Texans can’t claim to have originated the delight that is an amply seasoned chunk of meat, charred and cooked to perfection over an open flame—humans have been eating meat for millennia. But if Texas didn’t invent the steak dinner, its pioneering and unequaled cattle industry certainly had a hand in perfecting and elevating it to the status of not only an event, but a cultural touchstone recognized worldwide. Bourbon and steak share a storied history, and the glaze recipe below enhances this complementary relationship as never before. Now you can enjoy the flavors of Knob Creek in your glass and on your steak.

In the way that the fine steaks of Texas are known near and far, so too does the world look to the distillers of Kentucky whenever bourbon is on the menu. In large part, this recognition is due to legendary master distiller Booker Noe, grandson of Jim Beam, who introduced America and the world to rich, full-flavored bourbons like Knob Creek. Before he coined the term “small batch” and reinvigorated the bourbon industry, he reserved his hand-picked small batch bourbon for close friends and relations.

Noe would give these carefully curated bottles as gifts, and they soon became the stuff of legend, so much so that Noe decided he should share this style, one that he had long cherished, with the world. This was not a mass-produced product—it was an event. This was bourbon as it was meant to be. This is the origin of Knob Creek.

Booker Noe surveys the stacks for the perfect barrel.(Photo courtesy of Beam Suntory)

He understood that when whiskey was crafted the way his forbearers prepared it, in the pre-prohibition style, enjoying a simple pour of bourbon was an event worth savoring all its own. Knob Creek is aged a minimum of nine years and the occasion of enjoying its full flavor is a moment worthy of a celebration, a holiday, or other milestones.

The key to achieving heights of flavor is beginning with premium ingredients. To that, Noe added years of experience and familial knowledge of bourbon making when he selected the perfect barrels for his small batch gifts. He would scour the rackhouse where the bourbon ages to find what he called “center cut” barrels, a term referring to the sought-after, sweet center cut of a watermelon. These “center cut” barrels had aged for years to contain oaky and vanilla notes, with full-bodied character still smooth to the taste.

A perfect pairing. (Photo courtesy of Beam Suntory)

Texans don’t need the excuse of a celebration to have a steak dinner, but sometimes special considerations are in order. Sometimes dinner can be an event all its own. It’s worth it to slow down and take some time to celebrate, making sure every ingredient is the very best. Go find the best cuts from a local butcher. Savor the deep, flavorful notes of Knob Creek while the grill heats up. Set aside a little bourbon to make this glaze to really set off a special meal.

(Photo Courtesy of Beam Suntory)

Knob Creek Bourbon Glaze

Ingredients:

½ Cup Spicy Brown Mustard
¼ Cup Knob Creek Bourbon
¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
⅓ Cup Dark Brown Sugar

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepot. Stir to combine then bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has reduced slightly.
  3. Remove from the heat and chill until ready to use. This can be done ahead of time – the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

This recipe marries the high-quality, full flavor of Knob Creek with the singular pleasure of a great steak. The glaze pairs great with fish and pork chops too, so you can please every guest’s preference at your gathering. After you’ve seared your steaks or other proteins to your liking, top the cuts with this prepared glaze.