CHED­DAR- STUFFED CIDER- BRINED PORK CHOPS

Hands-on time: 35 min­utes To­tal time: 3 hours Makes: 4 serv­ings

Canadian Living Comfort Food - - Roasts & Mains -

LEFT­OVERS MAKE GREAT SAND­WICHES

These juicy chops have a sur­prise in the cen­tre: an ooey-gooey cheese fill­ing. Brin­ing the pork be­fore cook­ing in­fuses the meat with flavour and en­sures that it will stay moist. To avoid leaks, make sure the fill­ing is prop­erly cen­tred in each chop.

Brine:

1 cup boil­ing wa­ter

2 tbsp coarse salt

8 large fresh sage leaves

2 cloves gar­lic, smashed

1 tsp black pep­per­corns

2 cups ap­ple cider, chilled

Pork Chops:

4 bone­less pork loin chops

(¾ inch thick)

5 tspd ijon mus­tard

1 tbsp chopped fresh sage

3 cloves gar­lic, finely grated

or pressed

¼ tsp pep­per

120 g ex­tra-old Ched­dar cheese,

cut in ¼-inch thick slices

1 tbsp olive oil

Roasted Ap­ples and Onions:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large Golden De­li­cious ap­ple,

sliced cross­wise in ¾-inch

thick rounds

1 onion, sliced cross­wise in scant

½-inch thick rounds

1 tsp cider vine­gar

pinch salt

Brine: In bak­ing dish or large bowl, stir boil­ing wa­ter with salt un­til salt is dis­solved. Stir in sage, gar­lic and pep­per­corns. Stir in ap­ple cider. Re­frig­er­ate un­til chilled, about 15 min­utes. (Make-ahead: Cover and re­frig­er­ate for up to 3 days.)

Pork sub­merg­ing Chops: Add com­pletely.pork to Cover brine, and re­frig­er­ate for 2 hours. Re­move pork from brine; pat dry with pa­per tow­els. Dis­card brine. (Make-ahead: Re­frig­er­ate in air­tight con­tainer for up to 24 hours.)

Mean­while, in small bowl, stir to­gether mus­tard, sage, gar­lic and pep­per. Re­move 1 tsp of the mix­ture to small bowl; re­serve for Roasted Ap­ples and Onions.

Place­with nar­row1 pork end chop facin­gon cut­tingyou. Hold­ing­board sharp knife blade par­al­lel to board and start­ing at 1 long side, use short strokes to grad­u­ally cut in half hor­i­zon­tally al­most but not all the way through; open like a book. Re­peat with re­main­ing pork.

Spread re­main­ing mus­tard mix­ture over cut sides of pork, leav­ing ½-inch bor­der. Place one-quar­ter of the Ched­dar in cen­tre of each pork chop; fold over to close. Se­cure edges with short skew­ers or sturdy round tooth­picks.

In medium-high­large non­stick heat; skil­let, cook heat pork, oil turningover once, un­til browned, about 2 min­utes. Trans­fer to greased or parch­ment pa­per– lined rimmed bak­ing sheet; bake in 350°F oven un­til cheese is melted and just a hint of pink re­mains in­side pork, about 10 min­utes. Let stand for 5 min­utes; dis­card skew­ers.

Roasted Ap­ples and Onions: While pork is cook­ing, brush 1 tbsp of the oil all over ap­ple and onion. Ar­range in sin­gle layer on foil-lined rimmed bak­ing sheet. Bake in 350°F oven, turn­ing once, just un­til soft­ened, about 12 min­utes; broil un­til light golden, 3 to 4 min­utes.

Mean­while, whisk re­main­ing oil, the vine­gar and salt into re­served mus­tard mix­ture.

Ar­range ap­ple and onion on plat­ter. Driz­zle with mus­tard mix­ture. Top with pork.

PER SERV­ING: about 494 cal, 39 g pro, 29 g to­tal fat (11 g sat. fat), 18 g carb (3 g di­etary fi­bre, 11 g sugar), 104 mg chol, 674 mg sodium, 622 mg potas­sium. % RDI : 24% cal­cium, 11% iron, 9% vit A, 12% vit C, 9% fo­late.

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