Carey! So glad I’m finally getting this to you because it will surely add to your gluten-free repertoire of recipes! It does involve handling a bit of meat, which isn’t my favorite part of cooking, but compared to other dishes, its relatively hands-off when it comes to that part.
So why braised pork steaks? Well,there are two reasons: first, a couple days prior, Aleks came home with two bags full of meatsies he got at a serious discount at SuperValu. Like giant cuts for $3! This rampage at SuperValu also meant that neither Aleks nor I had any experience in some of the cuts. Time to experiment!
Second, because eating well-prepared, irresistibly delicious food with well-loved, irresistibly fun people is my favorite thing to do, I often accept Aleks’ requests to commission me to make dishes he discovers, and he always finds amazing recipes. Usually, however, I put my own spin on it, and that was supposed to be the case here. I was going to use different spices and some sauerkraut to make it a little more Eastern European; our condo-owners recently gifted us some homemade sauerkraut!
However, it truly is incredible what stress does to memory retention and attention skills. Once I got into the kitchen, my original plan to modify the recipe completely fell out of my head. Auto-pilot was turned on without my consent, and it wasn’t until the damage was done (delicious damage albeit) that I realized I deviated from our Eastern European vision. Italian it was then!
The original recipe is from this blog, and after trying this dish and browsing through some of his other recipes, I would probably try another. It was quite good.
I modified the amounts in the original blog to the ones below to suit my tastes and added a reduction process at the end and made a sauce from the yummy bits left after browning the steaks. I put that sauce over EVERYTHING. Sauce it up, dammit. That’s what I say. So mouthwatering.
2 pork shoulder steaks
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for searing
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
3/4 cup chicken stock
3 bay leaves (mine was old so I used more..)
1 onion, quartered
4-5 Yukon gold potatoes, quarter or halved if they are small
First step…rub it down.
First step is to get those spices mixed and mashed up good. On your cutting board, run your knife through the garlic, oregano, thyme, salt and black pepper. The juices of the garlic will make all the other spices stick together a little, and once it’s minced, you can run the sides of your knife over the mixture to make a kind of paste.
Whisk this paste with the olive oil and vinegar, and using only half of the mixture, rub the spice mix on both sides of the steaks.
Second step…brown and braise it up.
Now we’re are going to brown the meat just enough to bring out some flavor, but not enough to cook the inside of it just yet.
Ideally you want to use an over-safe dish that can also be used on the stove top. If not, you can certainly use whatever pan you like for this first part and then a baking dish for the oven portion of recipe. Either way, you want to put about a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan as it heats up on high. Once it’s hot and ready, place the steaks in the pan to sear on each side for about 3 minutes.
They should look nice and brown when you turn them over and then take them off the heat. (Hang onto the frying pan and the brown bits left at the bottom – we’re gonna need that! Rub the remaining garlic-spice paste on each side and place them on a plate for just a couple minutes while you prepare baking dish with the other ingredients.
Place the onions, celery, potatoes, bay leaf and chicken stock in the baking pan. Place the seared pork steak on top of the vegetables and cover the dish with foil if it doesn’t have an accompanying top.
Place in a 350 degree oven and braise for 1 1/2 hours. Check after 1 hour and add more liquid if necessary. The meat should be fork tender when it’s ready!
With the brown bits left in the pan used earlier, you can add a little red wine and boil it down while scraping the bits and mixing them around the wine with a wooden sp0on. If it feels right and you want to thin the reduction out a little (if it gets to thick), you can add a little broth if there is any left over from earlier. Drizzle this sauce over the veggies and steaks once they are plated and enjoy!