it with precooked sausage. However, because both the meat stuffing and the pork chop must be cooked to a safe internal temperature, the meat needs to cook slightly longer than for an unstuffed chop.
Things You'll Need
- Thick pork chops (bone-in or boneless)
- Paring knife
- Baking pan
The Right Stuff
Saute the sausage until no pink remains prior to stuffing the chop. Use the sausage alone or add other ingredients before stuffing. To create a hearty bread stuffing, mix cooked sausage with chopped onions, chopped apples and stale bread cubes; add seasonings, such as sage, thyme and rosemary, and a small amount of liquid. Add chopped bell peppers, celery, walnuts or mushrooms for variety, if desired.
Use a sharp paring knife to make a 1- to 2-inch slice down the length of the chop, working the knife inside the cut to create a hollow interior. If cutting a bone-in chop, start cutting at the end farthest from the bone, and slice all the way to the bone. The result should look somewhat like a pita pocket.
Widen the opening in the pork chop with your fingers. With a spoon or by hand, pack the country sausage stuffing loosely into the pocket.
Place the stuffed chop in a baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 5 minutes per side. After turning once, reduce heat to 375 F, cover and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 F.
Tips & Warnings
- Boneless chops are easier to stuff since you don’t have to avoid the bone. Choose chops that are at least 1 1/4-inch thick.
- An 8-ounce pork chop usually accommodates about ¼ cup of stuffing. After stuffing, pinch the edge of the meat to keep the stuffing from falling out or wrap with butcher's twine.
- Rather than roasting the chops for 10 minutes at 425 F, saute the stuffed chops on the stove to sear the meat before baking in the oven.
- When slicing the meat, do not poke a hole through the top or bottom.
- To kill any foodborne pathogens, cook pork to a safe temperature. Because the stuffing must be cooked to a minimum or 160 F and the chop need only reach 145 F, cooking the sausage before stuffing the pork chop helps ensure a safe interior temperature without drying out the chop.
- After touching raw pork, wash your hands or use gloves to handle cooked stuffing.
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