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Friday, November 11, 2005 

Stuffing pork chops in no time

By James P. DeWan, Special to the Chicago Tribune.

DeWan is an instructor at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago

The basic steps in preparing a pork chop for stuffing:

1. Set the chop on your board with the bone away from you and steady it with your guide hand. Hold a paring knife or small boning knife horizontally with the spine toward the bone and the tip pointing into the meat. Make sure the blade is equidistant from the top and bottom of the chop. An even thickness on both sides promotes even cooking.

2. Before you begin, lay the blade on top of the chop to map out your plan. You'll puncture the meat and insert the blade with the spine against or close to the bone. Go straight in as far as you can without emerging from the other side. Don't let the tip tear a hole in the meat. (When you do make that mistake, don't worry. Use slightly less stuffing to prevent leakage, and then put the chop on the plate with the torn side down.)

3. With the blade inside the chop and the spine facing the bone, pivot the knife from the entry hole and cut through the center of the chop to the opposite side. Keep your guide hand on the meat to feel the motion and location of the knife underneath. Try not to enlarge the entry hole, and don't let the knife tip poke through the meat.

As you slice through the interior of the chop, bring the knife tip to within about a half-inch of the edge of the chop. Remember, the goal is to create a large, sturdy pocket with a small opening.

4. When you think you've got a nice pocket, remove the knife. Take one finger and insert it into the pocket to check your handiwork.

5. To stuff, give the chop a gentle squeeze around its waist to open the hole a bit. Use your fingers to push the stuffing inside
More tips, including a great stuffing recipe can be found at the full article.