The Right Way To Add A Splash Of Bourbon Into Your Next Pork Dish

Alcohol deserves a place in the kitchen just as much as at the bar. While wine stews, beer batters, and flambés are already established techniques, there's more to explore in the spirits world. Small portions of gin can be employed for aromatic effect, as can bourbon since the corn-based distillate adds a bright and complex flavor.

This type of whiskey pairs especially well with pork, playing with sweet and smokey flavors in a sauce, marinade, or glaze. It does require a bit of know-how to navigate, as no one wants an overly alcoholic-tasting pork chop. Plus, its composition impacts textures, especially altering fats.

So, whenever adding a splash for deglazing, give bourbon some more time to cook off. Since it's higher proof than other employed alcohols, patience will showcase its best flavors. Plus, it can be reduced to a syrup-like consistency, highlighting its sweeter palate. From there, it's ready to expand into a sauce with liquids like cream, broth, and other flavors.

How to perk up your pork flavors with bourbon

As an initially flavorful ingredient, it's no surprise that the bourbon should be carefully selected. To play with pork's savory flavor, consider reaching for either a sweet and smooth wheat expression or a peppery and bold rye base. Easy-drinking expressions like Buffalo Trace and Angel's Envy will imbue a delightful sugary note to sauces and marinades, melding with other components. While spicier spirits like Bulleit and Knob Creek can add a dash of heat to the meat.

Integrating into a marinade is the easiest method. Simply pour in equal ratios to other ingredients and let stand for at least a few hours. Such a technique works especially well with roasted tenderloin but can be employed for pork chops too.

When it comes to a sauce or glaze, a bit more restraint is required. For recipes where bourbon is the predominant sauce base, utilize as little as half a tablespoon per pork serving. However, when it's being reduced alongside other liquids, the ratio can go up to a bit over a tablespoon. To get the ideal result, pair this aromatic glaze with pork chops which will sop up all the delicious flavor.