Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Pork Chops: So, That Happened.

I’m baa-aack, did you miss me? Gentle reader, I am just setting foot in the kitchen again after weeks of what I dubbed the Taco Diet, and leave it to me to eat even less nutritiously when cooking at home.

The Rob, as I have mentioned, enjoys very much the Stove Top, and I cannot deny that I see where he is coming from. The other night when I asked if he had any requests, he said he wanted Stove Top, but not chicken. Clearly, that was just silly. But I took this as a challenge and ended up inventing a sort of unholy inside-out pork sandwich, or maybe an inverted version of a KFC Double Down but with pork. If both of those concepts intrigue and excite you, you’ve come to the right post. This meal couldn’t have been simpler to put together and was shamefully satisfying.

I was hoping the Met Food would have a pork loin I could butterfly, stuff with Stove Top, and roll up…but the only ones I found were plastic-sealed logs marinating in some sort of weird “peppercorn” solution, and one processed food per dish is clearly more than enough. So I came up with an insane-tastic idea to bring new meaning to the phrase “double-cut pork chop.” I grabbed a package of four boneless pork chops and a package of thick-cut bacon, thinking the latter would help seal moisture into the lean pork and keep the cutlets from peeling back from the stuffing as they cooked.

First I preheated the stove to 425° and prepared the Stove Top (I prefer chicken flavor, full sodium), and while it was resting on the, wait for it, stove top, I tossed the pork cutlets in a mix of seedy horseradish dijon mustard, maple syrup, minced garlic, kosher salt, and pepper. 

I laid out six strips of bacon on a tinfoil-lined rimmed baking sheet and placed two pork chops on top of three strips each, lengthwise.

I spooned Stove Top on top of each chop and patted it down with the palm of my hand, leaving a slight margin around the pork perimeter. Then I covered each with another chop, dolloped the last bit of the marinade onto the surface of the meat, and folded the bacon strips inward so they overlapped in the middle.

I took another two strips of bacon and wrapped one around the center of each chop, perpendicular to the other strips, then tied a knot so they were like a little bacon-wrapped presents, which indeed they were.

These bacon gifts were roasted at 425° for about 30 minutes; around 15 minutes in, I put a big pan of asparagus and chopped shallots in lemon juice on the lower oven shelf to accompany them.

The bacon wrapping held together in all but one spot, so much so that I was even able to, very gently, flip over the pork packets with a spatula and let the bottom bacon crisp up for the last 5 minutes of cooking. (Mmmm, bottom bacon….)
While the meat rested I turned down the oven to 350° and put the remainder of the pot of Stove Top, covered, in the oven to reheat.

Healthy? No. Delicious? Yes. And the bacon wrapper even remained intact as I cut into the giant stack of pork. If the name “pigs in blankets” weren’t already taken by a most excellent appetizer, I’d suggest applying it to this cardiac event. The Rob was most impressed by the taste—and scale—of the “pork sandwich,” but had one note: that it could use gravy. And I cannot deny I saw where he was coming from.


  1. kitty, this is actually making me salivate right now.
    i have a question about the bacon-wrapping. when you say you "tied a knot" what do you mean?

  2. Aw thanks, saliva is the sincerest form of praise!

    Basically just took a strip of bacon, wrapped it around the meat, and tied the ends in a knot as you would do a ribbon around a present (not long enough for a bacon bow, sadly). I used thick-cut strips but I feel like even with the regular strips you'd be able to tie them and have them hold w/out breaking.