This recipe was an experiment that turned into a serious keeper. The great folks at Oh! Nuts were kind enough to send me some of their quality wares and I developed this recipe in an effort to feature their sweetened dried cranberries. I take product endorsements very seriously, and this company has some of the nicest dried fruit and nuts that I've come across. I am still nursing my way through the bag of salted cashews and dried mangos. I feel a couple more recipes coming on.
I've found that pork and cornbread are a magical combination -- especially when stuffed, then roasted or grilled. This recipe adds that familiar tang of cranberry both in the stuffing and in the finishing glaze. It's a serious fall flavor explosion.
6 large (1 1/4" thick) Bone-in pork loin chops
1 package (6 oz) Stove Top® cornbread stuffing
8 sprigs Fresh thyme, stripped from the stem
3 sprigs Fresh tarragon, stripped from the stem
2 Fresh sage leaves, rough chopped
1 1/4 cup Water
1 cup Sweetened dried cranberries (you can use Craisins®)
3/4 cup Dry white wine
1/3 cup Kosher salt
1/2 cup Orange marmalade
2 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Whole black peppercorns
1/4 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
Mix the wine, 3/4 cup of the water, cranberries, and half of the ground pepper in a small sauce pan.
Bring the mixture just to a boil, remove from the heat, cover and set aside.
Grind the salt, sage, thyme, tarragon, and the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee grinder dedicated to spices.
Prepare the stuffing according to the package directions and set aside to cool.
Puree the cranberry mixture in a food processor or blender until it has small chunks of cranberry left in it.
Add one cup of the cranberry puree to the stuffing and mix well.
Combine 1/2 cup of the cranberry puree, the marmalade, 1/2 cup of water, honey and the remaining ground pepper in a small sauce pan.
Bring the cranberry mixture to a gentle boil and reduce by 1/4 to create a glaze.
Remove the glaze from the heat and set aside to cool.
Gently cut a horizontal pocket in the center of each chop (all the way to the bone). You do not want to slice the chop -- just create a pocket.
Season each chop moderately inside and out with the ground herb and seasoning mixture, and let marinate 20-30 minutes.
Prepare your grill for two-zone cooking (direct and indirect) at medium-high heat (about 350º).
Gently stuff the pocket of each chop with the stuffing mixture. Compress the stuffing until the pocket is almost full (about 1/2 cup each).
Quickly grill each side of the chops over direct heat until they are seared and have grill marks.
Move the chops to the indirect part of the grill and cook until the center of the stuffing reaches 140º.
Remove the chops from the grill, drizzle with the glaze and let them rest for five minutes.
Drizzle each chop again with the glaze, serve with the remaining cranberry puree on the side and enjoy.