P is for…

Portugal. Pork chops. Pomegranates. Portobellos. Parsley. How’s that for a lot of P’s? Who knew dinner could be both delicious and educational! Well, maybe just delicious. Miss A wasn’t really into helping with this one; although she and Mr. N kept passing through the kitchen stealing pomegranate seeds. (But who could blame them! Yum!)

This past weekend we made another Portuguese dinner, Stuffed Pork Chops with Pomegranate Sauce. We chose this recipe not only because it sounded delicious, but because it featured pomegranates, a fruit we had never used or eaten at home. We started by preparing the stuffing for the chops with portobellos, a shallot, parsley, garlic, olive oil, bread crumbs and Gruyère cheese. 

First we heated the oil in a large skillet and then tossed in the shallot and sautéed it for a few minutes. Then we tossed in the portobellos, the garlic and seasoned with sea salt.

When all the liquid from the mushrooms was absorbed we added the bread crumbs and parsley.

Finally we tossed in the Gruyère, added the stuffing to a bowl, seasoned it with ground pepper and set it aside to cool.

Next we prepped our pork chops. We selected boneless chops that were about 3/4-inch in thickness.

After trimming the fat from the sides, we used a sharp knife to make cuts into the short-end of the chop and wiggle it all the way in to form a pocket. We then stuffed the pockets with the portobello stuffing we had set aside.

We sealed the chops with toothpicks and melted a few tablespoons of butter in the same skillet we used for the stuffing. Then we browned the pork chops on both sides.

When the chops were good and brown, we moved them to an ovenproof dish and tossed them in the oven to bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes. While the chops were baking we prepared the pomegranate sauce. The kids popped in to roll the pomegranates to help bring out some of the juices. They thought that looked like fun – and it was until Miss A got a little wild and chucked one onto the floor, splitting it in half. That was a nice little juicy mess, but fortunately it stayed pretty well in tact and we were able to salvage the seeds.

We then seeded and juiced the pomegranates. We followed a great tutorial over at Tori’s blog, The Shiksa in the Kitchen, and then gathered the rest of our ingredients for the sauce – sugar and white wine.

To prepare the sauce, we added the wine to the same skillet we had used and let it boil until it was reduced by a third. We then added the pomegranate juice and sugar, again letting it cook down by a third. Next we turned off the heat and set the sauce aside until the chops were done. When the chops were cooked through we removed them from the oven and placed them on a serving dish.

We then added the juice from the oven dish to the pomegranate sauce and brought the sauce back up to a low boil over medium heat. Finally we whisked in a bit of cornstarch and water until the sauce thickened.

It was then time to serve the pork which is best sliced crosswise and topped with pomegranate sauce. Doesn’t that look good?!

We served our pork chops with wild rice and fresh spinach.

And boy was it good! It was a very satisfying meal, full of a variety of flavor with the tangy pomegranate sauce complementing the salty mushroom stuffing.

The Portuguese chops were a hit in one way or another all around. Mike and I both gave the chops a solid 3 spoons. This is easily a meal we’ll make again. Mr. N also gave them 3 spoons. He liked the pork chops (with the meat cut away from the stuffing) with the pomegranate sauce. We couldn’t hide the mushrooms from him in this one, so the stuffing didn’t go over real well. Miss A also had parts of the meal she really enjoyed. She gave the pomegranate sauce 5 spoons plus 15, in other words, 4 spoons. She gave the pork 2 spoons. She thought it was ok. Then she gave the bites of pork with stuffing 1 spoon, because she “hated” it. But hey, the kids ate the majority of the meal, so we’ll take it!

Later this week we’ll have some fun holiday desserts and then we’ll return next week to wrap up our stint with Portuguese cooking. In the meantime, make sure to stop by and leave a comment on our Whole Grain Banana Bread post for a chance to win a lovely little prize.

Print this recipe: Portuguese Stuffed Pork with Pomegranate Sauce

51 thoughts on “P is for…

  1. Laura says:

    Wow, this looks and sounds amazing! Your pictures are wonderful! You have really nice natural light. Now that winter’s coming, it’s been hard for me to get good natural light. Have you had trouble with that?


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Laura! That means a lot coming from you! Your pictures are always so amazing. 🙂 The natural light…yes that’s definitely an issue. We tend to do more of our cooking on the weekends during the day.


      • Laura says:

        What lens are you using? I use the standard 18-55 lens that came with my camera… But my widest aperture setting is f5.6. It looks like you are getting a lot better depth of field than I do because more of the background in your pictures is blurred and I really like that effect. I’m thinking I need a better lens. Maybe for Christmas… 🙂


        • Kristy says:

          I’m using the 50mm prime lens right now. The widest aperture is f1.8. I’m LOVING it. It’s not terribly expensive either and it’s also been great for portraits of the kids. 🙂 I want to get another lens for Christmas too that will do some macro shots.


  2. Lisa says:

    This is a gorgeous meal. Miss A is so darn cute! I love the cute little things kids say. That sauce has an amazing color, it looks so good. I am book marking this recipe, can’t wait to try it.


  3. Aimee@clevermuffin says:

    I’m so glad to see this post – we often eat pork chops in my house and stuffing them would be so much more interesting! This is definitely on the menu next week.

    I have to say as well, you’re kids are going to have a great food vocabulary growing up!


  4. Caroline says:

    The sliced pork looks amazing in that photo…you did a perfect job stuffing the meat! And anything with Gruyère cheese, I’m all in. This meal sounds amazing, Kristy! I can imagine the pomegranate sauce tasting fantastic with the mushroom filling. This recipe is definitely a winner! 🙂


  5. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    I am loving all these pork chop recipes lately. They are too darn delicious. So this Stuffed Pork Chops with Pomegranate Sauce recipe will be made by me for sure. And you’re right, at least the kids ate the meal lol.


  6. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great looking dish, Kristy. You guys are so adventuresome, do you ever just make mac and cheese? I love pomegranate and unlike most things I love it’s so healthy for you. I know some people extract the seeds by cutting the fruit in half and tapping the skin side until the seeds fall out; several years ago, I saw Martha Stewart suggest extracting the seed under water, you immerse the fruit and your hands under water in a small bowl and pull out the seeds…the water shields you from any spray. It works quite well (it never fails that I wear a white T-shirt every time I do this!).


    • Kristy says:

      LOL. Yep – we make mac and cheese at least once a week. 😉 And frozen pizzas too. It seems we’re either all or nothing around here. And yep – I have a very polka-dotted t-shirt now.


  7. A_Boleyn says:

    I love pomegranates. When I was a little girl, I used to sit next to my father while he popped all the seeds out to of their white coverings and then gave me the bowl full of the crimson jewels to gobble up.

    These days I have to clean my own pomegranates and I just buy the juice in the bottles so I have to give you ‘props for all the effort you went to to extract your own juice. 🙂 The stuffed pork chops look delicious.


  8. spicegirlfla says:

    I can’t get that sauce out of my mind! Wow, so thick and beautiful in color! I have two pomegranates on my counter…and you can bet they are going to be made into sauce this week…possibly with my turkey! Now that’s a change from cranberries!!


  9. Kelly says:

    Oh my goodness, this is a seriously gorgeous recipe. That pomegranate sauce looks heavenly – rich, silky, inviting – and I like how you tossed in some extra seeds to decorate the dish; so pretty…. pomegranates are delicious but can be messy to work with (Tori does a good job demystifying). I especially liked reading about how you created the pork pockets and stuffed them – the result is incredible – would you look at those slices, already?!! 🙂 Your pictures are beautiful, Kristy.


  10. Mary says:

    Those look fantastic – I think I could eat these instead of the THanksgiving turkey! – the stuffing looks wonderful and it all looks so neat!! Lovely ingredients and happy Thanksgiving 🙂


  11. Charles says:

    “Doesn’t that look good?!”

    Hell yeah it does – great job. This has the potential of sounding like a “non-compliment”, but I mean it strictly as a compliment… the pork with the filling looks like one of these “stuffed meat things” you can get from a store. No, that’s not me saying that the meat looks processed, but because of the level of perfection you seem to have achieved with the stuffing. It looks almost too good to have been done by hand… ok, ok, I’ll shut up now!

    Really, looks wonderful – the sauce looks rich and thick and amazing – sounds like you had a great time 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      LOL! I know exactly what you mean. I had actually already finished taking pictures of the final dish and then Mike asked if I had a picture of the stuffing on the inside. He said it was a must! I guess he was right. I have to say I was impressed with how they turned out. It’s always fun to have something look “professional.” 😉


  12. ChgoJohn says:

    I’ve never cooked with pomegranates and as a kid, even though we had plenty of them, they were only served raw. These pork chops, however, and that sauce are a great place to start. Your plating looks incredible!


  13. sallybr says:

    If my Portuguese Grandma was still alive, I would have to show her this recipe…

    looks beautiful, and so healthy!

    great photos of your loyal kitchen helpers, as usual… 😉

    Happy THanksgiving to all of you!


  14. Just A Smidgen says:

    Wow, I’m speechless! And soo disappointed that I didn’t see this earlier today:( I had pork chops and no new recipe… and I had the pomegranates… Oh, well, I will def print this off for another day! All my favorite flavors are in this dish!


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