A Seriously Delicious Bourbon Pork Chop

Marksbury Farm Bourbon Chop with Wild Rice Casserole with Mushrooms.

Marksbury Farm Bourbon Chop with Wild Rice Casserole with Mushrooms.

I’ve been in a cooking groove for the last week. The cold weather makes me want to stay inside where it’s warm, and having the oven on makes it even toastier.

This is a twofer recipe. I wanted to use pork for the main course and have a creative side dish.

For anyone into the “Buy Local – Eat Well” philosophy, and live in the central Kentucky region, I highly recommend a venture to Marksbury Farm in Lancaster. These good folks run a small, humane, meat and chicken processing center and a farmer’s market. If you want fresh, sustainable, and delectable, Marksbury provides that.

They are located an hour south of Frankfort, down I-127 at 73 Fisher Ford Road (859-754-4224). Bear east at Danville into Garrard County.

The recipe I used is one I found in Kentucky Monthly, and is something Chef Ramon Forcelledo prepares at the Bristol in Louisville.

Marksbury Farm Bourbon Chop

This calls for a 10-ounce French-cut pork chop, but I went with a 5-pound pork loin so I could cut my own chops.

Aside from cooking for my own amusement and gratification, part of my audience is comprised of an 8 and 10-year old, so bone-in chops means I might have to give them edged knives and that can go sideways fast.

This recipe is for a single serving, multiply it accordingly.

In a covered sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.

Take a 10-ounce French-cut chop, or 8-ounce boneless, and cut away any fat; add a cup of flour to a bowl; spice it up with whatever you prefer, I added some garlic powder, onion powder, season salt, black pepper and smoked paprika; toss chop till covered.

Place dusted chop into sauté pan and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side. I like mine still bloody. I went ahead and cooked the whole loin which ended up being eight chops, then set them aside.

For additional flavor, use the same pan used to sauté the chops to prepare the sauce.

Sauce (remember this is for a single serving only so multiply if necessary):

1 1/2 ounces olive oil; 1 tablespoon yellow onion, diced; 4 ounces wild mushrooms; 1 teaspoon fresh oregano; 1 teaspoon fresh thyme; 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper; 3/4 cup chicken and beef stock (equal parts); 1 teaspoon cornstarch; 1/2 ounce Kentucky bourbon.

Heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion and cook till translucent, 5 minutes or so; add mushrooms and cook for approximately 2 minutes; add fresh herbs, pepper and stock and cook for an additional 2 minutes (I do like fresh herbs, but was trying to use up some dried spices and substituted those); stir in cornstarch and wait till absorbed; pour in bourbon of your choice.

I had placed the chops in a warm oven to keep them warm; pull the chops out and place on individual plates; drizzle sauce across the top.

This sauce would go great with mashed potatoes, but I went with:

Wild Rice Casserole with Mushrooms

I found this recipe in Garden & Gun. It’s a dish on the menu at the Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta where Chef Linton Hopkins presides.

This doesn’t take long to prepare, but must cook for about an hour so it’s not something you can do at the last second. I prepared this before starting the pork chops above.

1 cup (uncooked) wild rice, cooked according to package directions; 3 tablespoons unsalted butter; 4 tablespoons minced onions; 2 tablespoons minced green pepper; 8 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced; 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup; 1 cup heavy cream; 1/4 teaspoon dried basil; 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon; 1/2 teaspoon curry powder; coarse salt and black pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a heavy-bottom ovenproof pot (I used a Dutch oven), melt the butter over medium heat until foamy; sauté onion, pepper, and mushrooms until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes; stir in soup (no water added), cream, and spices; add cooked rice, stirring to combine; put the lid on and transfer to preheated oven.

Bake until soup and cream are absorbed and the rice thickens, about 50 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.

This was bad ass – and got huge props from adults and kids.

The wild rice went spectacularly well with the bourbon pork chop. The kids were less-wowed with the bourbon sauce, but Maia and I thought it was fabulous.

The combination of the two dishes mixed a somewhat nouveau Southern appeal with the old-world South that can be tasted in the wild rice.

Give them both a try and I hope you enjoy.

Eat well and prosper!

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