This is Rob for this post, with my first official Date Night recipe: Peach-Bourbon Pork Chops!! Pork chops are probably not the first thing people would go with on a date night. But if you really want to impress, make a really well cooked pork chop. Plus pork pairs perfectly with the classic Southern flavors I used for this recipe.
I view the combination of Peach and Bourbon to be classic. Plus with spring and summer right around the corner now, perfect as the weather warms up. To me peaches have a refreshing sweetness that makes me think of a backyard cookout. And, well, bourbon is pretty much perfect all of the time.
I decided that the sauce I wanted to make should be more of a glaze. With more sugary ingredients like this, I wanted something that was thick and sticky. It works really well as a finishing sauce since it really clings to the meat. As a result, every bite gets that really good flavor, but this would have been ideal on a grill. The heat and direct flame from a grill would have really allowed it to caramelize on the meat.
The key to the sauce was managing the consistency by adding stock occasionally and using heat to ensure that it stayed at a solid simmer. I really wanted it thick so, I only added a little stock at a time. This allowed me to really let it go for a while and develop complex flavor without having to worry about it being too soupy.
Side and Cocktail Pairings
My recommendation would be either a combination of roasted potatoes and either green beans or brussels sprouts or something like a risotto with a veggie in it. For this particular date night, I tried something a little new: bacon roasted potatoes. I used the rendered bacon fat to coat the potatoes before roasting using our basic roasted potato method. This added a really nice flavor element to them and the bacon made for a nice textural element. Other solid options would be:
- Sage and Pepper Risotto – ties in the sage from pork just add in a veggie like asparagus or peas.
- Green Beans – always a solid side
- Bellini Sour Cocktail – ties in both the peach and bourbon for a perfect boozy treat
Peach-Bourbon Pork Chops
- 2-4 Bone-In Pork Chops ~1-1.25 Inches Thick
- 1.5 Tbs Butter plus another 1 Tbs as reserve
- 1 Shallot finely diced
- 1/2 Cup Bourbon
- 1/4 Cup Peach Preserves
- 4 Large Sage leaves rough chopped
- 2 Tbs Honey
- 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 Lb Yukon Gold Potatoes ~1 inch cube pieces
- 4 Strips Bacon cut into small pieces
- 3 Sage Leaves rough chopped
- 5 Garlic Cloves smashed
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a room-temp skillet, preferably cast iron, start the bacon rendering over medium heat.
- Remove the bacon when rendered and crispy, about 5-10 minutes, and turn off the heat.
- Add the garlic and sages leaves to the hot bacon fat, allow to infuse for about a minute.
- Stir in the potatoes so that they are evenly coated and toss with salt/pepper.
- Roast for ~45 minutes.
- Start the pork about 2/3 of the way through cooking the potatoes.
- Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Pat the meat dry and salt/pepper.
- When the butter is hot, add the pork. Cook on each side for about 4 minutes. Work in batches if needed.
- Remove the pork place on a baking sheet low in the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Remove after 5 minutes and let rest.
- While the pork is in the oven, add another Tbs of butter if needed and then add the shallot, saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the Bourbon, followed by the preserves, sage, and honey. Allow to reduce over medium-low heat while the pork finishes.
- Add the a small amount of chicken stock as needed during cooking so that the sauce doesn’t caramelize and burn in the skillet.
- Slather the glaze over the pork to serve.