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.
Lauren is based in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to writing here on Pursuit of Daydreams, Lauren’s daydreams consist of all forms of design: Graphic, Fashion, Web, Interior, Art. On any given day, she can be found preoccupied with at least one of the above. She is happiest with a bowl of ice cream in hand.