This is porknography at its finest. Because pork chops are very lean, it is best to go the extra step of brining them the day before.
PORK CHOPS & STUFFING
- 1¼ inch (3 cm) thick boneless pork loin chops, one per person
- 1 - 2 Tbsp Skillet Bacon Spread per pork chop (see substitution note)
- 1 - 2 strips of thin sliced smoked bacon per pork chop
- kitchen string
- your favorite BBQ rub, low salt recommended
- 1 Tbsp caramelized onions per pork chop, homemade or a less sweet condiment style (ones for topping cheese tend to be too sweet)
- 1½ quart (1.4 litre) water
- 2 cups (473 ml) apple juice
- ¼ cup (59 ml) maple syrup
- ¾ cup (177 ml) Kosher salt
- 12 whole peppercorns
- 6 bay leaves
To make the brine, warm all of the brining ingredients over medium heat just until the salt has dissolved. Cool and transfer to the fridge to chill thoroughly. Submerge pork chops completely in the brine, cover and keep in the fridge for 12 - 24 hours, but no longer. Remove pork chops from brine; discard brine. Rinse the pork chops very well and pat dry.
Using a sharp knife, slice into the middle of one long, thick side of each chop, careful to keep ¼ inch from the outside edges. Don’t pierce all the way through. Slice in a pivoting motion to create a pocket.
Here’s an excellent video demonstrating how to stuff a pork chop:
Stuff each pork chop pocket with 1-2 tablespoons of Skillet Bacon Spread. Wrap a strip of bacon around the edge of each chop; depending on their size you may need two strips to wrap all the way around. Secure the bacon by tying kitchen string around the edge. Sprinkle the top and bottom of each chop with BBQ rub.
Preheat the barbecue (or oven) to 325°F (165°C). An optional step is to brown the chops. Preheat a cast iron skillet (nice tie-in, don’t you think) over high heat. Sear the chops, turning once, until the top and bottom have a little color. Transfer to the preheated barbecue and cook until the internal temperature reads 140°F (60°C) on an instant read thermometer, approximately 15-20 mins. Pork is lean and cooks quickly, so check after 10-12 mins. Remove the chops to a platter and allow to rest for 5 - 10 minutes. Spread 1 tablespoon of caramelized onions on top of each chop; remove the kitchen string and serve.
Serve with a fresh salad, coleslaw, grilled vegetables or roasted potatoes.
SUBSTITUTION NOTE: If you can’t find Skillet Bacon Spread in your area, I’m so sorry because you’re missing out on a fabulously, decadent product. You could substitute caramelized onions and rendered bacon. www.skilletstreetfood.com
by David Russell, as featured on the Skillet Street Food website