Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Pork chops with bourbon glaze and cauliflower puree

Tired of bland pork chops? Give them a flavorful kick by adding some bourbon! Here, Chef Ben Mattman shares his sweet and savory roasted pork chops with bourbon glaze and a cauliflower puree.

Executive Chef Ben Mattman
JW Marriott, San Francisco

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6 citrus-brined pork chops (about 12 to 14 oz. each; see recipe below)
6 tbsp. cauliflower puree (see recipe)
3 cups roasted cauliflower (see recipe)

Roasted cauliflower
3 cups cauliflower florets, blanched
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pinch chopped parsley

Cauliflower puree
1 head cauliflower, cored and separated into 2-inch florets
4 tbsp. crème fraîche
Salt and pepper, to taste

Citrus brine
2 cups water
3 tsp. brown sugar
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. black peppercorn
1 cup fresh orange juice
4 orange slices

Bourbon glaze
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 apple, diced
1 shallot, diced
1 pinch brown sugar
4 tbsp. bourbon
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 sprig thyme
1 tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper, to taste


For roasted cauliflower: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower florets in a bowl and toss with garlic and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add remaining oil to a large roasting pan or baking sheet. Spread floretsĀ in a single layer on pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are lightly brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and set aside.

For cauliflower puree: Place cauliflower florets in a steamer basket, with an inch of water in a large, covered pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and steam for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender (a fork inserted into the cauliflower should glide through easily). Place cooked cauliflower in a blender with crème fraîche and 1 tsp. water. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For citrus brine: Combine water, brown sugar, bay leaf, salt and peppercorn in a saucepot. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and add orange juice and orange slices. Pour mixture into a bowl (large enough to fit juice and pork chops) and place in refrigerator. When brine cools to 50 degrees or less, add pork chops and soak in brine for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

For bourbon glaze: Add oil, apples and shallots to a hot saucepan. Cook on high heat until caramelized. Remove from heat and add brown sugar and bourbon. Return saucepan to heat and let alcohol reduce before adding chicken stock and thyme. Simmer and let cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once thickened, strain off apples and shallots. Return liquid to pan and stir in butter to further thicken glaze. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare pork chops: Once pork chops are brined, remove from brine and pat dry with paper towel. Place on grill at high heat and grill about 4 to 6 minutes on each side. When almost done, turn down grill and baste with bourbon glaze.

To serve: Spoon cauliflower puree onto plate, top with pork chop and roasted cauliflower and finish with any extra bourbon glaze.

Serves 6

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