Tonight's dinner was another new recipe - I know, two in a row, I'm on a roll! This one is built quite similarly to one of my favorite recipes, Glazed Pork Chops (which I'll be sharing later this month), but instead of an apple juice glaze, it's a whiskey glaze. Kind of like the glaze you see at T.G.I. Friday's. But according to the recipe from "Cook's Country," it's supposed to be way, way better. I can't really speak to that, having never had the glaze at T.G.I. Friday's. Anyway...
This recipe has one key step that I have a tendency to skip over in recipes - a marinade. This time, though, I didn't skip it, and I think it's a very important step in the recipe, so yes, I know it's irritating to have to think about dinner two hours in advance, but it's worthwhile, I promise.
Tennessee Whiskey Pork Chops
adapted from Cook's Country TV
1/2 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I skipped that part)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoon cider vinegar
4 bone-in center-cut pork chops
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Whisk whiskey, cider, brown sugar, mustard, cayenne, vanilla and 2 teaspoons vinegar together in a medium bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup of this mixture into a gallon-sized plastic bag, add chops, press air out of bag, and seal. Turn bag to coat chops with marinade and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and as many as 2 hours. Reserve remaining whiskey mixture separately.
2. Remove chops from bag, pat dry with paper towels and discard marinade. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Season chops with salt and pepper and cook until well browned on both sides and a peek into the thickest part of a chop using a paring knife yields still-pink meat 1/4 inch from surface, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer chops to plate and cover tightly with foil.
3. Add reserved whiskey mixture to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon. Cook until reduced to a thick glaze, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and, holding on to chops, tip plate to add any accumulated juices back to skillet. Add remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, whisk in butter, and simmer glaze until thick and sticky, 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
4. Return chops to skillet and let rest in pan until sauce clings to chops, turning chops occassionally to coat both side, and a peek into the thickest part of a chop using a paring knife shows completely cooked meat (145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), about 5 minutes. Transfer chops to platter and spoon remaining sauce over. Serve hot!