Stuffed Pork Chops with Pancetta and Fontina
If you’re wanting a recipe for pork chops extraordinaire, then this recipe for Stuffed Pork Chops with Pancetta and Fontina cheese is just what you’ve been looking for!
These stuffed chops are show stoppers, to say the least. They give the foodie “WOW factor” a totally new meaning!
I wanted to prepare something that men would drool over (and women, but just not in such large sizes)! After all, Father’s Day is just around the corner. My search was complete when I came across this recipe from the Food Network. I made only a few changes to the sauce at the end and both my husband and I were really pleased with the flavor of the sauce.
This recipe and all the compliments that you’ll receive is no easy undertaking. Just sayin’! It is not hard at all. It just takes a wee bit of time, if you know what I mean! A lot of it can be made ahead.
So here goes with the step-by-step photo instructions. I apologize for the blurriness of the photos taken with my phone camera, but I’m having issues with my camera cards. Little snags like that always remind me that nothing is perfect!
When sliced into, a delectable, savory filling awaits!
Chunks of browned pancetta, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and bound together with Fontina cheese!
Get to your butcher to special cut four (4) 2″ thick bone-in pork chops.
Each of these babies weighs in at about a pound each. Very, very heavy!
With a very sharp knife, starting at the side without the bone, carefully cut into each chop from side to side.
Don’t cut ALL THE WAY THROUGH to the bone, making a pocket into which you will place the stuffing.
Set the chops to the side and make the marinade, this is super easy!
Get a HUGE, and I do mean SUPER HUGE hefty plastic freezer bag with a ziploc.
Pour the marinade into the plastic bag.
Place all of the pork chops in the marinade, making sure that they are evenly covered.
Refrigerate for 1-½ to 2 hours and let the juicy marinade do its thing!
Chop up the pancetta into ¼” pieces.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter on medium to medium-high.
Do not burn the olive oil or butter.
When they are good and hot, saute’ the pancetta for approximately 5 minutes until nicely reddish-brown and crispy.
With a strainer or slotted spoon, remove the pancetta from the oil-butter mixture and set it aside to cool.
Do not throw away the oil-butter mixture. This is needed to fry the stuffed chops in just a few minutes.
It’s full of the pancetta flavor!
Chop the green onions (scallions).
With a slightly damp, clean cloth, dust off the fresh mushrooms.
Slice the mushrooms very THIN!
In the same butter and olive oil used to saute’ the pancetta, place the mushrooms and onions in the pan.
Saute’ these for about 3 minutes if on a high-temperature burner.
Or saute’ for 5 minutes on a medium heat burner.
Mince the fresh sage leaves.
Return the pancetta to the pan of mushrooms and onion.
Add the minced sage.
Saute’ for another 3 – 4 minutes.
When beautifully golden brown,
with a slotted spoon or a strainer, remove everything from the oil/butter mixture,
and set aside to cool.
Leave the oil-butter in the pan and don’t throw it away.
Grate the fontina cheese.
Do not add to the mushroom/pancetta mixture yet,
which needs to cool completely first.
While the mushroom/pancetta mixture is cooling,
remove the marinated chops
and pat them dry just a little bit.
Strain the mushroom and pancetta mixture from the oil-butter.
Do not throw away the oil-butter.
Now add the fontina cheese to the mushrooms/pancetta mixture.
The next step is a bit messy (don’t say that I didn’t warn you)
Simply stuff each of the pork chop pockets with the delicious pancetta/mushroom/fontina cheese stuffing!
With metal skewers or long bamboo sticks, thread through the opening of the chops to secure everything inside.
Once you have the stuffed pork chops snugly shut with your skewers, it’s time to bread them!
Place the eggs in one pan to first dip the stuffed pork chops in.
In a second pan, have the dry breading ingredients ready to coat the egg-covered chops,
covering all sides of the stuffed pork chops as best as you can.
In the pan with the same oil-butter used to saute the stuffing,
place each of the stuffed pork chops in and fry until golden–brown on each side.
Use a medium-high heat on the burner, you don’t want to burn the oil-butter.
Check to see if the chop is golden brown and flip it over carefully with tongs to fry the other side.
I could only get one chop at a time in my frying pan (I told you that they were HUGE! Seriously HUGE!)
But if you have a bigger frying pan, then you can fry more than one at a time.
Once again, do NOT throw away the oil-butter.
You need it to make the sauce.
After frying the stuffed pork chops, place them on a baking sheet with a wire rack.
Gorgeous aren’t they?
Your kitchen should be smelling pretty nice by now!
Place the stuffed and fried chops in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
While they are baking, prepare the sauce!
Heat up the oil-butter that has been patiently waiting in the frying pan.
Pour in the chicken stock, scraping up the delicious bits that may be on the bottom of the pan.
Add the dijon mustard and stir it in well.
Blend in the sour cream.
Mix in the heavy cream.
Taste for whatever you believe the sauce needs according to your taste preferences.
I didn’t add one pinch of salt to this entire recipe because the pancetta has plenty of saltiness.
Does it need more black pepper?
Whatever you prefer, now is the time to add it.
Simmer on a very, very low burner until the chops are done in the oven!
Before serving, chop up some bright green, fresh Italian parsley (stems removed)
to garnish the stuffed pork chops and sauce and give it some nice color!
ENJOY this AMAZING recipe!
Recommended Products For Your Kitchen and to Prepare This Recipe:
My absolute best PORK recipes that you would enjoy:
PIN RECIPE FOR LATER!
If you're wanting a recipe for pork chops extraordinaire, then this recipe for Stuffed Pork Chops with Pancetta and Fontina cheese is just what you've been looking for! These stuffed chops are show stoppers, to say the least. They give the foodie "WOW factor" a totally new meaning! This recipe is not hard at all. It just takes a wee bit of time, if you know what I mean! A lot of it can be made ahead. All of the compliments that you'll receive are worth it!
- 4 double-cut, bone-in pork chops, cut 2″ thick
- 5 cups of water
- 2 Tbsp. freshly cracked sea salt OR kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. dried sage, minced, not ground
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup pancetta, cut into 1/4″ cubes
- 1/4 cup minced green onions (scallions)
- 6 cups button or crimini mushrooms, sliced extremely thin
- 1 Tbsp. freshly-minced sage
- 1 cup grated Fontina cheese
- 4 jumbo eggs
- 1 cup Panko or bread crumbs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp. freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup green onions (shallots)
- 1–1/2 cups chicken stock (freshly-made is always the best, but store-bought works as well)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. sour cream
- Freshly chopped Italian parsley
- Rinse and pat the chops dry, slit a pocket into each chop about 3 to 4 inches long and as deep as the bone.
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a re-sealable bag, place in the refrigerator and marinade for 1 to 2 hours.
- In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and butter.
- When the butter melts and foams, add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pan.
- Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently for 6 minutes.
- Add the shallots, sage and pancetta and cook for 3 minutes more.
- Remove to a plate to cool, spreading out evenly.
- Save olive-oil butter mixture to fry the stuffed pork chops in.
- Once cool, add the fontina cheese.
Stuff the Pork Chops
- Remove the pork chops from the marinade after the marinating period. Pat dry just a little bit.
- Stuff each pork chop with the cooled filling inside the cut pockets.
- Close and secure the opening with skewers or toothpicks.
- Reserve any remaining stuffing to use in the final sauce.
Bread the Pork Chops
- In a shallow pan or bowl, mix together the Italian seasoning, pepper, panko and flour.
- In a second pan or bowl, add the eggs and beat.
- Dredge the chops through the egg, then lay in the breading and press to adhere. Repeat with all the chops.
Fry and Bake the Pork Chops
- In the same large frying pan used before for the stuffing, reheat the oil and butter and when shimmering, add the pork chops, cooking until golden brown, about 5 minutes each side.
- Hold gently with tongs and cook the edges as well.
- Place on a baking pan with a wire rack.
- Bake in 350 degree F oven until the meat registers 135 degrees F on a thermometer or 20 minutes.
- (Prepare the sauce while the pork chops are baking — see next step).
- Remove from the oven and lightly tent with foil.
Prepare the Sauce
- While the pork chops are baking in the oven, prepare the sauce.
- In the same pan that the stuffed pork chops were fried in, add the remaining green onions (shallots), any remaining pancetta/mushroom/fontina stuffing, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, scraping any brown bits from the bottom.
- Whisk in the mustard, sour cream, and heavy cream.
Serving the Pork Chops
- Remove the stuffed pork chops from the baking pan and foil tent.
- Remove the toothpicks/skewers and place them on a serving platter.
- Ladle the sauce over the stuffed pork chops.
- Garnish with the minced Italian parsley and any remaining pancetta.
- Serve immediately
Adapted from Guy Fieri’s recipe. I substituted sour cream for the yogurt in the sauce, as well as added heavy cream to the sauce. I deleted the lemon juice because the Dijon mustard had enough tang and acidity that the lemon juice was overkill for our tastebuds.
I doubled the amount of eggs, flour, and panko/breadcrumbs due to the huge size of the stuffed pork chops.
I doubled the amount of pancetta and Fontina cheese — way better!