A stuffed pork chop with sausage or any number of different spice-infused stuffing mixtures is a Cajun recipe that has grown in popularity. Back in the 1970s and 80s the Veron family opened a market in Lafayette that catered to local tastes with an emphasis on specialty meats. Fresh sausage was a specialty. And what they did with that sausage put them on the Cajun cooking map and established the name Veron on the short list of cultural icons.
Their sausage-stuffed pork chop was and still is, at the top of their product offerings. Whether they invented this Cajun recipe for stuffed pork chop is debatable, but there is no argument about its quality. Taking a bone-in, double-cut pork chop sliced open to expose a deep pocket and filling it with a spicy sausage-based stuffing is pure genius.
Over the years, the stuffed pork chop is seen all over Acadiana with various interpretations. The best I’ve found are sourced at the small butcher shops or rural grocery markets that have a loyal following of stuffed pork chop aficionados. Little Verons in Lafayette continues the legacy of the heralded family that made this Cajun recipe famous.
With six butchers with over 70 years of combined experience, Little Verons can cut or grind most anything you can think up. Cathy and Ricky Veron were raised in the grocery business and opened the small, but full-service grocery in 2003. You can’t beat the meat and deli counter with a wide selection of seasoned and stuffed meats and sausages. And you can’t beat the in-and-out convenience of this little residential neighborhood market.
If you live anywhere near Little Verons or traveling through Lafayette, I urge you to stop by and load up. If not, I have a Cajun recipe that celebrates the Veron family legacy with a uniquely different take on the iconic dish. My Fig-Glazed Double-Cut Pork Chops Stuffed with Andouille Rice takes a slight Creole direction with a tomato-accented rice stuffing spiced up with smoked andouille sausage.
- 4 (1 ¾-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 cups beer
- 1 cup table salt
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease, divided
- 1 cup diced yellow onions
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 3 cups cooked long-grain Louisiana white rice, such as Supreme
- 1 ½ cups chopped andouille sausage
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- Dash of hot sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup green onion tops
- 1 cup chicken stock, if needed
- 1 cup fig preserves with whole figs
- Thyme sprigs for garnish
- Rinse the pork chops and trim any excess fat. In a lidded container, add the cider, beer, and salt. Stir to incorporate. Add the pork chops, seal the container and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper and sauté until the onions turn translucent. Add the garlic and thyme along with the diced tomatoes. Stir to combine and add the rice and sausage to the vegetable mixture. Season with cayenne, white pepper, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper. Add the diced green onion tops and stir to combine. Gradually, add the chicken stock as needed until the mixture comes together into a moist stuffing consistency. (Note: The rice mixture should be moist but hold its shape like a good stuffing.)
- Remove the pork chops from the brining liquid and pat dry. In a heavy cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the remaining bacon grease. Once the grease is smoking, add the pork chop and quickly brown on both sides. Remove and let cool.
- With a sharp knife, cut a pocket in the center of each pork chop slicing all the way to the bone. Stand the chops bone-side down and open the pocket with your fingers. Sprinkle the pork chops lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon in the andouille rice stuffing to fill the pocket and place on a foil-lined baking tray. Repeat with all chops and place any remaining rice stuffing on the tray with the chops.
- Brush the sides and top edges of the pork chops with fig preserves.
- Place the baking tray into the oven and bake until the pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145ºF, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- For serving, place each pork chop on a serving plate along with any excess stuffing mixture and garnish with a few whole figs and a sprig of thyme. Serve with a side vegetable and hot French bread.
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