I originally posted this recipe for Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Bourbon Cream Sauce back in the dark ages. No photos. No stories. Just ingredients and preparation. There are days I miss that; when it was so easy to share something with…I’m not sure. Before the days of blogs; interaction was slight, I might receive an email once in a blue moon but for the most part I was putting those recipes online strictly to categorize them for myself. If I heard from someone it was a bit of a shock; a pleasant one sure, but still quite the surprise. Amazing how times have changed isn’t it?
I’ve been lucky though, through the magic of Twitter, to meet some wonderful people in the food production and restaurant business. One of my favorites is Ty Gates (on Twitter @5280Meat ) who owns 5280 Land and Cattle Company with both the 5280 Beef and 5280 Pork labels (Denver is at 5280′ altitude; coincidence? I think not!). A few months ago Ty was generous enough to provide me with some fantastic beef and he once again made a call I could not refuse. ‘Hey Barb, would you like to try some of our pork?’ Now who would say no to that? BACON? Oh yeah. Raised ethically and organically in the same manner as the beef, Ty’s pigs are a Hampshire/Yorkshire blend that are raised without added growth hormones, antibiotics or steroids. Living life free on the range they are allowed to forage on native plants and grasses as part of their vegetarian diet. I knew this would be good and besides I wanted to see my pal again.
Ty asked me to meet him at a new store that had opened near me; a hunting and sports outfitting place called Cabela’s in Lonetree, CO. What he did not mention was 1. It is a mega store that is so huge it even had the street named after it and 2. He would be in the parking lot. After a bit of time hunting for him IN the store we connected via phone and he directed me to the parking lot; I should have known a horse trailer would be involved! Ty and his family had traveled here from Meeker, CO with that trailer filled with orders to deliver. FIVE THOUSAND pounds of meat. This time around I was fortunate to meet his boys and his beautiful wife Rachael. Rachael and I bonded instantly; I mean she is now calling me mom and I’m OK with that! Beautiful, wonderful, sweet family; I just adore them all; the meat is a bonus (it is gorgeous isn’t it?).
I had originally planned to grill but it was a bit cool outside so I wanted something that could be cooked inside and I rediscovered this dish on my own blog and that was that. Also fortuitous that I had everything on hand…yay! Well, everything except bread crumbs but my head has an auto rewrite rule. If I read breadcrumbs I now think Panko; I love the larger texture and the resulting crispness of dishes made with Panko. If you haven’t tried it get some…you’ll see. I must worry that the world Panko supply is on the verge of running out because I’ve now got four boxes; each bought as a backup for the others. Truly enough is enough! Only precaution I can mention? This sauce is so good, try to keep from eating it by the spoonful before serving!
I always do a bit of a double take at the ingredients too; I’ve never seen anything else I’ve ever cooked that calls for both white wine and bourbon. But you know what? It works…the sauce is simply divine. I served this with the Crispy Shallots Fried Rice I posted last week; it made for a most delicious meal!
Pork Chops with Mushroom and Bourbon Cream Sauce
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb button mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (e.g. Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp water
- 4 6-7 oz center-cut pork chops
- All purpose flour
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs or Panko
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
- Prepare the sauce. Sauté onions, garlic, and mushrooms in 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat until the mushrooms are browned - about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and boil down until the liquid is reduced to almost a glaze, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, and bourbon, boil until reduced by two thirds.
- Add the cream and simmer several minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Prepare the pork. Whisk an egg and 2 Tbsp of water in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. Dip chops into the flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs, coating completely.
- Heat olive or grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Turn the chops one more time, lower the heat to low, cover, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Alternatively you can put the chops in a pre-heated oven at 400°F for 5-8 more minutes.
- When about to serve the pork, bring the sauce to a simmer and add the chopped basil to it. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I don't overcook my pork; the old tradition of cooking it until it's ruined is not necessary and if cooked enough to be done but not enough to be ruined...that's a better call!
Standard recommendations for pork are to cook it to an internal temp of 145°F, the USDA recommends 160°F. Take it off the heat at 140° and it will continue to cook for a few minutes and be safe, tender and moist. Pork cooked to 160° is ruined!