A Dinner for Dads, by a Dad

June 9, 2014

Of course, we love our moms to pieces, but dads occupy a very particular place in our hearts. For Father’s Day, naturally we want to pick out the perfect gift, but there’s nothing like a home-cooked meal. We’re talking something hearty and grilled with the manliest of substances (bourbon and coffee)a smidge of caffeine and a snootful, if you will, of something not-so-sobering. Who better to fill us in on the perfect Father’s Day meal than a chef and father of twosoon to be threehimself? We asked Jonathan Adams, chef and co-owner of Rival Bros Coffee Roasters in our hometown of Philadelphia, for help with putting together a Dad’s dream meal that anyone can easily prepare. Photography by Jason Varney.


Bourbon & Coffee Glazed Pork Chops
Warm Asparagus in Tomato Conserva

Total time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6-8 people

Philadelphia is blessed to be within a growing region of Pennsylvania that is rich with seasonal bounty and quality goods. This favorable environment makes it easy to put together a simple meal loaded with a few of this father’s go-to ingredients: heritage pork, strong coffee and bourbon.

First things first: fire up the grill.


Bourbon & Coffee Mop

1 cupRival Bros Whistle & Cuss coffee, brewed double strength
‚½ cup bourbon or, for something a little spicier and appropriate
to the occasion,Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey
1 cup ketchup
‚½‚ cup cider vinegar
‚½ cup raw agave syrup
‚¼ cup unsalted butter

Combine all ingredients and bring to a slight simmer.‚ Have a brush or grill sauce mop on hand to baste the meat as it cooks.‚ There will be extra sauce; reduce it until thick and use it to serve with the meat.


Asparagus in Tomato Conserva

1 lb thick white asparagus, ends trimmed at one inch
‚¼ cup shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, grated
½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
‚½ cup torn basil leaves
kosher salt and black pepper as you like

Grill the asparagus quickly so that they get lightly charred but not overcooked. The stalks should remain somewhat snappy.‚ Slice into one-inch pieces and reserve.

In a wide sauce pan, warm half of the olive oil and gently cook the shallots, garlic and ginger until they appear soft.‚ Add the cherry tomatoes and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, just until the tomato skins start to break.‚ Add the vinegar and turn off the heat.

Combine the asparagus, basil and tomatoes and keep warm.


Pork Chops and the Grand Finale

8 Red Wattle or similar heritage breed, bone-in pork chops.
Kosher salt, as you like

Our family is partial to the fine pigs from‚ Wyebrook Farm‚ in Chester County, PA. Using a whole pork rack is recommended. Ask your butcher remove the chine bone that runs along the bottom of the rack

An hour before cooking, if using a pork rack, portion the chops, slicing between the bones. Then salt the meat, cover it with cling film and let it come to room temperature.

When the grill is good and hot, cook the chops for 10-12 minutes, turning them over and basting with the Ëmop’ sauce often.‚ When the internal temperature of the pork reads 145F on an instant-read probe thermometer, remove the chops and allow them to rest, covered, for 5 minutes.

Slice some of the meat from the bone and arrange on a platter.‚ Serve with the asparagus and the extra sauce on the side.‚ And don’t forget a splash of whiskeyfor dad!


‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ Jonathan, his wife Melissa and sons Rhys and Caelan.