This is Part 4 of the Dining at Bar Americain series.
Part 1: Chocolate Crepes with Rum Whipped Cream
Part 2: Shrimp and Grits
Part 3: Tilapia with Chile Butter and Ricotta Grits Cakes
Part 5: Roast Chicken with Honey Mustard Black Pepper Sauce and Hatch Chile Spoonbread
This was what my brother-in-law Trey ordered for his entrée at Bar Americain. He said it was outstanding. Upon looking it up in the cookbook, I realized that this dish isn’t actually a pork chop, but a whole rack of pork that then gets cut into individual servings when someone orders it. So the book instructs to just cook a whole rack of pork and cut the chops individually before serving. Since I’m only cooking for two, I decided I could adapt the recipe for center-cut pork chops and get the same idea.
So this is the most adapted meal from our restaurant experience.
I kept the brining step, for sure. Once you discover how moist and tender brining makes your pork chops, you really can’t go back. Secondly, I skipped the sour mash and just used some of the ingredients thereof to make a sauce. I served a side dish alongside, and we had a great dinner.
Source: adapted from Bar Americain Cookbook, by Bobby Flay
2 center-cut bone-in pork chops
Half of a 6-oz. container frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 small onion, quartered
5 black peppercorns
5 mustard seeds
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
¼ cup molasses
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tbs whole grain mustard
½ cup Jack Daniel’s whiskey
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 tbs apple juice concentrate
1 tbs unsalted butter, chilled
Kosher salt and black pepper
Combine 3 cups water with the apple juice concentrate, kosher salt, brown sugar, onion, peppercorns, mustard seeds, thyme, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat and let cool. Place the chops into a large plastic food storage bag, then carefully pour the brine over them. Seal the bag shut, place in a baking dish (in case of leakage) and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
In a small bowl, whisk together the molasses and both mustards.
Preheat your grill to high. Let chops come up to room temperature. Remove them from the brine and wash off under cold water. Pat very dry with paper towels.
Season them with salt and pepper. Make sure your grill grate is properly oiled, then grill the chops, turning once, until they are done to your liking. I like mine just under medium. Use a meat thermometer to cook them to your liking. Unfortunately I didn’t write down the cook times, but I believe getting my chops to 145 F took around 4 minutes per side.
When you flip them the first time, brush on some of the molasses mustard glaze. Once they are nearly done cooking, flip them back and glaze the other side. When done, remove to a plate, tent with foil and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
While they are grilling, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the whiskey, chicken stock and 1 tbs apple juice concentrate. Let boil for several minutes, until reduced and moderately syrupy. Add the butter and swirl until it melts and incorporates into the sauce. Serve drizzled over the pork chops.