Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something……. Bourbon?
Yes! We are talking bourbon today and I’m going to show you a twist on two ageless classics, The Old Fashioned & Pork chops.
Some would say that bourbon has become my obsession, but let’s just say it’s my passion. So much so that my affection for bourbon has transitioned into the kitchen. I grew up cooking with my Gram and her motto always was “A lil’ dab will do ya.” I’ve incorporated that motto into my cooking, baking & drinking. “A Lil’ Dab of Bourbon” never hurt anyone!
I drink my bourbon the way God intended it to be, “Neat.” But if I’m going to have a cocktail, I stick with the classics. The Old Fashioned is definitely a bar standard and my personal go-to if I’m in the mood for a cocktail. So, with the Old Fashioned, we are going to borrow a twist from my friend, Chris. She adds Black Walnut Bitters to this time-honored traditional cocktail. We are taking the old, turning it new- with our borrowed recipe!
Let’s get to mixing our Black Walnut Old Fashioned!
Black Walnut Old Fashioned Cocktail
- 1 Demerara Sugar Cube
- 5 Dashes Black Walnut Bitters
- Orange Peel
- 2 ounces Rye Whiskey
- Rosemary to garnish (optional)
- Place your sugar cube in an old fashioned glass. Add the 5 dashes of walnut bitters right on top of your sugar. I adore the walnut bitters, because it brings out a nice robust, nutty flavor to compliment the rye, without overpowering it. Add orange peel (careful not to get the pith!) and a small splash of water. You will want to muddle the sugar cube until it is crushed and begins to dissolve. (about 1 minute)
- Add in your Rye Whiskey. I chose to use a Rye for this cocktail because of its peppery bite and its ability to compliment & enhance the flavors that go along with this drink. Rye has a strong flavor profile so it won’t get lost in this mixed drink! (we used Michter’s Straight Rye Whiskey) Now just stir and finish with a large Ice cube and garnish with rosemary!
Every great cocktail, deserves a delicious entrée to compliment it! Pork chops are a classic and if you grew up like I did, they were an inexpensive staple in the weekly dinnertime rotation. The thing that I remember the most though, is that the chops were always dry, chewy or even tasteless. (Sorry Mom!)
So let’s add “A Lil’ Dab of Bourbon” to give those dry, tasteless chops new life! Something old, new & borrowed will be our “Bourbon Walnut Pork Chops.” (inspired & adapted from “Blackberry Babe”)
These are definitely not your Momma’s pork chops!
Bourbon Walnut Pork Chop Recipe
- 2-4 Center-cut loin chop or bone-in chop ( 1 inch thick)
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2-3 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- With a paper towel pat the pork chops dry.
- Get a shallow pie dish & mix brown sugar, cinnamon, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, pepper and salt. Gently rub the mixture onto the pork chops until they are coated. Cover with Saran wrap and let marinate for 20 minutes. (You can also prep this the night before, if you choose)
- In a large cast iron skillet (or an oven safe pan) add olive oil and place your heat on medium-high for 3-4 minutes.
- Add pork chops to the skillet and try not to crowd them in the skillet. You want to allow them to sear for 3 minutes before rotating to the other side. Searing the chops locks in the spice rub, while allowing the chop to stay juicy & savory. *If the pork chop is still sticking to the pan, it’s not done searing!
- Add ¾ cup water to cast iron skillet and place uncovered in the oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking. By adding water before placing them in the oven you will help to keep your chops from drying out. This also serves as the start of your base for the sauce.
- When the chops are done, remove them from the oven and the skillet, set aside. Now you’re going to make the glaze. Leave the pork juices in the cast iron, and place on the stove top and turn on to low-medium heat. Add 2-3 Tbsp. butter to the cast-iron skillet & stir, scraping up any savory bits left in the pan. Allow this to simmer for one minute. Now add your bourbon, 1 tsp brown sugar & walnuts. Occasionally, I add an additional tsp of brown sugar for extra sweetness. Now turn the heat to medium-high, and allow this to reduce for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve the cooked pork with the bourbon glaze poured over the top and your choice of sides. My favorite to serve with this has always been mashed potatoes!
So there you have it…
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed & Something Bourbon, all wrapped up into one meal.
I knew that this recipe would be good, but I was surprised at how savory & delicious it was! You have a nice kick of spice from the dry rub, mixed in with the sweetness of the bourbon sauce, finished off with a subtle nutty note. A perfect complement to your Black Walnut Old Fashioned. This may not be your Momma’s chops, but I believe your Momma will love this dish. Don’t forget your cocktail! And if you drank it while cooking, go ahead and make yourself another!
I hope you enjoyed my modern twist on two timeless classics and don’t forget…
“A Lil’ Dab of Bourbon” never hurt anyone!