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07/20/2020

~My Aunt's Apple-Pie Pork-Chop & Stuffing Casserole~

IMG_3954The sweet and savory act of combining porcine and apples is classic.  Every whole roasted pig that I've ever seen had an apple in its mouth.  I honestly can't remember where I read it or heard this, but, my recollection is: this centuries old custom had to do with pigs being fattened by feeding them apples, so, this was considered a show of respect for the animal, representing it eating apples in life and into eternity (hogs were typically slaughtered in the Fall and apples were in season).  All I know for certain is pork and apples go hand-in-hand, it's one of my favorite combinations, and, this easy, family-friendly casserole is a recipe everyone should try.  Why?

The only thing better than applesauce w/a pork chop, is apple pie filling under a  pork chop w/stuffing heaped on top of it!

IMG_3947This decades old, now-retro, family-favorite recipe is made from few ingredients (3/4"-1"-thick bone-in pork chops, apple-pie filling, stuffing mix, chicken broth, celery and onion).  It came from my favorite Aunt, "Tootsie", (my mother's sister and our family's pet name for Marie).  It couldn't be easier, and, I wouldn't consider changing it for love nor money.  It's the best, easy-pork-chop recipe there is, and, everyone, kids and adults, love it.  There's more.  If you are one of the many home cooks in search of a foolproof recipe that guarantees juicy, fork-tender chops, this is it.

This easy recipe guarantees flavorful, fork-tender, chops:

IMG_40036  3/4"-1" thick, bone-in pork loin chops

4  tablespoons corn or peanut oil, for sautéing chops

freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend, for seasoning chops

1  22-ounce can apple pie filling

2  6-ounce boxes Stove-Top Chicken Stuffing Mix

1  generous cup diced celery

1  generous cup diced onion

2  cup chicken broth

IMG_3863 IMG_3863 IMG_3863 IMG_3863 IMG_3863 IMG_3863 IMG_3863~Step 1.  In a 16" electric skillet, heat the corn or peanut oil over low heat. Increase heat to 225º (medium-high), add the chops, then, season their tops with freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend.  Continue to sauté the chops until they're browning nicely on the bottom, about 8 minutes.  Using a spatula, flip the chops over and season the second side with freshly ground sea salt and peppercorn blend.  Sauté the chops until golden on the bottom, about 8 more minutes.  Turn the heat off.

IMG_3885 IMG_3885~ Step 2.  Open the can of apple pie filling and use a spoon to scoop it into the bottom of a 13" x 9" x 2" casserole.  Use a spoon to spread it evenly in the bottom.  Arrange the pork chops atop the pie filling, overlapping them slightly.  Set aside.

IMG_3890 IMG_3890 IMG_3890 IMG_3890 IMG_3890 IMG_3890 IMG_3890~Step 3.  Return heat in skillet to 225º and wait 30-60 seconds, just long enough to reheat the perfectly-seasoned pork drippings,  Add the celery and onion.  Sauté the vegetables, stirring constantly with a large spoon, until crunch tender, 2-3 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and the stuffing mix.  Stir until the stuffing is thick and has absorbed the broth.  Turn the heat off, cover the skillet, and let sit for 5-6 minutes.

IMG_3910 IMG_3910 IMG_3910 IMG_3910 IMG_3910 IMG_3910~Step 4.  Uncover the skillet.  Using a 2 1/2" ice-cream scoop, place 6 well-packed, heaping and generous scoops of stuffing, one scoop on each chop.  Using a spoon or a fork, scatter remainder of stuffing around the sides and in between the larger scoops.  Cover  casserole with aluminum foil and bake on center rack of 325° oven 1 hour. Uncover and continue to bake another 15 minutes, or until stuffing is turning golden on top. Remove from oven, allow casserole to rest 10-15 minutes, to allow juices to settle, then serve.

This childhood favorite & adulthood indulgence:

IMG_3949Is the apple pie of my stuffing-topped pork-chop eye:

IMG_3999My Aunt's Apple-Pie Pork-Chop & Stuffing Casserole:  Recipe yields 6 hearty servings.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; 16" electric skillet w/lid; spatula; large spoon; 13" x 9" x 2" casserole; 2 1/2" ice-cream scoop; aluminum foil

IMG_9993Cook's Note: When my mom announced she was making pork and beans for dinner, she didn't mean she was literally opening a can of pork and beans -- in a way, kinda sorta she was, but, there was a bit more to it. It meant she had asked Vince, the butcher at The Valley Meat Market, to slice 8, 1/2"-3/4"-thick bone-in pork loin chops, plus a pound of bacon, so she could make her recipe for ~ Pork Chop & Baked Bean Casserole -- Pork & Beans ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)

Comments

Good morning Theresa -- You are going to LOVE it!

Apples and pork have been a thing for a long time..BUT THUS MY DEAR FRIEND..IS AUST TRY!!! I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO MZKE THIS!!!XoXo

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