Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cranberry “Stuffed” Pork Chops

It’s only September 9, but today I put fleece sheets on our bed. It’s cold when we go to bed and it’s now dark when I wake up for work, so being snuggly warm in between fleece sheets makes the darker, colder days slightly more bearable... and that much harder to get out of bed! Along with winterizing our bed came a craving for comfort food. My sister-in-law, Lisa, shared a recipe with me that she saw in Costco Connection for Easy Stuffed Pork Chops and the recipe didn’t lie, it was easy and filled our house with a delicious aroma of fall comfort food.

The stuffing part was really good, but to be honest the pork was over cooked (my fault) and pretty bland. I’ll make this again, but maybe brine it first and cook it for less time? Any advice on cooking a good, flavorful, and moist pork chop? I bought my pork chops at Costco, so we have many more nights of pork chops ahead of us... which means lots of time to perfect them!

Cranberry "Stuffed" Pork Chops

Adapted from Costco Connection

1 cup dried cranberries
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cups cubed sourdough bread
2 teaspoons butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped (or more!)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 egg
4 Pork Chops (1 ¼ inches thick)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 8-ounce can apple juice

Melt butter in a Dutch oven and add cranberries, onions, celery, bread cubes, almonds, garlic, red pepper flakes and egg. Mix. (Or put into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish if you don’t have a Dutch oven.)

Place the pork chops on top of the mixture (the original recipe called to butterfly the chops, but I left them whole). Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour apple juice over all. Put lid on or cover with foil. (Next time I’ll probably cover the chops with the stuffing to try and get more flavor in them.)

Bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees F. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until the internal temperature of the chops reaches 165 degrees F. (Next time I’ll do less, maybe shoot for 150.)

I served with Polenta (double carbs are okay when it’s cold out – right?) and pear, blue cheese and walnut spinach salad.


  1. You got it right, brining is the best way to keep pork moist. It really works well, in my opinion, as I always used to overcook pork too. The stuffing sounds fantastic!

  2. I will give it a try, and yes, brining is definitely the way to go! Love the pictures from your previous post. Amazing that the dolphins were right next to you guys! Hope to see you guys soon! Miss you!

  3. One thing I do know is pork is like turkey, you have to let it really cook in the spices for it not to turn out bland. Maybe that's why you should butterfly it, so it can soak in more of the flavor. I have a fantastic (super easy) recipe somewhere on my blog for tomato pork chops if you're looking to mix it up.

  4. Sounds great! So excited for comfort food! With pork chops, I have found that cutting them in half horizontally and pounding them thin, keeps them more tender. Also, almost every recipe for pork sets you up for failure by telling you to take it out around 160 degrees. I have had more success taking it out at 140 and letting it rest. I will definitely try your recipe out!

  5. Oh, and butterflying them and stuffing them actually might help too. My mom used to make some recipe where she'd do that and they were always pretty tasty.