Bourbon brined thick-cut pork chops with a sweet and tangy pickled peach bacon jam.
What goes better with pork than more pork? Not much! This sweet bacon-y jam is a tasty addition to the juicy bourbon brined chops. Serve with some garlic mashed potatoes, and you have a satisfyingly rich, delicious meal.
Why brine the pork chops? Pork chops are a lean cut of meat that can be dry and tough. When the meat is brined, salt and sugar begin breaking down its proteins. This process allows the liquid to be absorbed into the chops, making them juicy and tender. The brine also flavors the meat with the addition of herbs, spices, and bourbon. The brining process does take a bit of time, but the result is more than worth it!
Are the pickled peaches absolutely necessary for the jam? No. It takes 3-5 days to make pickled peaches. If you have them on hand or the time to wait, then great. If not, substitute fresh ripe peaches and a bit more vinegar. The sugar may also need altering depending on their sweetness. Either fresh or pickled, you can’t go wrong with bacon and peaches.
Pork Chops with Pickled Peach Bacon Jam
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup salt
- 4 cup water
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 8 sprigs sage
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorn
- 4 garlic clove smashed
- 4 pork chops boneless 1 1/2 inch thick
Pickled Peach Bacon Jam
- 1/2 pound bacon diced
- 1/4 onion diced 1/2 cup
- 3 garlic cloves minced 1/2 tbsp
- 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup pickled peaches or fresh peaches diced
- 1/8 cup bourbon
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp chili flake
- Combine all ingredients except for the chops in a pot. Bring to a boil, dissolving the sugar and salt. Remove from heat and cool completely. Add the chops to the liquid and brine for 2 hours.
- Remove the chops from the brine, rinse, and pat dry. Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Season the chops with salt and pepper. When the oil shimmers add the chops. Sear both sides of the chops and place the pan in the oven. Cook the chops 5-10 minutes to 130-140 degrees. Remove from the pan and serve with jam.
Pickled Peach Bacon Jam
- In a skillet cook the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Remove most of the bacon fat from the pan.
- Add the onion, sage, thyme, pepper, and chili flake to the pan and cook until brown. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for one minute. Add the peaches, vinegar, sugar, and bourbon. Cook for 1 minute and add the bacon back to the pan. Continue cooking until most of the liquid is absorbed and jam has thickened.