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Stuffed Heritage Pork Chops with Creamy Grits

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup grits, 1 pork chop, and 1/3 cup sauce)
The inspiration for this dish is a Creole classic, grillades and grits. Look for Berkshire, Duroc, and other heritage pork at specialty markets.

Ingredients

  • Pork:
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped jalapeño pepper (about 2 peppers)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 4 (8-ounce) bone-in center-cut heritage pork chops (such as Berkshire)
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced apple
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peeled butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Swiss chard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup no-salt-added canned whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • Grits:
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground grits
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free, less-sodium beef broth

Nutrition Information

  • calories 475
  • caloriesfromfat 35 %
  • fat 18.5 g
  • satfat 6.8 g
  • monofat 8.7 g
  • polyfat 1.6 g
  • protein 40.6 g
  • carbohydrate 35.5 g
  • fiber 3.2 g
  • cholesterol 111 mg
  • iron 2.9 mg
  • sodium 954 mg
  • calcium 73 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare pork, combine first 5 ingredients in an airtight container, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pork; seal and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove pork from brine; pat dry. Discard brine.

  2. Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add 1/2 cup onion and next 5 ingredients (through 1 minced garlic clove) to drippings in pan; cook 8 minutes or until squash is tender and liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Stir in bacon.

  3. Cut 1 (1-inch) horizontal slit through thickest portion of each pork chop to form a pocket. Stuff about 3 tablespoons vegetable mixture into each chop. Sprinkle both sides of chops evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove pork from pan; reduce heat to medium-low.

  4. To prepare sauce, add 1 1/2 cups onion to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add celery, jalapeño, and 1 garlic clove to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup broth and 1/2 cup water, stirring until flour dissolves. Add tomatoes; increase heat to medium-high. Return pork to pan; simmer 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

  5. To prepare grits, bring 2 1/2 cups water and 1/8 teaspoon salt to boil in a saucepan. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in butter and 2 tablespoons broth. Serve with pork and sauce.

August, New Orleans, Louisiana