Portafoglio di Maiale con Fegato di Vitello

Pork Chops Stuffed With Calf’s Liver

I would be unable to say, in this recipe, which profits more from being cooked next to the other, the pork or the calf’s liver. The liver, enclosed within the chop, cooks to that perfect degree of tenderness and sweetness that sometimes eludes us in other preparations. And the pork acquires unexpected delicacy and succulence.

The lovely taste is matched by an equally lovely appearance when, in cutting into the pork, you find the liver, a moist, pink center for the chop. The chops are made ready for stuffing by the same method used on the veal chops, a not difficult procedure described again here. Should you find it daunting, however, ask your butcher to do it for you.

Ingredients

  • 4 pork rib chops cut from the loin, bone in but without the tenderloin eye, about 1 inch thick
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • ½ pound calf’s liver, sliced very thin
  • 4 fresh bay leaves, or 2 dried leaves
  • Toothpicks, preferably round
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • tablespoons vegetable oil
  • cup flour, spread on a platter
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method

  1. Cut the meat of the chops in half lengthwise, as though they were to be butterflied, but do not detach from the bone. Make sure to cut all the way to the bone and remove any skin attached to the meat.
  2. Pound each half of the chop separately with a meat pounder, using one hand to lift the other half and hold the chop. Pound from the bone, sliding the pounder outward, toward and past the edge of the meat.
  3. When both halves of each chop have been flattened, sprinkle the inner sides with salt and grindings of pepper. Trim the liver slices to fit the chops and place 1 slice inside the chop together with a whole bay leaf.
  4. Stitch the open end of each chop shut with 3 or 4 round toothpicks.
  5. Choose a lidded sauté pan that can accommodate all the chops lying flat, without overlapping. (If you have no such pan, you will have to cook the chops in separate batches.) Put in 3 tablespoons of the butter and the vegetable oil and turn on the heat to medium high.
  6. When the butter foam begins to subside, dredge the chops lightly in flour on both sides and put them in the pan.
  7. Cook over medium-high heat until the bottom side of the chops becomes colored a light brown, then turn them and continue cooking until the other side is also light brown. At that point, turn the heat down to medium low and cover the pan. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes longer. The liver inside the chops should become no darker than a faded pink.
  8. Uncover, add the lemon juice, and raise the heat to high. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen all cooking residues.
  9. Transfer the chops to a warm serving platter, remove the toothpicks and the bay leaves, pour over the meat all the juices from the pan, and serve immediately.

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