Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chestnut and Pumpkin Stuffed Pork Chop with Brandy Ginger Gravy









     Gourmet Stuffed Pork Chops!
     Stuffed Pork Chops are a classic comfort food entrée.  Roasted chestnuts and fresh pumpkin taste nice in a bread stuffing.  A sauce like Brandy Ginger Pork Velouté is a perfect choice for today's stuffed pork chops.  Yes, a French Velouté Sauce is basically the same thing as gravy!

     Brandy Ginger Gravy:
     This recipe yields about 1 cup.
     Step 1:  Place in a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour while stirring with a whisk to make a roux.  (The roux should look shiny, not caky.)
     Constantly stir the roux till it is a golden blonde color.
     Step 2:  Add 1 1/2 cups of light pork stock while stirring with a whisk.    
     Add 1/2 cup of brandy.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced ginger.
     Bring the liquid to gentle boil.
     Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.  (1 or 2 pinches)
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce till the gravy is a medium thin consistency that can easily glaze a spoon.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of chilled unsalted butter while whisking.  
     *This French technique is called "Monte au beurre."  Mounting a velouté sauce (gravy) with butter will keep a skin from forming on the surface of the sauce.
     Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
  
     Chestnut and Pumpkin Stuffed Pork Chop:
     This recipe yields 1 large hearty portion.
     Step 1:  Warm 1/2 cup of chicken broth in a sauce pot over low heat.
     Keep the broth warm on a stove top.
     Step 2:  Heat a small sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of diced celery.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of diced onion.
     Add 1/4 cup of peeled seeded diced raw pumpkin.
     Sauté till the diced pumpkin is tender.
     Step 3:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Place the sautéed vegetables and pumpkin in a mixing bowl.  (Add the butter from the pan too.)
     Add 2/3 cup of stale French bread that is cut into large cube shaped pieces.  (Leave the crust on the bread.)
     Add 5 roasted chestnuts that are cut into quarters.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 2 pinches of ground sage.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of whisked egg.
     Step 4:  Add just enough warm chicken broth to the stuffing mixture, to moisten the stuffing.  (The stuffing should not be soggy.  Save any extra chicken broth for another recipe.)
     Gently toss the stuffing ingredients together.  (Do not over-mix or the stuffing will become dense and heavy!)
     Step 5:  Select a thick 8 to 10 ounce pork chop with the bone attached.
     Butterfly cut the pork chop meat to make a pocket for the stuffing.
     Step 6:  Open up the butterflied pork chop and place the stuffing inside.
     Press the meat and stuffing together, so it looks nice.
     Step 7:  Lightly brush a roasting pan with melted unsalted butter.
     Set the stuffed pork chop on the pan.
     Brush the pork chop with melted unsalted butter.
     Lightly season the stuffed pork chop with sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 2 tablespoons of water to the baking pan.
     Step 8:  Roast the stuffed pork chop in a 325ºF till the pork and stuffing is fully cooked.  (A probe thermometer placed in the center of the stuffing should read 165ºF for 15 seconds.)
     Allow the pork chop to rest for 1 or 2 minutes, before serving.

     Chestnut and Pumpkin Stuffed Pork Chop with Brandy Ginger Gravy:
     Place the chestnut and pumpkin stuffed pork chop on a plate.
     Pour a generous amount of the ginger brandy gravy over the pork chop and onto the plate.
     Serve with a vegetable of your choice.  (Buttered peeled asparagus spears look nice on a plate!)
     Garnish with Italian Parsley sprigs.
  
     The flavors of this stuffed pork chop entrée combine to create a satisfying warm comfort zone sensation on a chilly day!

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