Pepper-seared Pork Chops with Whiskey Cream Sauce


The other day, I got a call from my daughters’ daycare center that my littlest, who is two and a half, had stuck a rock up her nose. This is only a few months after she stuck not one, but TWO small pieces of lego up her nose and had to go to the hospital to get one of them out. You’d think she might have learned her lesson, but being only two and half, life lessons quickly pass from her little mind. Clearly, the life lesson that anything besides fingers are not supposed to go up her nose is a lesson she needs to learn twice. Let’s hope twice is sufficient.

It was toward the end of the day and my husband was out that evening, so I wasn’t quite sure how this was going to go. I thought maybe I had a chance of getting her to hold still enough for me to get the rock out with some tweezers, but I underestimated the strength of that little body of hers. Trying to sit astride her torso and hold her arms down with my knees was like riding a bucking bronco and I quickly realized I had a better chance of winning the lottery than I did of getting the rock out on my own. So I got all three kids together, shoes on, to head to the nearest hospital. The idea of spending several hours in our local emergency room, waiting around with three bored, over-excited kids was not a pleasant one, but it clearly had to be done.

My little one was standing at the top of the stairs to the garage as I was getting the other two into the car, when I heard a little click. I thought she’d kicked some small object but she declared “It come out!”. I saw a little stone on the stairs but it looked far too large to have been up her teeny little nostril so I told her that she had just kicked something. Then I took a closer look and saw that the little stone was covered in mucus and it was, in fact, the very rock that had been up her nose. As disgusting as it was, I picked it up and practically cheered when I felt its sliminess. Just in the nick of time! Instead of hanging about a waiting room with three wild children, I could have a regular evening, a glass of wine, a good meal and get my kids into bed on time!

This story has nothing to do with the recipe at hand, I just wanted to share. This recipe came about as one of those happy accidents in the kitchen, and turned out so well, I can’t wait to make it again. I had wanted to make steak au poivre with brandy cream sauce, but the steak at the grocery store didn’t look so hot and the pork chops were on sale. And then I didn’t have brandy, but I did have whiskey and thought it might make a good substitute. So I amalgamated a couple of recipes from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, made a few other tweaks, and voila! A new dinner recipe was born.

Pepper-seared Pork Chops with Whiskey Cream Sauce

Yield: Serves 4


    Pork Chops:
  • 4 bone-in rib chops, 1 inch thick
  • salt
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Whisky Cream Sauce:
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp whiskey
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream


  1. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and season with salt. Sprinkle both sides generously with coarse pepper, pressing to adhere.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the chops and brown on the first side for 3 minutes.
  3. Flip the chops and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook until center of thickest chop registers 135F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes more.
  4. Transfer chops to a serving platter and tent with foil.
  5. For the sauce, add the shallot to the pan and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the broths and the whiskey and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in any accumulated juices from the chops and the cream. Simmer until just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 more minutes.
  8. Spoon over pork chops and serve.

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  1. says

    I don’t eat pork but i can use that cream sauce with chicken or beef and i am sure it would still taste good!
    As for your little one putting stuff in her nose, that made me giggle…my brother once stuffed his nose with cigarretts butts…lots of them :S

  2. says

    My oldest had this same issue! When she was little she would stick all sorts of stuff up her nose and I remember trying to straddle her to get tweezers up there, ha! The worst was when she stuck the fluffy insides of french fries up her nose. It was packed full but my husband was able to get it all out thankfully!

    Those pork chops look great! I need to cook more pork, my husband loves it!

  3. says

    Lol… Kids. One of my brother-in-laws did something similar when he was little. He stuffed that foam stuffing, like from a couch cushion, up his nose. It wasn’t realized until they started to notice he smelled bad-infection. Brought him to the doctor and that’s when it “came out”! Yikes!

    I’m trying to get back to low-carb eating after a weekend of eating goodies as part of celebration for our daughter’s high school graduation and acceptance into a great college. SO – MUCH – SUGAR. I always think that as yucky as I feel afterwards I don’t want to eat uncontrollably again…

  4. says

    Oh my gosh…I can just picture this scene of you trying to overpower a two-year old! :)
    And I would like to drink this whiskey cream sauce.

  5. says

    Kids! Don’t you just love them? Yes we do…I love the story and yes, I can relate. Quinn was squirming in his car seat last week and rubbing his nose really badly. I’m asking him whats up and hes just kinda groaning. His sister looks at me in the mirror and says “Dad, wheres his mint?” Yup he stuck his Altoids mint up his nose! By the time I could pull off the freeway it started to peek out as it was dissolving….Oy
    Love the chops and even more the whiskey sauce :)

  6. says

    you’re just having all kinds of adventures! That Cream sauce sounds like heaven…I can’t wait to see the look on my hubbys face when I make this one.

  7. says

    I don’t know what it is with 2-year olds and sticking stuff up their nose, but mine has the same interest! I had to extract *two* baked beans from his nose a few weeks ago and as soon as I did that he was aiming to stick a pea in one ear and bread in the other! Ay…hoping this phase passes soon. :-)

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