Pork Shoulder Steaks, with apple, honey and mustard

There’s no difference to this boneless pork shoulder steak recipe to date, excepting instructions on how to make a gravy at the very end of post. Oh yes, a gravy at last! But, if this is needed for a relatively easy to prep and cook midweek feast then I’m not entirely sure I’d bother with the gravy at all. As I don’t think this dish needs it. Especially if the mash and caramelised onions are fairly moist. Besides, there is a sort of dipping sauce after the steaks are cooked. However, I’m going to include instructions for the gravy at end of post for anyone who might want to try it.

Following text and photos below are from the original post: This is a new recipe for me (loosely based on a French recipe I would’ve thought), and one that I’ll definitely be making throughout autumn and winter. There isn’t much faffing around with this, although I wouldn’t recommend fussing with the meat too much. I’d never cooked boneless pork shoulder steaks before, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy this is to prepare and cook. At the outset these steaks taste far better than they look. On the plate they can appear to be a little misshapen; and even a tad overcooked. However, wait until you bite into the melt in the mouth meat and mouth-watering sauce before you cast judgement. By then, you quite simply won’t care. The ingredients aren’t exactly exhaustive for this dish, and several you’ll probably have in your cupboard.

Boneless Pork Shoulder Steaks, cooked with apple(s), honey and wholegrain mustard

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE STEAKS:

  • oil, enough to coat the base of pan
  • 2 x or around 300g (10.58 oz) boneless pork shoulder steaks, rinsed and dried – if steaks are uneven in thickness do take a kitchen mallet and whack them to get them more even as they will cook better
  • 1 x large Jonagold apple or about 200g (7.05 oz) sweet eating apples, washed, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 x fresh lemon juice, poured over the apples through a fine sieve to collect pips
  • 2 x celery stalks, washed, trimmed and cut in pieces
  • 300ml (0.63 pt US Liq) x cold water
  • 2 x measuring teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • 2 x measuring teaspoons set honey, if using clear honey then use at least 2 – 3 level teaspoons
  • 1 x large or 2 x small bay leaves, ripped or torn in half
  • 2 – 3 x sprigs fresh thyme (I use ‘living pots’)
  • pinch cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x level teaspoon smoked sweet paprika, more or less to personal taste OR 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to personal taste
  • up to 1/2 x organic very low salt vegetable stock cube
  • 1 x tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 x tablespoon oil, and a knob of butter (butter is optional)
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to personal taste

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS – with more detail (without gravy):

STEAKS:

  • Put either a wide frying pan or large heavy-based saucepan on heat electric No 4 (out of 6), add just enough oil to cover its base and, when pan is hot enough add both steaks (after drying them off ) and allow to settle. Cooking with electric is probably slower, so I brown the steaks on both sides for around 10 minutes each side. On gas this will probably be about 5 – 7 minutes each side. If you notice any excess liquid in the pan after several minutes grab some kitchen paper, carefully tilt the pan slightly and mop this liquid out. I’m finding with non-organic meats that there’s usually a certain amount of goo that needs to be removed before the meat will start to brown (having made this again that didn’t happen). Do add another splash of oil if this happens as the pan will be too dry.
  • When steaks are nicely brown on both sides (you can sprinkle some chilli powder over the steaks at this stage) add the apples for several minutes, then simply pour over the stock, add the celery along with the sprig of thyme and the bay leaves.  Cook on same heat for 15 – 20 minutes, with a lid on pan. Do check every 5 minutes or so to make sure the sauce doesn’t reduce to the extent the steaks could burn. They need to be easily moveable if prodded with a fork.
  • All I do at this stage is to grab a fork and turn the steaks over, pushing any apples or celery out of the way to ensure the steaks are touching the base of the pan. After turning the heat down to electric No 1 all that’s left to do is to cover the pan with a lid (or suitable plate) and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes.
  • Within the last step-by-step photo directly below shows how the steaks are doing after simmering for a further 20 minutes, with a lid on and on low heat, electric No 1. At this stage I simply, and carefully, lift out the steaks to allow them to rest and carry on with the gravy and finishing off mashing the potatoes and putting the onions back on to reheat before serving. To serve I do heat the plates which will keep the steaks warm.

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Boneless Pork Shoulder Steaks, cooked with apple(s), honey and wholegrain mustard

SUMMARY (without gravy):

The steaks need to cook for at least an hour. However, there’s actually very little prep for this dish. And, it’s not really necessary to hover over this while its cooking. All you have to do is keep an eye on its progress just in case of any scorching.

  • Preheat a large sauté pan or large heavy-based saucepan (I use the latter) on electric heat No 4 (out of 6) – add a drizzle of oil (enough to coat its base).
  • Rinse and pat dry steaks with kitchen paper – otherwise they will spit everywhere.
  • Allow up to 10 minutes to brown each side
  • Prep celery and apples – drizzle apples with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Prep stock: add the stock cube to a small pan with 300ml water. Put on heat No 2 and stir the occasional time until dissolved. Add the mustard and honey and stir through.
  • Prep onions: preheat a heavy-based pan at heat No 2 and cook for at least 20 – 30 minutes (if using a thin based pan then cook using low heat only.
  • When steaks are nicely browned add the apples and cook for several minutes, then add the celery and pour over the stock. Add the bay leaves and thyme.
  • Cook on same heat (check after 10 and reduce heat if necessary) to reduce stock for up to 20 minutes. Please do check times for this as yours could reduce quicker. At the end of this cooking time the sauce should be syrupy, with the steaks movable around the pan.
  • Prep potatoes, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. How long they take will depend on their size.
  • Turn steaks over, reduce heat to electric No 1, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes. Do check half way through, and add a splash of water if necessary. It’s really not necessary to keep stirring this, or poking it for that matter. Leave well alone, apart from checking the occasional time for any signs of scorching.

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FOR THE CARAMELISED ONIONS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 x medium onion per person or about 200g (7.05 oz) per person, peeled, sliced in half lengthways then sliced crossways as thinly as possible
  • oil
  • splash x water
  • about half teaspoon x light brown sugar – optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

These are the easiest to prep and cook. Simply slice the onion(s) in half, peel, slice off the top, rinse if necessary and then slice crossways. Add to a heavy- based pan with enough oil to cover the base of pan and fry them on heat No 3 for about 10 minutes (if using a thin based pan put on low heat only). I do stir these through occasionally. That way they will be evenly coated and caramelise beautifully. After 10 minutes I reduce heat to either No 2 or 1 and continue with prepping the potatoes. Do add a splash of water if the onions look too dry. To get them really nicely caramelised sprinkle over a little light brown sugar, adding a little more water and continue to pan-fry until needed.

NOTE: If the onions are ready before the steaks, take off heat, add a tsp of water to the pan and add a lid. This will help to loosen and incorporate all of the sticky, sweet gooiness at the base of pan and help to reduce them from drying out.

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FOR CREAMY MASHED POTATOES

INGREDIENTS:

  • approx 400g (14.1 oz) white potatoes (2 – 3 medium potatoes per person), well scrubbed and  any knobbly bits cut out
  • large drizzle of single/light cream
  • knob of butter – optional
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Actually, I’ve been asked in the past by several people, ‘do you add milk?’ ‘How come your mash is so creamy?’ Tsk, tsk, like this Johnny’s gonna add milk. NO! Only single cream allowed in my mash!

Cover potatoes in a pan sufficiently with cold water, after scrubbing, etc. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a broil – fast simmer. Check them after about 10 minutes, and if a fork pierces them easily they should be cooked. Times are approximate, though, as it’s according to how small the chunks are after being prepped. If they’re not soft enough cook for longer, then drain. Return to the pan, and to low heat to dry off. Then, drizzle over a little of the cream and add a dollop of butter if using. Mash until you get the consistency you require. I like them slightly lumpy!

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Gravy

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE GRAVY:

  • Put a small saucepan on electric heat No 1 (out of 6), or lowest heat, with the flour and oil and butter, if using. Allow to melt and stir through. Continue to ‘cook out’ the flour for about 5 minutes, taking pan off heat if any bubbling occurs. Put back on heat and repeat the process. Do not allow the flour to burn.
  • Pour any stock through a fine wire metal sieve into the roux or flour mixture. Before upping the heat make sure to stay with the pan at all times as this can form lumps, although it’s actually a lot easier to deal with than a normal roux of equal parts butter and flour.
  • Up the heat to No 3 and stir continuously until the gravy thickens. Don’t worry if it’s not thick enough as some of the pulp left in the sieve can be rubbed through, not only to help flavour the gravy but to thicken it as well.
  • Remove the bay leaves from the stock and set aside. Remove and discard the celery. With some of the remaining pulp in the sieve, and using a wooden spoon, rub it through into the gravy underneath. It’s not necessary to rub all of the pulp through as otherwise the gravy may taste overwhelmingly of apples. Taste the gravy after rubbing through a small amount, and keep doing that until the flavour needed is achieved. Add a little water if the gravy is too thick. And do add extra mustard and honey to personal taste. If necessary add up to half a veg stock cube for any needed extra flavour, making sure that has time to dissolve completely before serving. Season with both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper. Add a splash of single/light cream, which would help to lighten the colour of the gravy.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


40 comments

  1. It’s just wonderful! I love cooking meat with mustard. It sounds so perfect. Thank you for bringing this recipe up again. I did not know WP at a time 😀

    Like

    • Thank you for having a look at the original post. It’s a great little dish. Even better if you don’t mind rustic as the pan set on the table with your favourite bread would be a really nice way of grabbing the sauce, what there is off it, by dunking pieces of bread into the pan itself! I can’t do bread and potatoes in one sitting, though. 🙂

      Like

    • I would’ve thought this is typically French, and that there must be loads of variations. So love this recipe, and it’s also my most popular on here – by far. That’s partly due to this doing the rounds on Pinterest. Yes!

      Like

  2. Never cooked a pork shoulder steak before. I’m going to now though! This is so wonderful looking (and sounding) and I happen to like the misshapen-ness about it. I love the idea of the pan drippings for sauce and I am glad you reposted it, a great time of year for this dinner. I can see why this is your most popular post, it’s beautiful.

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    • Thanks for that. I’d never cooked them either until I decided to do this blog. They really are a good cut. But not necessarily the cheapest. Leg of pork steak over here is cheaper, and those need to be grilled or pan-fried. The boneless pork shoulder steaks are considerably more expensive and only suitable for braising. I’m hoping the names of the cuts are similar in the States. And yes, perfect time of the year for these. And actually very easy to cook.

      Have a great New Year! I’m just hoping it’s going to be more fun 🙂

      Like

  3. I remember this, it looks so good. I love it, will make it and it will be a little taste of heaven with every bite. Mashed potatoes with cream and butter, thats the way they should be made!!

    Like

    • Yes, these photos were taken just before I fell ill. Too much meat?! Wouldn’t surprise me as I eat so little of the stuff. And it’s good to end the year with better editing techniques. Especially for the few posts that are about meat, as they just look so much more edible than before. And totally agree with you about mash. Have to have a drizzle of single/light cream and salted butter. Then seasoning. Hmm, even though I haven’t eaten meat in weeks I might try cooking venison stew for the first time. For New Years Day. With lots of mash, of course >)

      Let’s make ’14 ours! So looking forward to a bit of fun this year. If and when that happens.

      Like

  4. Love the photo editing, looks gorgeous Johnny. Happy new year for tomorrow!! And stop being so bleak (just a bit of friendly telling off!!!) as I am certain that 2014 will be a GREAT year for you!!! YES!

    Like

    • Bleak?! Moi?? Ever since I’ve seen Orson Welles in Jane Eyre I’ve always fancied myself stomping over the moor with several Borzois (my choice) on tow, then skulking in a castle where no one, and I mean no one, wants to join me! Haha. And I ain’t joking!

      Here’s to ’14 – for both of us. Happy New Year!

      Like

  5. Gorgeous photos – I’m always in awe of your pouring shots! A friend of mine has very kindly lent me one of her tripods, as a trial, before buying one of my own – so I need to start making a few more dishes with sauces and gravy, to test it out! Perhaps a decadent chocolate sauce to drizzle over berries and ice-cream for tonight’s dessert. Happy New Year to you Johnny!
    PS. I get the feeling your Borzois (which I had to google…) would eat my little Havanese for breakfast! 😧

    Like

    • Like you I had to Google. They’re very cute those little hairy hounds.
      Yes, what a decadent shot that could be! Although I’ve yet to even attempt to shoot ice cream as I never eat the stuff. And chances are you’re celebrating as I type. Hoping that goes well. It’s going to be a damp squib of a night over here. Think I’ll stay indoors!
      Here’s to ’14! And steady shots.

      Like

  6. Absolutely gorgeous. So simple and yet full of flavor because of the seasonings. You really can adapt this recipe for any meat. As usual your photography is stunning. You even manage to make a heart-shaped lump look wonderfully appetizing. The best part of a meat dish is all of the lovely flavors that come out of it. Glad you use it all. Feliz ano nuevo!

    Like

    • This particular cut of meat is not the most photogenic! I was lucky and picked out meat that I knew would at least keep its shape after cooking (as I’ve cooked this quite often). As the meat is usually so tender it falls apart – even worse for shots.
      Feliz año nuevo!

      Like

  7. Whenever I read “gravy” on your blog I think “DAMN!” – I’ve been wanting to dabble in gravy making for soooo long now, and I really don’t know why I haven’t even tried yet. There’s always something else getting in the way, I guess. Maybe I’ll put on my New Year’s resolutions list that 2014 should be the year of the gravy…
    On that note, have a Happy New Year, Johnny! It was a pleasure reading your blog and communicating with you. And according to the fantastic WP year end statistics, you’re my # 1 commentar, so thank you for that!
    Looking forwarding to reading you in 2014.

    Like

    • That surprises me as I never seem to leave lots of comments. Quite often I start out writing one and then end up deleting it as I usually think it’s too dull to leave 🙂 Haven’t looked at my end of year stats yet.
      Have to admit that it took me years to get around to making home-made gravy. Why?! It’s one of the simplest things to do. It’s just not a popular thing to make over here, I’m guessing. A reduction, yes.
      Likewise, looking forward to more of your culinary adventures/treasures next year. Oh, did I mention? I keep seeing wonderful textures as a backdrop in some of your photos. Perhaps that’s your dining room wall. Hmm, do I want to be less curious (some may say nosy) for ’14?!

      Like

      • Haha – those textures… dare I say it? They’re paper photo backdrops! Now my secret is out. I love those things, absolutely cheap, and they have such a great effect.

        Like

        • WELL, I NEVER! Actually, I never normally use uppercase! I’m well and truly shocked. And thrilled. How clever. They fooled me! So those ideas of backdrops I still haven’t bothered to do as yet may come in handy. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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  8. This dish is the most delicious of comfort foods. Mashed potato made with cream and butter, caramelised onions and pork cooked to perfection and to top it all off gravy. I am afraid put it front of me the gravy onions would have been made into one and the piled on top of the pork, I am wishing it was in front of me. I love the detail you put into your recipes Johnny and all your tips.
    Happy New Year.

    Like

    • Oh yes, this is perfect for, in my case, messing around with. Even messier if gravy isn’t made as then it’s a case of keeping the pan nearby and dipping the meat into that to scrape all of the sediment/juices from it. Not much goes to waste in my tiny kitchen!
      Happy New Year!

      Like

  9. Gravy! You fiend! We like pork shoulder steaks because it’s one cut that you can buy in this country that reliably has a fair amount of intramuscular fat. We’ve always grilled them, but now you’ve got me thinking about doing them stovetop. Happy New Year! Ken

    Like

    • Ken, you and I just might be cooking differing cuts! As far as I’m aware boneless pork shoulder steaks aren’t suitable for grilling. Of course, you could be grilling as in using a barbecue. The cut I buy for pan-frying/grilling is a leg of pork steak, with several recipes on my blog using both differing cuts. Must Google and try and find out if the names are in fact different. Would help enormously if I could give that info. Especially as this is the most viewed post.
      Likewise, hoping you’re all gearing up for the big night. Let’s grab ’14 and make it a good ‘un!

      Like

  10. It’s 11:13 PM, I’m in bed reading this, and my tummy is growling. No, I’m not joking, it really is! It looks superb Johnny! Happy New Year and all the best to you in 2014!

    Like

    • Thank you! And all the best to you in ’14 as well.
      I’m thrilled that the new editing/photo had your tummy growling. As the meat itself is looking so much more appetising!

      Like

    • That’s the way pork shoulder is butchered over here (just don’t quote me on that!). I’ve never seen that cut with the bone in, or in one piece. And why it’s more expensive here, compared to leg of pork steak which is leaner, is anyone’s guess. It’s a really good cut to use. Especially for slower cooking methods. You know, the one thing I can’t cook is a pork chop! Shouldn’t admit it. But they always turn out dry. Which is why I chose these in the first place.
      Oh, and it only took me two years to get a half decent photo of these steaks. And it’s possible to see within the lead-in where I’ve reheated this steak and ended up scorching it on the underside! Ouch. Still tasted great.

      Like

      • You’re not alone with pork chops. I find they need to be perfectly just underdone or they are dry.

        Funny about the shoulder cut. The usual way I find it is one 3-5 pound chunk.

        My favorite cut for dry heat is pork tenderloin. But I remember living in the UK that it was hard to find there.

        Like

        • Isn’t that odd. I checked earlier for tenderloin (which I’ve noticed before) and it’s available in my local store at all times. Possibly as there are quite a lot of elderly and wealthy people living here by the coast. I’m neither! So I stick to shoulder steaks as they’re about £4 less per kilo. Besides, apart from today I’ve quite often seen them whole – far too large for one person.

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