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A bourbon glaze doesn’t complement all meats, but is perfect for chicken, salmon and pork.

Black Friday in our rearview mirror is the real sign of bourbon season. The red liquor is present year-round but really shines when the weather gets cool and stays cool. Of all the spirits, this one is the sweater you wear on the inside.

In the U.S., we have laws that regulate what can and cannot be called bourbon. Other countries may call just about any kind of sour mash whiskey bourbon.

Many of you may think it has to be from Kentucky, but that’s not true. Bourbon has to be made in the U.S., although most is still distilled in Kentucky. The mash must be 51 percent corn, with other grains such as wheat or rye giving the spirit its character.

Aged in new charred oak barrels at least two years, it cannot be barreled at any strength higher than 125 proof, nor bottled at less than 80 proof using plain water to dilute it to the desired potency. Its color comes from the aging, not artificial coloring or additives.

You may notice how the Scots spell it “whisky” and some American scribes “whiskey” but that has nothing to do with it. Potato, potahto. Whichever way you spell it we have some fine whiskey available in our area. I’m looking for any of your suggestions far and wide for an upcoming issue. I’m hearing good things are coming out of Colorado right now.

To celebrate bourbon season I thought about recipes. In the past I’ve written about bourbon pecan pies, bourbon balls and old fashioned cocktails. Today I want to do a bourbon glaze.

1 cup bourbon
¾ cup ketchup
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon water

Combine all ingredients in a smallish saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and continue cooking until it’s reduced just a little, maybe 15 minutes or so.

You’re at a swank restaurant. You hear the special is bourbon-glazed … whatever. Sounds fancy, eh? While I admit I appreciate almost anything associated with bourbon, I also believe you should exercise restraint. I don’t think all meats are cut out (pun intended) to be glazed with bourbon. In the fish world I limit it to salmon. I find it disgusting on other fish, such as triggerfish. That’s like ketchup on a steak. Get it out of here.

Poultry-wise you’re OK. Chicken is good with this glaze. Need to spruce up that boring boneless breast? Here’s your answer. Keep this glaze a glaze and only brush it on while cooking. It won’t taste like barbecue sauce. For red meat I would avoid this glaze. It DOES make it taste like barbecue sauce. Get a decent cut of meat and let it speak for itself. It does, however, work well on a pork chop.

Enjoy your bourbon, but with the glaze by all means use the cheap stuff! BTFSB!