It was a beautiful day and Dad offered to take over dinner. He found a manly recipe for Mustard & Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops and made a plan. He added his favorite vegetable, Brussels sprouts, to the menu and was on his way.
I was relegated to photographer, and enjoyed the night off from cooking immensely. After starting the grill to heat up for 15-20 minutes, he measured out the seven sauce ingredients and put them on a tray with the four pork chops. Then, he headed straight to the grill on our rooftop deck. He also prepped a tray with some Brussels sprouts and red pepper slices, plus a dish of browned butter and golden balsamic vinegar he planned to use as a cooking sauce.
The mustard & bourbon glaze is so easy! Begin by melting the butter. Joe has a special pan he uses for making sauces right on the grill. (Something he got at the hardware store with the grilling accessories.) You could certainly make the sauce in your kitchen before heading out to the grill. But the pan on the grill is much, much more macho. Not to mention it means most everything can happen in the great outdoors.
While the butter was melting, he quickly prepared his vegetables. It looked like about a cup per person, or 4 cups total. In less than a minute, he poured on about ¼ cup browned butter …
… and then he added a little smoked salt and about 2 tablespoons of golden balsamic vinegar.
This was based on a recipe he found online, but of course he added his own special touches, like the smoked salt and the halving and pre-roasting of the sprouts for extra flavor. (Smoked salts are available at higher-end grocery stores, or cooking supply stores.) Then he simply folded up the foil into a sealed packet and put it on the grill.
You could cook pretty much any side veggie this way, including diced potatoes, zucchini, or peppers.
After a few minutes, the butter is melted, so then add the chopped garlic.
After the garlic has sizzled into the butter for about a minute, add all the other ingredients in any order. The bourbon is certainly not a common ingredient we use, but that made it all the more fun to try.
Mix the sauce ingredients well and set them aside.
He just let them simmer on the edge of the grill while the pork chops cooked, and that seemed to work fine, though it may have thickened the sauce and reduced the quantity a bit. Now go ahead and place the pork chops on the grill.
Every grill is different, so it’s good to use a meat thermometer. We have one that has a probe that goes into the center of the cut and is attached to a digital reader that sits outside the grill.
He closed the grill cover and set the thermometer to sound an alarm when the pork reached 155°—a little less than the 160° recommended—so he had time to get the meat off before it reached full temp. He never wants to be in a rush, of course. And overdone pork is just not going to happen on his watch!
Basically, dinner is done at this point. Time to relax, sample the bourbon or have a lemonade, and wait about 10 minutes. At this point, work is required, and he rose to the occasion, flipping the chops and admiring the grill marks.
About 5 minutes later the chops reached 150° and he decided it was time for the mustard-bourbon sauce. First, he consulted the recipe on his smartphone, right there on the roof. I was impressed.
The recipe calls for slathering on the sauce about 5 minutes before the chops reach 160° F. So that’s exactly what he did.
After you’ve sauced both sides of the chops, heat any remaining sauce to a boil and set it aside, keeping it warm for adding at the table. Watch your thermometer and pull the chops off as soon as they’re fully cooked. Putting them on a plate tented with foil for 5-10 minutes helps keep them extra juicy while you pull off the side veggies and get everything ready.
As we prepared the table for dinner, the sun was just beginning to set behind the clouds.
Dinner was both beautiful and delicious. It was a meal fit for a king, and made by the king himself! The chops were juicy and smoky-sweet with the mustard sauce, and I loved the Brussels sprouts. I must admit they are not a favorite vegetable, but something about the browned butter and balsamic vinegar made them tangy sweet and not at all bitter. Cooking veggies in the foil keeps them from drying out, too.
If you’re looking for a great new grilling recipe, or a way to dress up pork chops, this recipe for Mustard & Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops adds a lot of flavor for remarkably little effort. I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe!
Check back in a few days when Becky makes a fantastic berry shortcake, perfect for summer.
Liz is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.