Monday, October 26, 2015

Bacon & Artichoke Stuffed Pork Chops by Angie Alt

Whenever I get a new paleo cookbook, it seems that I am always attracted to stuffed meat recipes.  Of course, this meant I had no choice but to give Angie Alt's Bacon and Artichoke Stuffed Pork Chops from her book, the Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook  a try.  Even without the stuffed factor, bacon and artichoke with pork chops sounds heavenly to me.  I grabbed my ingredients, turned my oven on to pre-heat, and got to work one weekend morning.  Yes, morning.

I started by slicing my pork chops to make the pocket for stuffing them.  Be careful not to cut your hands or cut all the way through the chop. 

I point out the time of day, only because I made a mistake early on in making the recipe.  I didn't chop my bacon before beginning to brown it.   Oops.  

Don't worry, I catch this mistake, and it's easily fixed but not before I prepped the artichokes.  When I went to the store, there were several options for sizes of artichoke hearts to buy.  The recipe doesn't specify.  I opted for the small size as I knew I'd be stuffing them and small seemed most consistent with that application.  I drained the artichokes, quartered them with a knife and measured out the needed amount.  

And here with, with this picture, I discovered my error.  

I removed the bacon, carefully chopped it without burning myself, added it and the artichokes back to the pan and drank a little more coffee to hopefully stave off any further errors.  

Here are the bacon and artichokes playing well with one another.  

The next step is to stuff the chops.  I put as much stuffing in each chop as each would hold.  

I closed each chop with toothpicks.  I recommend using the same number of toothpicks in each chop so you can count them as you take them out so there will be none left behind.  

I had a little stuffing leftover.  

I returned the chops to the pan that I prepared the bacon and artichokes in to brown on both sides.  The pan was a little dry, so next time, if it's this dry, I'll probably add a little high quality lard just to add on the pork flavor.  

Once brown, I transferred them to a Corning Ware dish along with the leftover stuffing as a bed.  

The oven had pre-heated long before my getting to this step, so I popped the dish right into the oven.  Here it is after baking.  

I checked the temperature with my Thermapen to make sure the chops were cooked through.  

This next picture is to illustrate why it's important to keep count of your toothpicks.  Can you see the toothpicks in this finished pork chop?  I can't, but I know they are there.  

Four toothpicks in and four toothpicks out in each chop.  Safety first!

Here's my plate.  

 And an inside shot.

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients:  Everything in this recipe is pretty accessible in a "big box" grocery store.  I recommend getting small sized artichoke hearts.  One can of artichokes was enough for the recipe, but you may want to buy more to make extra stuffing.  Angie recommends chokes packed in water to be on the AIP safe side.  

Preparation & Cooking Time: It took me just over 32 minutes to prepare these chops and stuffing to put in the oven.  I baked them for 30 minutes.  

Clean Up:  There was nothing notable about this clean up.  I do wonder if I couldn't have just baked the pork chops in the Le Creuset braiser rather than dirtying another dish.  I will say being able to pop the lid on the Corning Ware dish and put it in the fridge for small and quick storage was nice.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  Oh, these pork chops were so so tasty.  The next time I make these I'm making double the stuffing to eat with the chops and other things.  The stuffing definitely brings the flavor to this dish.  Next time, I also might add a squeeze of lemon just to bring up the flavor a bit.   With that said, the beauty of this recipe is the simplicity of it.  This is a new favorite for me in my kitchen.  Yum. Yum. Yum. 

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Sources/Affiliate Disclosure-  I received a digital copy of this cookbook for review from the author.  I since purchased a hard copy of the cookbook with my own money.   The links in this post are affiliate links.  All of my opinions expressed here are my own.