Category Archives: Bourbon

Bourbon Pork

So, you’ve had your bourbon tasting party and now there a little of the Kentucky spirit left over. You could have another tasting, keep it to yourself for sipping or you could find other interesting ways to use the bourbon. That’s what I tried here and the results were delicious.

Apparently Bourbon Pork is a Kentucky thing, not a surprise from the birth state of Bourbon, however I can’t remember it making an appearance on any menu when I’ve been to Louisville or Lexington; next time I will pay closer attention.

BourbonPork-1 BourbonPork-2
  • 2-3 lb Pork Tenderloin


  • 1/2 C Bourbon
  • 1/4 C Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 C Orange Juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1/4 C Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 C Oil
  • 5-6 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 2 T Maple Syrup
  • 2 T Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 t Ground White Pepper
  • 1/2 t Ground Ginger

Whisk all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Rinse and pat dry the tenderloins. Add the tenderloin and marinade to a Ziploc bag, seal, turn to coat and let rest in the refrigerator overnight (at least 4 hours, preferably 8). You might turn the bag over a few times while its in the fridge.

When ready to prepare, heat over to 425. Drain the tenderloins of marinade then place on a foil lined baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on thickness; current pork wisdom says a meat thermometer should register at least 155 degrees. Remove, let rest for 10 minutes. During the resting period the meat should register 160 degrees.


The flavours here are spicy; pepper obviously makes itself known first but that gives way to the BourbonPork-3honey overtones of the Bourbon and a retrospective of the many parts of Worcestershire (still not entirely sure what is in that).

I was a little reluctant to cook the tenderloins for 40ish minutes given I used two smaller cuts, but it turned out just fine; juicy and toothy with just a slight crunch here and there on the bottom where the marinade condensed during its oven visit.

I don’t make pork often but this dish is so good I might have to add it to the menu more often.

I used Basil Hayden Bourbon which has a lighter flavour overall but honey and pepper dominated the spectrum of comments during the tasting. I wanted to see if the pork would pick that up; it did.

I squeezed my own orange juice since I didn’t want any extra sugar typically found in off-the-rack orange juice concentrates; oh and I already had oranges so it saved me a trip to the store.

I roasted some carrots using a little ginger, garlic and black pepper; good pairing.

I originally wanted to do some caramelized peaches with this dish but the market peaches looked worked over, so I picked up blueberries instead; sounds weird but it worked very well.

I’ll bet this is really good grilled outside!

Bourbon Tasting

Bourbon-1Seems like Bourbon Bars, while a novelty a few years back, are taking a more prominent role in Houston’s night spots. In one weekend I went to 3 self-proclaimed Bourbon Bars and that was just in one neighbourhood. Persistent curiosity about the Kentucky spirit set me off on my own experiment. The ‘Bourbon Guy’ at our Home Depot sized liquor store was very helpful when I explained I was having a tasting and I wanted three distinctly different Bourbons.

He recommended the following, to be consumed in the order listed.

Basil Hayden’s
Bourbon Guy called this a good choice for the uninitiated. The lighter and more approachable of three had a spicy smell bordering on black pepper and licorice. The flavours were toasted hay, honey, pepper with an unexpected but very appealing spearmint on the very back of the tongue. The finish was short and clean.

Walking Stick, Single Barrell
When I first smelled Walking Stick I said “Creme Brulee!”. My research assistants laughed but little by little they starting making comments – ‘Vanilla, Caramel, Burnt Sugar, Custardy’. Call me crazy but when you sum those up, its Creme Brulee – QED. The taste was direct, medium bodied and sweet with oak, caramel, pecans, a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. The finish here was lingering and sweet, then it snuck out the back door with a quick goodbye.

Knob Creek, Small Batch, Single Barrell
Weighing in at 120 proof you’d expect this one to be the palate hammer. And it is. Bourbon Guy warned me that any bourbon tasted after this one will have no taste. I totally get it now. The flavours were complex and unfolded in layers. First a distinct dried fruit; peaches and apricot. That was followed by a roasted almond, roasted oats, charred oak and leather layer. Lastly I got some spice; a little black pepper, vanilla and cinnamon. The finish was very long and left my mouth feeling like I’d sipped a vanilla coke. An adult vanilla coke.

These were all very good; Walking Stick would probably be my go-to. I would serve Basil Hayden to those not familiar with bourbon or for those who are a bit adverse to strong flavours. Knob Creek, well, that’s likely for the confirmed bourbonistas, I imagine only they will be able to appreciate the bold and complex flavours.

When I asked Bourbon Guy about food pairings he said all I needed to remember was three things: bacon, pecans and peaches. I took his advice and created a bacon deviled egg, which we’ll get to next.