Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

There's bourbon in my dinner!

The first signs of autumn and cooler weather inspires us to cook dishes that warm the soul. Whiskey is a wonderful, warming spirit that crosses over well into cooking. Bourbon, more specifically, has a sweetness that brings complexity to savory recipes. One of our favorites is a pork chop with bourbon mustard sauce. In this simple yet flavorful recipe, the distinct flavor of Dijon mustard is balanced with bourbon & honey. It can be served with mashed potatoes (the sauce is fabulous on potatoes) and a vegetable and pairs well with a good glass of riesling.

What are your favorite autumn meals inspired by spirits, wine, coffee or the seasonal apple cider?

Pork Chops with Bourbon Mustard Sauce
4 boneless pork loin chops, 1-inch thick
Salt & pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil (optional)
Bourbon mustard sauce (recipe below)

Pat the chops dry with a paper towel. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over high heat. If using oil, add it to the skillet and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chops and brown on high heat for one minute. Turn the chops and brown the other side, again for only one minute. Then turn the chops again, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the chops one last time, then cover and heat on low for four minutes. This high heat technique sears in the juices and browns the outside, and the low heat cooks the chops through and keeps the juices in the pan (you'll need those for the sauce). Move the pork chops to a plate and return the skillet to the stove to prepare the sauce. Once you make the sauce, pour evenly over the chops and serve.

Bourbon Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bourbon, stirring to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet, and cook for one minute. Reduce heat to low and stir in the mustard, honey, Worcestershire sauce and pepper to taste and cook until warmed through. Remove from heat.
Serves 4, time to prepare: 20 minutes
from The Washington Post


Mike (adashofbitters.com) said...

This won't surprise you, coming from me, but whenever I make a bourbon pan sauce, I like to dash in a bit of Angostura.

Siobhan said...

Yum, now I want to make this again!

Jay said...


Have you tried any other kinds of bitters for cooking?

mike (adashofbitters.com) said...

My wife and I often do pan sauces with some complementary spirit: usually whiskey, brandy, or applejack. I'm sure there are preparations for which gin would be appropriate, but we've yet to use gin in that way.

Jen (that's the wife-person) uses pastis for her Provencal chicken stew and also in a tomato-fennel broth that she serves over sea bass.

For a cocktail party in early summer, she put together baked chicken wings, with a sauce that included bourbon and Angostura. Unfortunately, our oven went out the morning of the party, so we never got to serve the wings. We still have five pounds in the freezer if anyone would like to come over.

On more of a seasonal note, she also makes a yummy braise of red cabbage and apples. For that, she'll pour on a little Calvados, if we have some handy.

And, finally, to answer Jay's question, we have used other bitters in cooking. We made a pan sauce for duck that used rye whiskey and Peychaud's. I think we were going for a duck Sazerac or something. :)

Jen's favorite simple salad dressing is just lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil. I think orange bitters would make a great addition to that.