Since they're both pork products, country sausage is an ideal stuffing for pork chops. Use plain country sausage right out of the package as your stuffing or mix in other ingredients, such as bread stuffing and vegetables, to enhance the flavor profile. Choose thick-cut pork chops since you can easily spread and fill them with your stuffing. Oven-bake your stuffed pork chops to provide even cooking without the risk of flipping the chops and losing the stuffing.
Crumble the sausage in a skillet and cook it about halfway through. Add your choice of vegetables and seasonings, such as onions, peppers, celery, salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the vegetables are translucent and the sausage is completely browned. Drain the fat from the pan. If you want to add bread stuffing, stir the bread into the sausage mixture, along with a bit of liquid such as juice or broth, after removing the pan from the burner. You'll need just enough liquid to absorb into the bread pieces.
Slice a 1-inch thick or thicker pork chop crosswise, cutting to about 1/2 inch from the opposite side to leave a hinge so you can open and close it. Spread open the pork chop and press down lightly on the meat "hinge" to keep it open.
Spread about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the sausage mixture over the opened pork chop; the amount needed depends on the size of the pork chops. The pork chops should be well-stuffed, but you must be able to close them.
Fold the pork chops closed over the sausage stuffing. Tie them with butcher's twine or insert toothpicks to hold them closed.
Place the pork chops in a baking dish, leaving a small space between each piece. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Bake the pork chops covered for about 45 minutes in oven preheated to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the aluminum foil and top the chops with your choice of sauce, if desired. Return the uncovered pan to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes more or until the internal temperature of the pork chops and stuffing reaches at least 145 F. Baking time varies, depending on the thickness of the pork chops and amount of stuffing, so insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the stuffed chops to determine when they are done.
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images