Day Twenty Five: Grilled Pork Shoulder Steaks

3 Apr

Thursday was amazingly beautiful – bright blue skies and warm temperatures. I think I can officially say that Spring has sprung. With this great weather came the desire to grill. After a long winter, we need to capitalize on these sunny days and be outside as much as possible. This wasn’t my original plan for dinner, but could not imagine being inside, braising something in the oven for hours. So instead, I looked at what I had and worked with it. Our newest CSA box on Wednesday was quite helpful, providing lots of goodies to use.

I had never made pork shoulder steaks, but couldn’t see why they would be bad. However, since I started cooking in the late afternoon, I couldn’t throw it on the grill at a super low temperature and let it cook for ever – I had to improvise. I came across a recipe on Mark Bittman’s website for a pork shoulder steak that was braised then grilled. This seemed to be the answer to my time issue – get it tender and then grill. I decided to braise the meat in a low oven, rather than on the stovetop – this can work both ways.

My recipe includes an orange marmalade glaze, which when on the grill, caramelizes the outside of the meat nicely. It adds a little sweetness that pulls it all together. Despite the dual process cooking, the recipe was really easy. And the results were great. I admit that the meat could have been more tender, but I became impatient and didn’t braise it as long as I should have. I let it go for about 1 hour, but really should have gone about 30 minutes more. But as I said, it was still successful and I’d definitely make this again.

I served this with a homemade bread pudding made with leftover cornbread, fresh swiss chard and green garlic from our CSA. Yum. This was a great partner to the meat. And, it was yet another sneaky way I found to get my husband to eat greens. Success on both fronts!

Grilled Pork Shoulder Steaks

(serves 3)

  • 1 lb pork shoulder, cut into 3 even steaks about 3/4″ thick
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 cup whiskey
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tsp orange marmalade
  • salt and pepper

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Mix the brown sugar, chili powder, cayenne and cumin together in a bowl. Sprinkle the meat on both sides with salt and pepper, then coat in the spice mixture.

Heat some olive oil in a saute pan with lid over high heat. When hot, add the pork and brown on both sides, turning once, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pork and set aside.

Add the whiskey to the pan and reduce. Add the wine and broth; bring to a boil. Return the pork to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover, turn off heat, and transfer to the oven. Braise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until tender.

When pork is almost done, preheat a grill to cook over medium high heat.

Remove pork from oven and set aside. Bring the pan juices to a boil and reduce by about 1/4. Add the marmalade to the pan and stir to dissolve. Continue cooking until the glaze is thick and has a consistency like honey. Remove from heat.

Brush one side of the pork with the glaze and place on the grill, glaze side down. Glaze the other side. Cook for about 3 minutes, until meat has browned and has grill marks. Turn over and repeat.

To serve, place the pork on a plate and drizzle with the remaining glaze.

Cornbread Bread Pudding with Chard and Green Garlic

(Makes 3 servings)

  • 2 cups leftover cornbread, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 bunch swiss chard, stems removed chopped into large pieces
  • 1 stalk green garlic, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

If the cornbread is not stale, place in the oven for about 10 minutes to dry the outside.

Toss the chard with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and cook until beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. (If you do not want to roast it, you can saute the greens. Or, quickly boil them but be sure to squeeze out all of the excess water).

In the meantime, heat some olive oil in a saute pan and cook the garlic, until it begins to brown. When done, add to the chard and toss to combine.

In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg and thyme. Add the cornbread pieces and toss well to coat. Let sit for about 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add the chard/garlic mixture, and season with salt and pepper.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Butter 3 ramekins, about 6 to 7 oz each. Distribute the bread mixture to the ramekins evenly. (This can be done a few hours ahead of time – cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until ready to bake).

Put the ramekins in a baking dish and add warm water, enough to get to about 1/2 the was up the sides of the ramekins. Transfer to the oven and cook for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the puddings are warm throughout and crispy on top. Remove and let cool slightly. Serve warm.

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