I’ve always been a late bloomer.

Noooooo… not in the training bra and unmentionable categories you’re thinking of. I’m unfortunately average and quite boring. Snooze.

But you know, like… other things. Vegetables? Still haven’t really bloomed. Making my bed? Uhhh nope. Putting fuel in my gas tank in a timely manner? No again. Cleaning up after myself? Unbloomable. Ever fully reaching adult status? Um. I don’t even know what that means.  ?????

So I can sort of relate to pork chops. After all, their full talents and capabilities are usually overlooked and not realized until much, much later… especially once everyone becomes sick of boring old chicken. Pork chops are super tardy to the meal planning party and when they finally do make an appearance, it tends to be one so dry that even the best wine can’t help choke that bite down.

Been there?

Me too. More times than I can count. I once talked to my pork chops and yeah… that was weird but totally necessary. Pork is like my BFF now.

Enter GLAZED pork chops. I almost always bread them, as any chance of dried out chews can be somewhat masked by butter, crunchy breadcrumbs and salty cheese. But in an effort to change it up and in the spirit of trying something new, I drenched them in a glaze that I usually reserve for salmon and chicken. Pork is so deserving though! I mean, I don’t know why I never thought of combining pig and booze before. It’s like my new life mission. And boy… do I love life.

Maple Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops

[adapted from my crispy glazed salmon]

makes 4 pork chops

4 boneless center cut pork chops

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked papika

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock

3/4 cup bourbon (I used a cherry bourbon – yum!)

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, combine bourbon, sugar, maple syrup, garlic, worcestershire, vinegar and mustard. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring every now and then. Remove from heat and let sit to thicken.

Pound pork chops with a meat tenderizer, then season on both sides with salt, pepper and paprika. Heat a cast iron (or oven-safe) skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with canola oil and once hot (I let my skillet heat for almost 5 full minutes), add pork chops. Sear on one side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden Flip and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Turn off heat, add chicken stock to skillet, then place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. My pork chops were about 1 inch thick, so if yours are a bit thicken they may need to bake a little longer.

Once finished, pour glaze over top and serve immediately.

P.S. brussels sprouts in an accidental maple bourbon glaze are pretty good too. Especially with a hot fudge bourbon milkshake. Bourbon for everyone!