Homemade Andouille-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Double-Cut Chops
- HAM HOCK GRAVY:
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound Homemade Andouille (see recipe) (or other spicy smoked sausage, removed from casings and finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 2 cups crumbled corn bread
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 double-cut bone-in loin pork chops - (14 to 16 oz ea)
- 1 tablespoon Essence (see Bayou Blast recipe)
- 16 slices bacon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 medium ham hocks - (abt 1 1/2 lbs)
- 6 cups veal stock (or rich beef stock)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the Andouille and cook, stirring, until brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the corn bread and chicken stock and cook, stirring, until the corn bread is soft, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and mix in the parsley. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, with a thin sharp knife, cut a slit into the side of the pork chops about 2 1/2-inches across and 1-inch deep. Season the chops on both sides with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the Essence. Then stuff each chop with about 1/2 cup of the cooled corn bread stuffing. (The chops will be very full.)
Wrap 4 slices of bacon around each chop, making sure that each end of bacon overlaps the next, so that the chop is completely wrapped. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a very large heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully lay the chops in the pan. Cook until the bacon is crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Transfer the chops to a platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm and serve with Ham Hock Gravy.
For the Ham Hock Gravy: In a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery, and cook, stirring, until they begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, stir well to combine, and cook until it begins to brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the red wine and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and loosen any bits clinging to the bottom. Add the ham hocks and veal stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half, 2 hours and 45 minutes. Remove from the heat. Remove the ham hocks and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, whisking constantly, until smooth and starting to thicken, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon until the roux has a nutty aroma and becomes a light peanut butter color, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
Whisk the cooled roux into the hot gravy and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened. Cover to keep warm.
Remove the fat and skin from the ham hocks and discard. Remove the meat from the bone and finely chop. Return the meat to the gravy, add salt and pepper to taste, and keep covered until ready to serve with the stuffed pork chops. (Makes 2 cups)
This recipe yields 4 servings.