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Pork Chops with Butternut Squash and Apple Stuffing

This hearty dish showcases winter produce at its seasonal best. Double-cut pork chops are filled with a savory stuffing that includes butternut squash, celery and Granny Smith apples. When roasting the chops, be sure the stuffing reaches 160°F (test with an instant-read thermometer). Serve with roasted potatoes and Swiss chard (see related recipes at left).

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1 cup diced celery (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1 cup diced Granny Smith apple (1/4-inch dice)
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/4 cups toasted bread crumbs
  • 4 double-cut bone-in pork loin chops, each about 12 oz. and 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. chicken demi-glace
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tsp. chicken stock concentrate
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, stir together the butternut squash, celery, apple and 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large braising pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 seconds. Add the squash mixture and cook until just softened, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in the bread crumbs.

Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Insert a sharp knife into the side of the chop opposite from the bone, making a long slit along the curve all the way to the bone. Wiggle the knife to form a large pocket. Repeat with the remaining chops. Stuff each chop with 1/2 cup stuffing, packing it into the pocket with your fingers.

Insert a rack into a GreenPan nonstick cast-iron grill pan and set the pan over medium-high heat. Brush the pan and the rack with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Working in 2 batches, brown the chops, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Return all the chops to the pan and transfer to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the stuffing registers 160°F, about 20 minutes. Lift out the chops on the rack and transfer to a platter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Strain any pan juices into a small bowl; set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and apple and cook, stirring, until softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the demi-glace, water, stock concentrate and reserved pan juices and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in the vinegar. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until smooth. Place the pork chops on individual plates and drizzle with the sauce. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.