Thursday, January 15, 2009

More Fun with My Good Friend Jack

I'm on a roll with that bottle of bourbon. This time I decided it was time to try it on pork.

I like experimenting with brining meats and thought it would be fun to give some pork chops a brine. I'm not sure where I first heard of the concept, but I knew that there were cooks out there who used coffee in their brines. I had tried tea brines with chicken so I was ripe to try one with coffee. After looking over a few recipes, I came up with my own coffee brine. I mixed coffee, water, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves.

If you're going to use pork chops, go big. If you're going to eat pork, eat pork. Buy yourself some big hunks of pork love.

Next came the bourbon part. I made these very much the way I did the chicken with a bourbon glaze. I made my glaze a little differently this time. I mixed bourbon with molasses rather than brown sugar and added some mustard. I kept it all pretty simple. I didn't want to overwhelm with too many flavors.

I seared the chops in a pan and covered them with that lovely sauce right before putting them in the oven.

As with the chicken, they were good, but not quite what I had hoped. With the chicken I thought they were too sweet and not spicy enough, so I know if I make the recipe again, I would add less sugar to the glaze. With this one, I'm not sure what I would add or take away. They were wonderfully melt-in-your-mouth tender, just as I had hoped they would be. The coffee in the brine was evident in the smell while they were cooking, but not so much in the taste. At times they seemed very salty and other times too sweet. A little more mustard would have improved them, but maybe not.

Coffee-Brined Bourbon-Glazed Pork Chops

4 big, thick pork chops
1 cup cold coffee (instant is fine, really)
3 cups water
1/4 cup salt
1 Tbl peppercorns
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 molasses
2 Tbl dijon mustard

Combine coffe, water, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves and submerge chops in the mixture. Allow to sit in the brine for several hours. Rinse chops well and pat dry with paper towels. Heat oven to 400 degrees

Combine bourbon, molasses and mustard and set aside. Heat a little oil in a pan and brown chops well on both sides. Pour glaze mixture of chops and let them get nice nad coated. Place in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes or until internal temperature is around 160. Serve topped with the pan juices.


StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Those are some beautiful pork chops! I've never cooked with bourbon, but it sounds like it would be really good.

Emily said...

Mmm, this sounds very flavorful! Those are some biiiig pork chops.

noble pig said...

I love my porky love...YUM! Very, very nice!

Bellini Valli said...

Sounds like a winning combination to me:D

Peter M said...

Amen pork right by it...the fat is tasty.

This bourbon/coffee combo...hello!

we are never full said...

very nice recipe. those chops look great. do you prefer them bone-in or bone-off?

The Duo Dishes said...

The booze is back. This time with coffee! They look glazily delicious.

The Blonde Duck said...

I like this kick you're on! This looks great!

Dee said...

This is very interesting. I love pork, I love coffee and I'm a lush :) Do you think I should up the mustard then?

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

SGCC - Definitely try adding bourbon in your recipes where you might add wine or brandy. It's a whole new flavor sensation that stands up well to other strong flavors.

Emily, Cathy, Peter - Let's hear it for the pork love! You can never be too big when it comes to pork. (Does that sound slightly obscene? GOOD!)

Val - Thanks.

WANF - I've always found I gravitate to bone in. They seem to have more flavor and more...of...some undefinable quality. The only disadvantage is that you have to get all of the meat left on the bone for full enjoyment and there is only one way to do that. (And I'd *cough* never do that *cough*. Nope, not me. *cough*)

Duo Dishes - Thanks.

Duckie - I think I may be taking the bourbon down a notch in the coming week (I have a new ingredient to play with), but I'm working on another dessert.

Dee - Definitely up the mustard and you might want to decrease the amount of salt in your brine. The saltiness was a bit of a problem here.

Maria said...

Jack is a good friend to have!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Look how juice they look! What a friend that Jack!