6 slices bacon
3 ounces sharp provolone cheese, shredded
4 (1 1/4-inch thick) boneless center cut pork chops, about 2 pounds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup apricot preserves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet pan.
- Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, turning once, about 6-7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel, reserving the bacon fat in the skillet. Drain and crumble the bacon; toss with the cheese.
- Cut a horizontal slit, about 1 1/2-2 inches long, almost all the way through the chop to form a pocket. Season the chop inside and out with the salt. Fill the pockets with the bacon-cheese mixture and secure each pocket closed with a toothpick.
- Heat the skillet with the bacon fat over medium. Add the chops and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the baking sheet pan and bake until the chops are cooked through, 12-14 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour off all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet. Heat over medium and add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 1-2 minutes. Pour in the vinegar and cook, stirring, until nearly evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add the preserves and cook, stirring, until hot and well combined, 1 minute. To serve, remove the toothpicks from the chops and dress with the sauce.