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Iowa Chop with Apricot Pecan Stuffing

Stuffing Mixture:
8 oz Dried apricots
1/3 c Brandy
2/3 c Hot water
1/2 c Onion, minced
1/2 lb Unsalted butter
12 oz Broken pecans (not chopped)
1 tb Fennel seed
1 ts White pepper
1 ts Nutmeg
2 oz Dried currants
1 tb Grated orange peel
1/4 c Apricot jam
5-6 whole eggs
1/2 ts Salt
1 lb Packaged seasoned bread stuffing crumbs

Pork:
12 6-8oz Iowa Chops
3 to 4 tb vegetable oil

Optional Flambe:
1 c Brandy

Soak apricots in brandy and water for 1/2 hour. Drain, reserving liquid, and chop apricots finely. Place together in a large bowl.

Saute onions in butter until tender. Add to apricots and reserved liquid; set aside to cool slightly.

Add remaining stuffing ingredients (except the bread stuffing crumbs) in order given. Mix well to break up the eggs.

Add bread crumbs and mix well. Refrigerate stuffing while preparing pork.

Make a pocket in the meat by slicing horizontally toward the bone halfway up the thickness of the chop. Stuff each chop with about 1/3 cup of the prepared stuffing, then sear both sides of the chop in a skillet with the vegetable oil in it. Arrange the chops in a baking pan, cover, and bake for 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. (when pork tests 160 internally, it is done)

There will be about 2 quarts of stuffing left, which should be served as a side dish. Place it in a greased baking dish and bake uncovered in the oven with the pork.

Heat brandy in a small saucepan until hot but not boiling. Pour hot brandy into the hot baking pan with the meat, then touch with a lighted match. The brandy will flame up, and at this point you can carry the meat dish to the table and place it on a heavy trivet. The flames will subsidde after a minute or so, but the baking dish will be too hot to pass, so the chops must be served by the host or hostess.




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