Maple Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Mash
For the pork
· 2 pork loin chops, bone in, 1 inch thick
· 1 teaspoon kosher salt
· ¾ teaspoon coarse black pepper
For the Maple Bourbon Glaze
½ cup maple syrup
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup apricot jelly
1 ounce bourbon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the sweet potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
OPTIONAL: for the bourbon candied pecans
1 ½ cups pecans
1 egg white
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cayenne
salt to taste
¼ cup bourbon
1 Roast the sweet potatoes. Wash them and wrap in foil. Preheat your grill to 400°F (medium high), setting it up for two zone grilling. Place the potatoes on the grill away from direct heat, and roast for one hour. After an hour, wearing heat resistant gloves, give the sweet potatoes a gentle squeeze. If soft, they are done, pull and let rest for 15 minutes. If still too firm, keep cooking and checking.
2 Make the glaze. While the potatoes roast, mix the glaze ingredients together in a small pan. Bring to a simmer on your side burner over low heat. Whisk until the jelly and sugar are fully melted, about 3-5 minutes.
3 Sear the pork chops. Lightly oil your pork chops and season on all sides with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat for 3 minutes per side. To add a little smoke, add some maple wood chips to your grill grates or the coals.
Hot Tip: To make a good looking cross hatch or grill marks, turn them a quarter turn, halfway through searing each side (at 90 seconds).
4 Roast the pork chops. Now shift the pork chops to indirect heat and finish cooking until the pork chops hit an internal temperature of 140°F, about 30 minutes. Brush on both sides with the glaze at 10 minutes and 20 minutes. Keep the grill lid closed except for when glazing.
Hot Tip: Place the bone side towards the direct heat. This will help the chops cook more evenly.
5 Make the Sweet Potato Mash. Peel the sweet potatoes. Discard the peels, placing the pulp into a medium pot. Add the remaining mash ingredients butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and mash together using a potato masher. Set aside and keep warm.
6 Serve. Once the chops and mash are done, place about ¾ cup of the mash on the center of each plate. Top that with a pork chop and then drizzle the remaining glaze over the pork chops and mashed sweet potatoes.
7 Bourbon Candied Pecans make a great garnish for the dish. Toss pecans in egg white in a baking tin. Season with brown sugar, cayenne pepper and a few pinches of salt. Bake at 275°F for 30 minutes. Stir in bourbon and bake for another 30 minutes. Cool on parchment.