6 1″ thick pork chops
2 Tbsp lard
2 medium baking apples (Gala and York are our favorites), peeled, cored and diced
10 strips of bacon, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minces
4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Using a 4-6″ knife, pierce the fatty side of each chop. Wiggle your knife side to side until your “pocket” is about 5″ long and 3″ wide (70% of the chop).
In a medium pan (we recommend a cast iron skillet or dutch oven), melt lard over medium-high heat. Cook apples, bacon and onion until onion is softened and bacon is crispy, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, sage, paprika and lemon juice and toss for 2 minutes. Remove stuffing from heat, transfer to bowl and set-aside.
Salt and pepper each side of pork chop, stuff it with as much stuffing as you can fit and use a skewer or toothpick to close and prevent spilling (about half of the stuffing will be leftover). Insert pork chops into the hot pan to sear on each side, cook each side of the chops for 5 minutes in hot pan over medium-high heat. Transfer pan/dutch oven to 350 degree oven and bake uncovered for 35 minutes.
To serve, warm remaining stuffing and spoon on top of each chop.
NOTE: Instead of using lard, we started cooking the bacon first and then added the apples and onion late so that it would cook in the drippings. We also omitted the toothpicks (long story involving upper palate injuries) and the stuffing remained pretty well contained inside the chops.
nutritional information: not available.