I prepared this pork chop dish for our Valentine’s Day dinner. This meal is equipped with a savory sweet flavor, which may quench your sweet tooth enough to skip dessert. I always think pork chops are best accented by a sweeter flavor, which this time I decided to complement with roasted pears for a little twist. The stuffing in the pork chops allowed the flavors to pervade from the inside out, giving even more depth for a romantic and unique dinner.
Though a bit complex for a weeknight dinner, it turned out to be a decadent and unique combination that I will archive for future special occasions.
Though a bit complex for a weeknight dinner, it turned out to be a decadent and unique combination that I will definitely archive for future special occasions.
Before putting them in the oven, I coated the pork chops in brown sugar and panko crumbs and then seared them in a maple cider sauce so that they would become crisp on the outside. After sprinkling the pears with brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon, I simmered them in the maple cider sauce as well.
This dish is plenty filling on its own but pairs well with a grain like rice, risotto or couscous. We had a bit of black rice and honey butter garlic bread on the side.
- 2 cups Apple Cider
- 3 tbsp tbsp Brown Sugar
- 3 tbsp Maple Syrup (I used a maple agave syrup)
- 2 cloves peeled garlic
- 1 cup pearl onions
- 2 cups kale
- 1 tbsp butter
- 5 boneless medium to thick cut pork chops
- 2 tbsp Grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Panko Crumbs
- 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
- Chopped Arugula to taste
- 1/2 of 1 pear diced
- 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
- Sage (to taste)
- Marjoram (to taste)
- Tarragon (to taste)
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 pears (I used bosc pears) cut in quarters.
- Brown Sugar
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 tbsp butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease 9x13 baking dish with olive oil
- In a bowl, mix 2 cups apple cider, 3 tbsp syrup and 3 tbsp brown sugar. Set aside.
- Cut pears into quarters and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Slice each pork chop through the middle of one side. Do not cut all the way through.
- Inside of each pork chop, evenly spread sun-dried tomato paste, minced garlic, panko crumbs parmesan and brown sugar to taste.
- Then evenly stuff each pork chop arugula and diced pears.
- Sprinkle dried herbs on top and bottom of pork chops. Gratuitously sprinkle brown sugar and then panko crumbs on top and bottom of pork chops. Set aside.
- In a skillet set to medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter and add brown peeled garlic and pearl onions, about 3 minutes.
- Add kale until it begins to wilt.
- Transfer the onions, garlic, and kale throughout baking dish.
- Melt 1 tbsp of butter to skillet and add sprig of thyme and 1/2 of the pre-prepared cider sauce.
- Transfer pork chops to skillet and sear both sides until outside begins to crisp, about 2-4 minutes. Transfer to baking dish.
- Lower stove heat to medium-low and add 1 tbsp butter, remaining cider sauce, sprig of rosemary, and pears to skillet. Simmer until slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Distribute pears through baking dish and drizzle remaining sauce over the baking dish.
- Drizzle remaining sauce in skillet over the baking dish.
- Place baking dish in preheated oven, about 20-25 minutes, until pork chops reach interior temperature of 165 degrees.