Posted by: winebec | March 2, 2010

Recipe: Manchego-Stuffed Pork Chop w/Roasted Red Pepper & Pepita Sauce

I am sooo obsessed with CHEESE, especially MANCHEGO!  I eat it allll the time.  I’ve researched it (it’s from La Mancha in Spain; it’s a sheep’s milk cheese; available fresh/aged 3-6 months/or aged for 1 year).  I know that Whole Foods’ manchego tastes the best , Trader Joe’s manchego is super cheap, and Safeway’s manchego is ridiculously expensive.  I’ve been lookin for a recipe that uses manchego, but there aren’t many out there.  Hence, I was delighted when my little sister forwarded me this recipe from elly says opa.  The sauce is unique –  nutty, fresh, and with a smooth roasted pepper flavor…the manchego is subtle, but with a creamy, slightly salty meltiness.  Yummmy.  I made it with a toasted corn salad and sauteed spinach.  However, the corn cakes on elly says opa look absolutely scrumptious (and easy!).  I’d serve this with a tempranillo wine, which goes well with the manchego’s salty, chewy farmhouse flavors…and gives a little zip to the sauce.

What you need:

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pork chops (I used bone-out because I am lazy)
  • Sliced manchego cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. pepitas (these are seeds! you can get them at Trader Joe’s!)
  • 1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers (these are only $1.99 at Trader Joe’s!)
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350.

Using a paring or utility knife, slice pockets into your pork chops, or nearly butterfly them.

Stuff the chops with thin slices of manchego (about 1/2 oz. for each chop).  Season the pork chops with kosher salt and fresh pepper.

Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet or saute pan over medium heat and then add 2 tsp. of the oil.  Once hot, add the pork chops and brown on each side, about 1-2 minutes (don’t cook them through). Move the pan to the oven and allow the pork chops to finish cooking (8-15 minutes, depending on thickness and whether chops are boned).

Meanwhile, make the roasted red pepper sauce.  Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the pepitas.  Do not be alarmed by the cute popping sound that they’ll make.

Toss a couple of times and let them heat until fragrant and they start to turn golden brown.  Combine the pepitas, roasted red peppers, vinegar, remaining 1 tsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a mini food processor and process  until smooth.  Serve the red pepper sauce over the pork chops.


  1. HAHAH never heard of such a thing as “cute popping sound.” Do you have any leftovers to share???

  2. Haha, I gave Ev a bag of pepitas for her to make the recipe too! Give her a heads up that leftovers are mandatory.

  3. Ok, so I made this last night and it was a major success! Perfect after-work meal because it takes no time at all, and clean up is easy. Plus you get to snack on manchego while you cook!

    I roasted some asparagus while making the pork. Then when I took the pork out of the oven to ‘rest,’ I put the sauce in the same pan, added some red pepper flakes (yum spicy!) and heated the sauce through. No muss, no fuss.

    It also made a lot of extra sauce, which worked great on top of the roasted asparagus too :)

    Thanks for sharing the recipe (and the pepitas!).

    PS – Kayleigh, you didn’t tell me you wanted leftovers!

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