Ahhh……. it’s that wonderful time of the year, when the leaves begin to turn, there’s a slight nip in the air, not too hot, not to cold, and all of my fantasy football teams are already tanking. My absolute favorite time for grilling, and cooking a little ‘Q. What says fall more than apples? And what do apples pair well with? Pork!
This is a quick, easy little recipe we came up with way back in the spring. We used it for our Easter ham, but I knew then that I wanted to hold on to it until fall. So I’ve been carrying this one around with me in my “pocket” for several months.
*Special Note: If you’re a taste as you go type cook, as I am, DO NOT TASTE the glaze before you boil it and reduce it. It will taste like aweful cough syrup. Once it reduces and the alcohol cooks off, then it’s quite wonderful.
What to expect:
Definite notes of apple from the bourbon, sweetness with hints of cinnamon, and a gentle heat from the cayenne. All playing well with the richness of the pork, and subtle hints of smoke.
Yield: 4 pork chops
Time: 10-15 minutes to make the sauce, 20 minutes for the chops depending on the thickness.
What you will need:
1 cup Jim Beam apple bourbon
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cayenne pepper (1 Tbls is my preference, adjust to YOUR taste and tolerance.)
4 THICK cut pork chops
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 apple wood chunks
How we did it:
Begin by combining the bourbon, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cayenne pepper in a small pot and bring to a boil while stirring.
Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until it coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Divide in half.
That’s it. That’s all there is to making this incredible glaze.
Now turn your attention to the pork chops.
Season well on both sides. I like to season the chops before lighting the grill. This allows the salt to break down and the chops to bask in the flavor of the seasoning. You’ll end up with a richer, more, even flavored pork chop this way.
Set grill up for direct cooking.
Toss in the apple wood chunks.
Place pork chop on the grill and immediately coat the up side with the glaze.
Cook covered for about 6 minutes.
Flip the pork chop over and coat.
Cook another 6 minutes covered.
Check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. We’re shooting for 145°F, it’ll coast up a little as it rest.
Toss out any left over glazed that you used on the raw chops.
Apply a light finishing coat with the other half of the glaze that you set aside and a CLEAN BRUSH no sense getting sick because you didn’t want to dirty a second brush.
Serve and enjoy.
As all ways: Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.
*All recipes are my own creation and intellectual property.