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Barbecue Secrets

Grilled Stuffed Pork Loin Chops

Aug 20, 2008

Grilled Stuffed Pork Loin Chops

I always say I like to keep it simple but sometimes a little fussing goes a long way in making a grilled meal special. I created this recipe using pork chops, but you could easily substitute a bone-in rib steak or veal chop. I love the strong Italian flavours of this dish. Serve it as a secondo after a little bowl of Fettuccini Alfredo or Linguine with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce and finish the meal with a tossed green salad.

4 pork loin centre cut chops, bone in, at least 1 ½ inches|4 cm thick

For the stuffing:
4 large artichoke hearts in olive oil, coarsely chopped (the roasted kind are best if you can get them)
½ lb|250 g full-fat mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch|1 cm cubes
3 Tbsp|45 mL grated Parmesan cheese
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp|30 mL chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
½ cup|250 g black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tsp|5 mL finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp|15 mL extra virgin olive oil
splash of balsamic reduction or regular balsamic vinegar
1 head roasted garlic

For the rub:
1 Tbsp|15 mL dried basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
granulated onion
cayenne pepper
extra virgin olive oil

To finish:
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic reduction or balsamic vinegar
1 small bunch fresh basil, stems removed

Combine the artichokes, cheeses, bell pepper, parsley, olives, lemon zest, olive oil and balsamic in a mixing bowl. Squeeze out the roasted garlic into the mixture and stir it in. 

Cut pockets in the pork chops with a sharp paring knife by making a thumb-sized cut in the side of the chops opposite the bone. With the knife touching the bone, expand the size of the pocket without increasing the size of the entry hole, making sure not to cut through to the outside of the chop. Divide the stuffing mixture into four equal portions and stuff it into the chops. If you’re worried the stuffing is going to come out, you can use a sharp toothpick to sort of sew the opening up.

Season the chops with sprinklings of salt, pepper, dried basil and a light dusting of cayenne. Drizzle a little olive oil just to make the chops shiny and set aside.

Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Grill the chops for 6 to 8 minutes per side or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the chop reaches 140˚F/60˚C. Remove from the grill and let rest, tented in foil, for five minutes.

While the chops are resting, gather the basil leaves into a tight ball and finely chop them into thin strips with a sharp knife. To serve, place the chops on plates, drizzle with a little oil and balsamic and garnish with a sprinkling of the shredded basil.