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  • The Chopping Blog

My Favorite Thing to Cook: Stuffed Chops

Roger
Posted by Roger on Apr 13, 2017

 

One of the most common questions I get from students when teaching cooking classes at The Chopping Block is: "What's your favorite thing to cook?" 

I easily say "Veal Chop Normandé" but that does not exactly conjure up an image of this entree's glamour. 

This dish features a veal or pork chop stuffed with a filling made from apples, bacon, shallots, thyme and cream. It is then braised in veal stock and served with a reduction of the braising liquid as the sauce, finished with calvados and butter. 

That sounds a lot nicer! I named this dish due to the inclusion of butter, cream and apples which are 3 of Normandy's top food ingredients. 

Veal or Pork Chop Normandé

I make this recipe with either a center cut veal or pork chop. The latter is much less expensive and just as delicious. If you can find either with the rib chop bone still on it, the presentation is even more exquisite. 

You will want very thick chops for this recipe, at least 1.25 inches thick. 

The first thing to do is hollow out the chops. I insert a paring knife into the center of the fatty side of the chop.

chop pocketMove just the tip of the knife to slice a pocket inside the chop being careful not to make the opening where the knife is inserted too large.

chop pocketFlip the knife and slice the other direction to create a hollow pocket in the chop. Now use your index finger to stretch and hollow out the pocket while keeping the incision relatively small.

choppocket3-872782-edited.jpgSet the chops aside and make the stuffing.  

For the stuffing:

2 shallots small dice

2 Granny Smith apples peeled and small dice

4 strips of bacon cut into small dice

4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed

1/2 cup calvados, apple jack or regular brandy

1/2 cup white wine

3/4 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste 

stuffing mise en place

1. Cook the bacon in a medium skillet until it has browned evenly. 

bacon2. Add the shallots and cook 1 minute. 

3. Add the apples and thyme, cook 2 minutes, stirring regularly.

apples shallots4. Move the pan away from the flame and add the brandy. Flambé and let reduce until almost dry, then add the wine and again reduce until it is almost completely evaporated.

5. Add the heavy cream and simmer for about 3-4 minutes until the cream has thickened slightly.

cream in filling6. Season with salt and pepper and remove to chill completely. 

chilled chop filling7. Once the mixture has cooled, using your fingers, stuff the mixture into each chop until they are very full. Season both sides with salt and pepper.  

 

 

To finish the dish you will need:

Olive oil for frying

1 onion medium dice

2 carrots medium dice

1 celery stalk medium dice

2 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

3/4 cup white wine

2 cups veal stock

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste 

1. Sear the stuffed chops in a heavy oven proof pan or braiser using a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes each until they are nicely browned. 

seared chops2. Remove the chops to a plate and reserve.

3. Add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaf to the pan. (I also add the cores of the apples I cut for the stuffing just to add some more apple flavor as it braises). Cook 3-4 minutes stirring constantly. 

mire poix4. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Reduce to almost dry.

5. Add the veal stock, bring to a simmer and return the chops back to the pan. 

ready for oven6. Place the braising pan in a 375 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes uncovered. Turn the chops once during the braising. 

7. When cooked completely, remove the chops to a plate and let them rest. 

8. Strain the braising liquid into a sauce pot. 

9. Bring to a boil and reduce by about half until the sauce has thickened slightly.

10. Turn off the heat, swirl in the butter and season with salt and pepper. 

11. Slice the chops and top with the sauce. 

veal chop platedIf you do not have veal stock available, you may use beef broth but you will need to thicken the final sauce with a little flour and butter mixture (roux). I personally will not make this dish without veal stock since I feel it is one of the highlights of the dish. If you are interested in learning more about the world of sauces, check out our Culinary Boot Camp series that teaches you the art of making stocks and sauces to enhance your cooking. 

boot_camp_long

 

Topics: pork chop, pork, sauces, veal, sauce, French, Recipes

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