Stuffed Pork Chops With Pomegranate-Maple Glaze

Serves 6
Level of Difficulty: Medium
Adapted from the More from ACE Bakery cookbook

Homey pork chops become sophisticated with the addition of dried porcini mushrooms and the combination of maple syrup and pomegranate molasses. Your butcher can cut the pockets in the meat that will be stuffed with the mushroom mixture. Make sure he starts from the bone and cuts outward from there. I have put instructions in the method section of the recipe, if you wish to do it yourself. If you want to be fancy, ask your butcher to leave a longer bone on each chop and French it.

Ingredients

6 rib loin pork chops, 1 ½-inch (3.8-cm) thick
5 Tbsp. (75 mL) maple syrup
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) pomegranate molasses
1 oz. (28 g) dried porcini mushrooms soaked in hot water for a half hour
1 ½ Tbsp. (22.5 mL) canola oil, and extra for sautéing the chops
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) minced shallots
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) minced fresh sage
¾ Tbsp. (11.25 mL) minced fresh thyme
¾ cup (180 mL) fresh fine breadcrumbs
¼ tsp. (1.2 mL) kosher salt
large pinch freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste, for the chops

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190°C).

Cut a large horizontal pocket into each chop, running a very sharp knife along the top of the bone and as far as possible into and across the flesh of the chop. Don’t cut all the way through the meat.
Mix the maple syrup and the pomegranate molasses in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Drain the mushrooms, pat dry and mince. Pour the oil into a nonstick frying pan. Add the shallots, and sauté on medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the shallots are soft but not coloured.

Add the mushrooms to the onions and continue sautéing for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sage, thyme, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook for one minute and let cool.

Spoon the stuffing into the pockets of the 6 room-temperature chops.

Generously salt and pepper both sides of the chops and sauté in a little canola oil over medium-high for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Brush both sides of each chop with the glaze. Transfer to a baking dish and place in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, brushing every 5 minutes with the glaze. Boil down any remaining glaze until it is reduced to 1 to 2 Tbsp. (15 to 30 mL). Remove the chops from the oven, and give them a final brush with the thickened glaze. Let the chops sit for 10 minutes to finish the cooking cycle. Drizzle with a little of the hot pan juices before serving.

Cook’s Tip
Pomegranate molasses is available in gourmet and Middle Eastern grocery stores and in some large grocery chains. Undiluted pomegranate juice concentrate can be substituted for the molasses. Pomegranate juice is not concentrated enough to produce the intense flavour this dish needs.

Linda Haynes is the co-founder of ACE Bakery and the award-winning author of the bestseller, "The ACE Bakery Cookbook". All royalties from this cookbook are given to organizations in support of food and nutrition programs that assist low-income members of the community, to culinary scholarships, and to organic farming initiatives. Royalties from "More from ACE Bakery" cookbook are donated to organizations that work with women and children in crisis.

Established in 1993, ACE Bakery is now one of North America's leading artisan bakeries, providing fresh and partially baked breads to customers across Canada, New York State, the Midwest and Northeast U.S.A., Louisiana and the Bahamas, as well as on Air Canada and Air France flights.


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