July 9, 2020

A la Carte: Going to Grill, But No Idea What? How About Bourbon- & Mustard-Glazed Pork Chops

Lee White

I grew up in a house where, if something needed fixed, my mother called someone. My brother also grew up in the same house and, generally speaking, he didn’t learn how to fix things, either. I went to college and majored in English. My brother went to MIT undergraduate and then got himself a masters and Ph.D. in metallurgy at RPI. 

I married a man, who also majored in English (with a minor in philosophy), but he could fix anything. He could do plumbing, electrical wiring and built a three-car garage attached to our 17th-century house whose second floor he turned into an apartment for my parents. 

When my husband died, I was lost. I never learned how to fix things because Doug did everything. I remember asking him one night what to do if I lost power and didn’t know what to do with the electrical box in the basement. He said I should call Andy, our neighbor.

The only smart thing I ever did was to sell the house and buy a condo. Unfortunately, it isn’t like living in New York City where you just call the super.

So a few weeks ago I fired up my Weber to grill a steak, It wouldn’t work. I looked at the propane tank and it looked like it was out of gas. I figured out how to drag it out of the grill, but it was so heavy I knew it still had fuel.

So I went onto Groton Forum, asking for help. Within minutes, friends I knew and didn’t know said they could call and stop after work.

I went back to the patio and noticed out there was another electric cord. I picked up my handheld mixer and tried the socket. It didn’t work. I looked at the socket and saw two plugs and two little buttons. I think I knew what a reset button was, so I pushed it and the mixer turned on.

I dragged the tank back, turned everything on, and it works (even though the gauge still says it is empty.)

The next day I threw a New York strip onto the grill and had a nice dinner with peas and a big roasted sweet potato. Tonight I will make pork chops with a glaze of bourbon and mustard.

Photo by Vincent Keiman on Unsplash

Bourbon- and Mustard-Glazed Pork Chops
From Country Home Stay for Dinner (Meredith Books, Des Moines, Iowa, 1993)
Yield: serves 4

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (regular mustard will do, but not the yellow stuff)
2 tablespoons bourbon (or frozen orange juice concentrate)
2 tablespoons of molasses
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 pork loin chops, but 1 ¼ inches thick

For the glaze, in small mixing bowl stir together all the ingredients except the chops. Set aside.

In a covered grill, arrange coals around drip pan.* To test for hotness, carefully hold hand over pan at the height food will be cooked. The coals are ready when you need to remove your hand after 5 minutes. Place chops on rack over pan but not over coals. Lower hood. Grill 40 to 45 minutes or until no pink remains, turning once. Brush chops with glaze during final 10 minutes of cooking. Crush wit glaze before serving.

*If you are using a propane grill, that has two or three heat knobs, turn the middle one to a lower heat. Also, this recipe came out 30 years ago. I don’t think we need to worry about getting rid of the “pink.”

About the author: Former Old Lyme resident Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant.  She currently writes a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and also for the Shore Publishing and Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day. 

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