Not to discount other professions--because we all have craptastic elements to our jobs--but if you've ever spent any time in a classroom teaching, you understand the overwhelming need for a shot of whiskey after a crappy day.
I made whiskey-glazed carrots for Thanksgiving and still had half a bottle of whiskey sitting around. I wanted to use it up but I was almost at a loss for what to do with it. I found a recipe for wihskey-glazed pork chops in an old issue of Cook's Country that ended up in my kitchen (seriously, I don't know how it got to me. Anyone?) and I thought it sounded okay, but I modified it quite a bit, from cook time to measurements. It came out really well, and we polished off that whiskey! ;-)
Oh, by the way, my husband is now convinced that when I'm pregnant I'll have to add a year's worth of recipes to my arsenal because lately everything I've made has had copious amounts of alcohol in it. He's convinced I won't be able to eat anything I make due to a high alcohol content. Oh Graham...you kill me! :-)
Whiskey-Glazed Pork Chops
1/2 c. Jack Daniel's whiskey
1/2 c. apple cider
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/8 tps. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tsp. cider vinegar, divided
4 bone-in center cut pork loin chops
2 T. vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 T. unsalted butter
In a medium bowl, whisk together whiskey, cider, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, vanilla, and 2 tsp. vinegar. Transfer a 1/4 c. mixture into a large ziploc bag. Add pork chops, squeeze out air, and seal. Turn bag a number of times to coat pork chops with mixture. Place in fridge and let marinate at least one hour. Reserve remaining whiskey-cider mixture for cooking.
When chops are done marinating, remove from bag and discard used marinade. Season pork chops with salt and pepper to taste. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pan must be hot. Brown pork chops on both sides until well-browned, 4-5 minutes per side. Move pork chops to a plate and cover tightly with foil to keep cooking.
Remove pan from heat. Add reserved whiskey-cider mixture to skillet and bring to a boil. Be sure to deglaze the pan and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom! Cook mixture until it reduces and becomes thick, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Add any accumulated juices from pork chops to the mixture and add remaining 2 tsp. vinegar. Mix in butter.
Bring mixture to a healthy simmer for 3-4 minutes. Return pork chops to pan. Turn chops occasionally to coat both sides with glaze for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve warm.
- I upped the amount of brown sugar by quite a bit, but I like the glaze to get nice and thick and sticky. It may, however, be too sweet for some. Keep some salt handy to offset the glaze if it's too sweet!
- Keep taste testing the glaze as you go so it's not too sweet.
- My pork chops sat in the fridge all day marinating. Mmmmm....
- Apple juice would be an acceptable sub for cider (sweet, sweet cider), but reduce the amount of brown sugar in the glaze.
- The vanilla works wonders in this recipe. It really brings some brightness to the glaze.
- I suppose you could use a good old fashioned bourbon here, but it would change the texture and flavor of the glaze a little, and it might be too sweet or just not sweet enough.