MEAT-FRUIT COMBOS: Pork Chops with Sage-Apple Stuffing . . . Brisket with Apricots and Prunes
Pork Chops with Sage-Apple Stuffing
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced celery
2 cups dried bread cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup diced apple
¼ cup golden raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage leaves or 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
¼ cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
4 bone-in pork chops, trimmed of fat
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans
1 large apple, peeled, diced
½ cup fat-free or regular half-and-half mixed with 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In large skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery and saute until tender. Scrape into bowl and add bread cubes, salt and pepper, apple, raisins if using, and sage. Lightly moisten with broth, mix thoroughly and set aside.
Cut 2-inch-wide slit in side of chop opposite bone, cutting almost but not all the way through, making a pocket. Evenly divide stuffing mixture and stuff it in chops. Do not overstuff chops or stuffing will fall out. Some may be left over to serve on side. You can secure pocket closed with toothpicks if needed.
Season both sides of chops with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops and brown on one side. Carefully turn and brown other side. Transfer chops (set skillet aside) to baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake about 40 minutes or until internal temperature of pork reaches 155 degrees. Remove from oven; keep covered.
In same skillet chops were browned in, melt butter over medium heat. Add pecans and saute 2 minutes. Add apple and saute until it caramelizes. Reduce heat slightly and slowly whisk in the half-and-half and syrup.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the sauce with some of the diced apples and pecans over each pork chop and serve.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 398 calories, 25 grams fat, 25 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams protein, 396 milligrams sodium, 61 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.
Brisket with Apricots and Prunes
2/3 cup quartered dried apricots
10 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, freshly ground pepper
1 beef brisket, 5½ to 6 pounds
3 tablespoons oil
5 onions, chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, grated
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2 14½-ounce cans low-salt beef broth
2/3 cup pitted prunes, quartered
Combine Zc cup apricots, 3 garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon pepper in food processor; pulse to a coarse puree. Cut ½-inch-deep slits over top of brisket. Set aside 2 tablespoons of mixture; press remaining mixture into slits. Position rack in bottom third of 300-degree. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle brisket with remaining salt and pepper. Add brisket to Dutch oven; cook, turning, until brown on all sides. Transfer brisket to plate, fat side up; spread with reserved apricot mixture.
Add onions to Dutch oven; cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until onions soften. Add carrots, ginger, coriander, red pepper, remaining garlic cloves and remaining cumin; cook 3 minutes. Add wine; heat to boil. Cook, stirring up any browned bits, until reduced almost to a glaze. Return brisket to Dutch oven. Add broth; heat to a simmer. Spoon some of vegetable mixture over brisket.
Cover Dutch oven; place in oven. Cook 2½ hours, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices. Add prunes and remaining Zc cup apricots. Cover; cook until brisket is tender, about 30 minutes. Cool in uncovered Dutch oven 1 hour. Refrigerate uncovered until cold.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon any solid fat from meat and sauce; discard fat. Spoon any sauce on brisket into Dutch oven. Place brisket on work surface; slice thinly across grain. Heat sauce to boil over medium-high heat; cook to thicken slightly. Arrange sliced brisket on oven-safe platter; spoon sauce over. Cover with foil. Place brisket in oven; heat brisket until hot, about 30 minutes.
Yield: Serves 15.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 315 calories, 10 grams fat, 71 milligrams cholesterol, 16 grams carbohydrates, 37 grams protein, 237 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.