“This decadent combination of summer peaches and bourbon is delicious on grilled chicken or a hearty grilled fish like salmon,” shares the Rose family who run Nashville’s Peach Truck. “But in this case, the easy sauce is a perfect topping for juicy, thick-cut pork chops that are brined for an hour before serving to add even more flavor. And if you’re really in the bourbon mood, serve with some peach bourbon old fashioned cocktails.”
Pork Chops with Sticky Bourbon Peach Sauce (Yield: 6-8 servings)
FOR THE PORK CHOPS
6-8 thick-cut pork chops
¼ cup salt
¼ cup sugar
2 cups water
Freshly-ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 peaches, sliced in half and pitted
FOR THE SAUCE
4 peaches, pitted, peeled and roughly chopped
¾ cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. honey or corn syrup
½ cup bourbon
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
Start by brining the pork chops. Since the loin of the pork chops are often lean, this quick step will help ensure they retain more moisture while cooking.
Add the ¼ cup salt and sugar to 2 cups of water and stir to combine.
Submerge pork chops in the brine and let soak for at least one hour but no longer than 3 hours.
While the pork chops are soaking in their brine, you can make the sauce.
Add all sauce ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and stir to combine.
Allow mixture to come to a simmer before reducing the heat to low and cooking for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and let cool. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools, resulting in a loose jam-like texture. If your sauce is not thick enough, you can return it to the stove and simmer longer, or if it’s too thick, just stir in a tablespoon or two of water. Set sauce aside until serving.
Preheat your grill with two zones of heat; a medium-high side for searing and a medium-low side for cooking. (If using a charcoal grill, you can accomplish this by piling the coals on one side of the grate, creating direct and indirect heat zones.)
Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry. Discard the brine.
Season both sides of the pork chops with pepper.
Brush the cut sides of the peaches with olive oil and rub remaining oil on the pork chops.
Place the pork chops on the hot side of the grill and cook until they release from the grill, about 4-5 minutes.
As you flip over the chops, transfer them to the cooler side of the grill and place the peaches cut side down on the hot side of the grill. Remove the peaches after about five minutes or once they’ve developed a good, caramelized color. The pork chops should be removed once they’ve reached an internal temperature of 135-140ºF. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes, where they’ll continue to cook and rise to an ideal temperature of 145ºF.
Arrange the pork chops and grilled peaches on a serving platter and top with the sticky peach sauce.
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