Tennessee Whiskey Pork Chops

The sauce in this recipe, enlivened with cider vinegar, cayenne, brown sugar, and vanilla, adds a delicious smoky, yet mellow flavor to the chops. The ingredients are also utilized as quick marinade for the pork.

Serves 4

Whatcha Need:

1/2 cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey or 1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
4 bone-in, center-cut pork chops, about 1 inch thick
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Whatcha Do:

  1. Whisk whiskey, cider, brown sugar, mustard, cayenne, vanilla and 2 teaspoons vinegar together in medium bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup whiskey mixture to gallon-size zipper-locl plastic bag, add pork chops, press air out of bag, and seal. Turn bag to coat chops with marinade and refrigerate 1 to 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, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer chops to plate and cover tightly with foil.
  3. Add reserved whiskey mixture to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until reduced to a thick glaze, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and, holding onto chops, tip plate to add any accumulated juices back to the skillet. Add remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, whisk in butter, and simmer glaze until thick and sticky, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
  4. Return chops to skillet and let rest in pan until sauce clings to chops, turning chops occasionally to coat both sides. Check to make sure chops are no longer pink (145 degrees on instant-read thermometer) after about 5 minutes. Transfer chops to platter and top with sauce.

August/September 2005 Cook’s Country Magazine