The 1970s called - and they're serving the "new pork" for dinner!
This recipe is adapted from Donna Jenkens' Golden Stuffed Pork Chops in the The New Pork: An Exciting Taste Treat.
The other day I stumbled upon a publication from The Illinois Agricultural Association's Commodities Division. It was a small, full-color recipe book published in partnership with the Pork Industry Committee of the National Live Stock and Meat Board. Wherever did I find this fun little recipe book? The I.D.E.A Store in Champaign! What an interesting place to find a retro recipe book! But I'm so glad this recipe book didn't get trashed - because now I get to resurrect some of these fun (and slightly strange) 1970s Midwestern pork recipes!
I had to do some digging, but I found an AMAZING video that goes along with the recipe book. If you have (20 minutes...) time to spare, I highly suggest that you watch Donna Jenkins (the original author of this recipe) in the video version of The New Pork: An Exciting Taste Treat. I wish I had Donna's job. This lady is my 1970s spirit animal!
Many of the pork recipes from this recipe book are a little too sweet for my taste. For example, smoke pork chops flambe which include pork chops topped with canned peaches and sugar cubes soaked in extract that are then lit on fire. Or, take the pork shoulder stacks as another example. The recipe calls for thick cut smoked pork topped with sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, canned pineapple...and marshmallows! WOW! There really were some decent savory pork dishes that I've enjoyed making. One of which is the Golden Stuffed Pork Chops. This is a recipe we've really enjoyed making and eating together as a family. (Not that they wouldn't enjoy marshmallows for dinner...just perhaps not on top of their pork cutlets.)
I've put an * by the items I can purchase at my Illinois farmers market.
6 bone-in pork chops - about 1 1/2 inches thick
4 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Pinch each of salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a heavy, oven-proof skillet at 1 tablespoon of butter. Saute the onions are translucent, the mushrooms are cooked, and the carrot is soft. Set aside in a bowl. Keep the skillet handy for later.
Prepare the rice per the instruction on the bag/box.
Combine the rice and veggie mixture. Mix in the shredded cheese and Worcestershire sauce.
Make a pocket in each pork chop by using a sharp knife to cut into the center of the chop, from the rib side, parallel to the rib bone, and the surface of the chop.
Stuff each pork chop with about 1/4 cup of the rice mixture.
Grab that skillet from earlier and remaining butter. Heat butter and gently lay each pork chop flat into the skillet. Allow pork to brown and flip to brown the other side.
Remove from heat, cover with foil, and place skillet into oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake an additional 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.
Serving size: Makes 6 stuffed pork chops.
Serving suggestion: Serve these pork chops alongside roasted root veggies for a savory fall dinner!