Maple Glazed Pork Chop with Apple Pancetta Stuffing

Serves 6


For Stuffing:

1 fennel bulb, cubed

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

3/4 cups raw macadamia nuts, halved

1 1/2 cups thick pancetta, diced

4 cups granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cubed

8 cups ciabatta bread, cut into 1" cubes

1 large onion, diced

1 cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons sage, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons thyme, roughly chopped 

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Toss squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and scatter on a baking sheet and roast; toss occasionally for about 45 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, set aside. On the same sheet scatter macadamia nuts and toast for about 8 minutes, set aside. Bake bread cubes until dry and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and set aside on paper towels. Reserve grease in pan. In the same pan add onions, fennel, season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 10-15 minutes until softened. Add to the bowl with reserved squash. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet, add apples, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes, then transfer to the same bowl. Toss pancetta, nuts and bread with the onions, fennel and squash. Melt remaining butter in the skillet, adding sage and thyme, sauté for 1-2 minutes, add to stuffing mixture, tossing to coat. Mix in chicken broth. Spread stuffing on baking sheet, bake for 1 hour at 350°F.


For Pork Chops:

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

1 cup apple cider

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

6 (3/4 to 1 inch thick) bone-in center-cut pork chops


Preheat oven 400°F. 

Toast fennel seeds in a large skillet over medium heat, about 1-2 minutes. Grind seeds with a mortar and pestle. Add salt and pepper to mix. Dry any excess liquid from pork chop with a paper towel. Coat chop with dry rub and set aside. 

In a saucepan simmer cider and maple syrup over medium heat, reduce until liquid thickens, about 10-15 minutes. Add butter.

In the oven, bake pork chops on a baking sheet, rotate after 4 minutes. Remove from oven and brush both sides of pork chops with the glaze; return to oven for another 20 minutes or until no longer pink in the center. Drizzle with remaining glaze.