Want to make me happy? Make me stuffed pork chops for dinner. Honestly. They’re so simple, and so darned good. (It doesn’t take much these days, I know.)
Since we got Penelope the Wonder Pup, we’ve been a little short on time at The Mouse House. So, I’ve been making meals that are relatively easy to bang out with a lot going on around me. These pork chops fit the bill—and are a great, fancier-than-normal weeknight meal.
And because you finish them in the oven, they’re harder to overcook and dry out. (What’s that, you say? Pork chops that don’t taste like cardboard? You better believe it!)
To make this recipe, cut a pocket in thick-cut pork chops. Stuff with prosciutto, cheese, and fresh sage. (Yep, this is pig stuffed with more pig.) Sear on both sides to develop a flavorful, brown crust, then finish in the oven. That’s it.
It’s kind of like an inside-out saltimbocca (meat wrapped in prosciutto and sage leaves)—with cheese.
It cooks in about the same amount of time it takes to throw together a pot of rice, some garlic bread, and a big, crunchy salad.
About double-thick pork chops
For this recipe, get double thick pork chops. Aim for about 2 inches thick. They’ll be labeled, or just eyeball it. (For me, that’s almost as long as my pinky finger).
You can make this recipe with thinner chops, they’ll just cook faster. (Keep an eye on them so they don’t dry out.) The pocket also might be trickier to cut.
Double thick pork chops
Most well-stocked butcher cases will have ’em. They’ll likely be labeled something like “center-cut rib chops” or “bone-in thick pork chops.” If you don’t see them, ask the good folks behind the meat counter if they can cut you a few extra thick. Chances are, they’ll be happy to oblige.
This is one of those few recipes that I actually check for doneness with a meat thermometer. You want to pull them out of the oven at about 155 degrees and tent them for a few minutes (the temp will rise a little as they sit).
Stuffed Pork Chops with Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Sage
2 bone-in, thick-cut pork chops (center cut rib chops)
4 sage leaves, cut into ribbons
4 thin slices mozzarella
2 slices prosciutto
freshly cracked black pepper
Serves 2 for dinner (easilly doubles or triples to feed a crowd)
Stuff the pork chops
Slice your cheese and grab your prosciutto.
Stack your sage leaves. Cut them into thin strips. (If you don’t have fresh sage handy, try substituting about a tablespoon of dried.)
Grab one pork chop. Cut a pocket in it like this with a small, sharp knife. Cut deep, but not all the way through.
Stuff in half the sage.
Add in a slice of prosciutto.
And pack in 2 slices of the cheese.
Repeat with the other chop.
Sear the pork chops
Lightly grease a heavy pan with olive oil. Use one that can go in the oven (I love to use cast iron for this). Set on the stove over high heat for a minute or two. Season one side of the pork chops with salt and pepper.
When the pan is hot (the oil will shimmer a little), put the pork chops, seasoned side down, in the pan. Spread them apart so they don’t touch. (If they’re crowded together, they’ll kinda steam, not brown.)
Sprinkle the tops of the chops with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or two, until nicely browned on the bottom. Flip the chops over and pop the pan into your preheated, 450-degree oven.
Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the chops register 155 degrees on a meat thermometer when measured in the center.
When they’re done, yank the pan out of the oven. Transfer the chops to a plate. Loosely tent with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes. (This will let the meat rest, which helps keep it juicier, and let it come up to 160 degrees, the recommended temperature for pork.)
Serve and enjoy!