Flavorful, Tender Pork Shoulder Steaks – Easy and Delicious!
Pork shoulder steaks – also known as blade steaks – are a cut of pork which you may not normally see in your supermarket unless you specifically ask your butcher for them. It’s an inexpensive cut of meat from a section of the pig often de-boned to make a roast for slow-cooking, ground up for chop meat or cubed for stewing. Typically it either needs to be marinated and grilled quickly or slow-cooked until tender, as anywhere in between those two approaches and the meat will become very tough.
I have a lot of shoulder steaks in my freezer from pigs we’ve had butchered from my mother’s farm, and I’m always looking for new ways to cook these steaks that are tasty without too much work. I have to say my latest experiment has turned into my favorite recipe for them to date: spiced and braised with smoked spices, bourbon, red wine and peach preserves. The resulting dish is reminiscent of delicious pork ribs out of the smoker with using just quality ingredients and my own oven! In fact I will be trying this again with a rack of pork ribs this summer for sure…but if you have some blade steaks this is an excellent way to elevate their flavor to an entirely new level. Want to give it a try? Read on for my recipe and full step-by-step preparation photos.
Bourbon and Peach Braised Pork Shoulder Steaks: The Recipe
For the spice rub on the shoulder steaks, I used specialty “Kentucky Bourbon Barrel” Oak Smoked Black Pepper and Salt from Salts of the Earth. This wonderful company out of Charlotte, North Carolina has a delightful selection of specialty artisanal salts, peppercorns and other products that are affordable and wonderful for bringing out the best in your cooking. Here, these really added that “Smokehouse” flavor to the steaks without needing a smoker in my backyard!
If you don’t have smoked salt or peppercorns on hand, you can of course prepare this recipe with regular sea salt and fresh ground pepper, but you will lose some of that smoky flavor. If it’s summertime you could throw the steaks briefly on the grill after braising to blacken them instead.
Serves: 2 (you can easily double this recipe if cooking for more)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total cooking time: about 2 hours
1 to 1.5 pounds pork shoulder steaks (two large or several smaller steaks, depending on how “meaty” they are)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Oak Smoked Black Pepper, to taste
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Oak Smoked Salt, to taste
1/3 cup bourbon (I use Wild Turkey)
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons peach preserves
1. Prepare spice rub in a small bowl by combining all ingredients and making sure it is well blended. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Coat shoulder steaks with the spices – I use a plastic bag so I can toss the steaks in the rub and shake it together for an even coating.
3. Heat the olive oil in an oven-safe saute pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the shoulder steaks and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove steaks from the pan and set them aside.
4. Deglaze the pan by adding the bourbon, red wine and water. Bring liquid to a boil and burn off some of the alcohol, about 1 minute.
5. Return steaks to the pan and bring back to a boil. Cover the pan and place in oven; cook for 90 minutes or until the steaks are fall-off-the-bone tender, flipping once half-way through cooking.
6. Return pan to stove top; take out and set aside steaks. Add peach preserves to the sauce, mix together and heat until the sauce begins to thicken. Return steaks to the sauce and toss until thoroughly coated.
7. Serve steaks with the side dishes of your choice! Sweet potatoes, a green salad, cole slaw or cornbread would all go well with this dish. Enjoy!