If there’s one thing I love most in the world, it’s the combination of both salty and sweet.
Salted caramel. Chocolate-dipped pretzels. Pad thai. Cranberry-stuffed pork chops.
Wait, what was that last one?
Cranberry stuffed pork chops??
Yep. You read right. I have a habit of stuffing fruits and berries into thick-cut pork chops and pawning them off as dinner. And guess what? It works every single time, and my family gobbles them up in one fell swoop.
One of my favorite stuffed pork chop recipes is an apricot stuffed one. I just use boxed stuffing (you don’t have to be fancy all the time, y’all), canned peaches, apricot preserves, and dijon mustard. It’s a sweet & salty dinner combo that I got from my good friend Barbara a few years ago. It’s a go-to recipe for when I buy thick-cut pork chops.
By the way, when you’re going to be stuffing pork chops, I recommend buying boneless thick-cut chops or a pork tenderloin that you can butcher thickly yourself. Quite a few recipes call for bone-in chops, but I feel like those are much harder to find in the thick variety—and they’re also insanely more difficult to stuff.
This recipe also includes a sweet (sweet as in awesome, not sweet as is sugary) pan sauce that is salty and savory. It pairs magically with the seasoned chops and cranberry-studded stuffing. I ended up drenching my portion in this whimsical sauce. An added bonus: It’s such a simple pan sauce, your toddler could probably make it with ease!
Cranberry Stuffed Pork Chops
- 3 TBS. unsalted butter
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp. sage
- 4 slices of potato bread, cubed (2.5 cups approximately)
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 TBS. dried parsley
- salt and pepper
- 4 thick-cut, boneless pork chops
- 3 TBS. heavy cream
- Melt 1 TBS. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery and green onions, cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the cranberries and sage and stir to combine. Add the bread and cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and parsley, remove pan from heat, and stir until broth is absorbed and stuffing comes together. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
- Cut a 2″ deep pocket into each pork chop (I cut through the fatty end). Season chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Fill each pocket with cranberry stuffing.
- Wipe out skillet and then melt 1 TBS. butter over medium high heat. Add the pork chops (I cooked two at a time) and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip over and then cook until golden brown on the other side, another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to let rest.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth and cream to the skillet. Simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining butter. Add chops back to pan and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until chops are fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Melt 1 TBS. butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add celery and green onion, cook until onion is soft, about 2-3 mintues.
Add the cranberries and sage to the skillet and stir to combine. Add the bread and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and parsley and remove pan from heat. Stir until broth is absorbed and stuffing starts to come together, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
Cut a 2″ pocket into pork chops (I cut into the fatty end). Season each side of the chop with salt and pepper. Fill each pocket evenly with stuffing.
Melt another tablespoon of butter in skillet (same as before, except wiped clean). Add the chops (I cooked two at a time) and cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the other side is golden brown, another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup broth to the skillet along with the cream. Increase heat to medium high and simmer, stirring, scraping brown bits off the bottom, until slightly thickened, about 2 more minutes. Stir in remaining butter and then add chops. Continue to simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until chops are fully cooked.
Season with salt and pepper and then serve pork chops with sauce poured over the top.