This is one of THOSE sauces. The one you keep returning to. The one you keep tweaking until it’s perfect, and then you tweak it again. And no matter what, it is spectacularly delicious.This is a cross between a pan sauce and a cream sauce, but with no thickening agent added. The thickness comes from reducing the cream and the addition of mustard, which acts as a thickener.
Before we get started, you’ll note that I don’t have pictures of every step…sorry about that, but I think it should be fairly clear. So to begin…first, you will brown/roast the meat…today I used pork chops, so that’s what we’ll talk about for the purposes of this post. Remove the roasted/fried pork from the pan; set aside the meat to rest. I use a cast iron skillet, so it can go right on the burner, while the meat rests. Remove all but about 1 tablespoon of dripping/fat from the skillet. If there is no fat, add butter or oil. When hot, toss in shallot; sauté for several minutes, until it begins to soften. We don’t want to brown it necessarily. Add the garlic and thyme leaves; sauté for 30 seconds. You just want them to bloom. Pour in the bourbon, but use caution if you’re cooking on a gas stove, as it can ignite. We don’t want any burns. Scrape up the bits from the meat. Add the lesser amount of broth; boil on high heat until reduced by half. Add the heavy cream, orange marmalade and zest. Continue to boil, whisking almost constantly until the mixture begins to thicken slightly and reduce; about 1-2 minutes. You’ll notice the bubble become larger as the mixture reduces. Whisk in any additional accumulated juices from the meat, probably no more than a couple of tablespoons. You may also return the meat to the pan, simmer briefly, about one minute. Remove the meat to a serving platter. Pull the pan from the heat source; whisk in the mustard and lemon juice; taste and correct the seasoning. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in some of the additional broth, 1 tablespoon at a time. Nap the chops with the sauce, sprinkle with the chopped, toasted pecans and serve immediately, with some of Lauryn’s Fabulous No-Knead Bread to mop up that sauce!
As I mentioned, I usually serve it with pork or chicken, but I can make a case for lamb, too. Except I switch out the bourbon, for Marsala. Sweet is delicious with lamb. This amount of sauce is technically enough for 4 people, but we really, really, really like our sauce. So, probably for 2 or 3 people…okay. Two people. Let’s get real, here.
Bourbon-Mustard-Pecan Cream Sauce with Orange Zest
- 1 large shallot or 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoons pan dripping, butter or oil
- 1 teaspoon grated or minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional, but delicious)
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/3-1/2 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1-2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
Turn the heat to medium; add the butter or oil to the pan (if there isn’t enough fat remaining from the meat). Add the shallots; sauté until they begin to soften and turn translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme leaves; sauté for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan, by pouring the bourbon into the skillet and scraping up the browned bits, or fond; about 30 seconds. Use caution, particularly if you have a gas range, as the bourbon can ignite. Turn the heat to high. Add the lesser amount of broth; bring the boil and reduce by half, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream, orange marmalade and zest. Continue to boil, whisking almost constantly until the mixture begins to thicken slightly and reduce; about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in any additional accumulated juices from the meat. Usually there won’t be more than a couple of tablespoons. Remove the pan from the heat source; whisk in the mustard and lemon juice; taste and correct the seasoning. If it becomes too thick, whisk in some of the additional broth, 1 tablespoon at a time. Nap the meat with the sauce and sprinkle with the coarsely chopped pecans. Serve immediately.
NOTE: If there is more than 1 tablespoon of fat from cooking the meat, pour out the additional amount. This is a rich sauce. The lemon juice is there for balance. Begin with the lesser amount of marmalade, as you want the sauce balanced. Feel free to substitute honey or maple syrup for the marmalade. If serving this with lamb, I use rosemary and cracked black pepper, instead of the thyme.
Bourbon-Mustard-Pecan Cream Sauce with Orange Zest Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.