Leg of Pork Steak, with pan-fried mushrooms and mashed parsnips

Got the idea for this after last weeks rather confusing pork chops recipe where I substituted this cut of pork steak for the chops. This is by far the quickest and easiest of the two recipes. Okay, there’s a gravy here. But, that’s so easy to make. All you have to do is prep a couple of carrots and celery stalks, add them to the same saucepan as the steaks (after browning them), pour in some water, add ½ a chicken or vegetable stock cube, rip some bay leaves and drop in a teaspoon of set honey. Then, once that’s cooked (in 20 minutes after bringing to a boil) remove the carrots and celery, add a little runny roux (made from extra virgin olive oil and flour) and stir! Couldn’t be much simpler. And, believe me, this is delicious. Perhaps more of an Autumnal or Winter dish. But hey, it’s still cold outside.

I’m still licking my chops, so to speak, after that gravy. Really was good. Anyway, for the leg of pork steaks I’d advise bashing them a little with a kitchen mallet, if you have one of those. I don’t at the moment. The meat was tender and yet difficult to cut through. Partly as they’re not exactly the one size nor the same thickness. The steaks should cook in about 20 minutes, so what I did was to brown them with the shallots for almost 15, then prepared the stock, brought that to a boil and simmered the steaks for about 5 minutes. I removed them to allow them to rest whilst pan-frying the mushrooms and simmering the stock until cooked. The steaks were added to the gravy for several minutes before serving which was sufficient to heat them through.

The one thing I don’t have access to at the moment is a bay shrub or tree. The flavour of fresh bay leaves, as long as you only use last years growth rather than new, is amazing. As this is a very simple gravy 1 fresh bay leaf would be great. Here, I’m using dried so have to up that to 3. Especially as this cooks so quickly. Dried really are best used in slow cooked recipes or stews.

Leg of Pork Steak, with pan-fried mushrooms and mashed parsnips

INGREDIENTS:

  • rapeseed oil
  • 1 x 150g (5.29 oz) pack leg of pork steak or enough meat for 2
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x shallots, peeled and sliced crossways
  • 2 x medium carrots, about 140g (4.93 oz), peeled and cut in half
  • 2 x celery stalks, washed and sliced in half
  • 1/2 x organic chicken OR vegetable stock cube
  • 250ml (0.52 pt US Liq) x water
  • 3 x dried bay leaves, ripped
  • 1 x heaped teaspoon set honey, more or less to personal taste
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x closed cup white (cremini) mushrooms, wiped, sliced in half, then sliced the opposite way 3 or 4 times
  • 2 x medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed/minced
  • 1/4 x scant teaspoon cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x level teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • extra virgin or plain olive oil
  • 1 x tablespoon plain flour
  • parsnips, about 2 x medium per person, peeled, chopped and boiled until soft enough to mash easily

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Put a large heavy-based saucepan on med-high heat, electric heat No 4 (out of 6) and allow the pan to heat through. When hot pour in enough oil to coat its base and allow a few moments for the oil to become hot. Rinse and pat dry the steaks (otherwise they will sputter) and add them once the oil is hot – but not smoking.
  • Allow the steaks to settle whilst preparing the shallots. As the later are sliced add them to the pan. After about 5 minutes turn the steaks over, moving any shallots to the sides. When the steaks start to turn golden check for any excess oil, and if so grab some kitchen paper and carefully tilt the pan enough to be able to soak that oil up and discard. Turn the steaks over after 10 minutes, turning down the heat a little if there are any signs of burning. I’m using the same saucepan to cook the stock so I don’t want that burnt flavour.
  • In the meantime prep the carrots and celery. After 10 – 15 minutes the steaks should be nicely golden (on gas it might take less time). I’d advise that you stay with the saucepan at all times. When steaks and shallots are golden pour in the water, add the half stock cube, bay leaves and honey. Add the carrots and celery when ready, up the heat to No 4, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to about No 2, keep the lid on and simmer for around 5 minutes before removing the steaks (if you’ve only browned the steaks for 10 minutes allow 10 minutes cooking time, during simmering stage, in the stock). Keep them covered whilst you prep the mushrooms. Simmer the stock for a further 15 minutes, remove the carrots and celery and discard. Take off heat and set aside.
  • If you’re having mashed parsnips then allow around 15 minutes for them to cook.
  • Put a small heavy-based pan on lowest heat. Add about a level dessertspoon of olive oil and add the flour, through a sieve if necessary. Stir through, and with any signs of bubbling take off heat and allow to cool. Repeat this process for several minutes to cook out the flour. Do not allow the flour to burn or turn brown.
  • Put a large heavy-based saucepan on heat No 4 with enough rapeseed oil to coat its base. When the oil is hot enough and the mushrooms are ready add to the saucepan and allow to settle. Stir through the occasional time. Don’t worry too much if the mushrooms start to leach a brown liquid. This will be reabsorbed, eventually. When that starts to happen stay with the pan and stir through every 20 – 30 seconds or more to prevent the mushrooms from scorching. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are a nice golden colour. Add the crushed garlic and take off heat. If necessary add a splash of oil and move the mushrooms to one side to be able to add the cayenne pepper. Put back on low heat to cook the garlic a little, but do not allow the garlic to turn golden.
  • When the stock is ready add the oil and flour mixture and stir through. Put back on heat to allow the gravy to come up to boiling point, stirring through constantly. Once near boiling point reduce heat and place the steaks back in the saucepan to heat them through. Before serving find the bay leaves, remove them and discard.
  • Serve with the mashed parsnips and garlic mushrooms. You can add the mushrooms to the gravy if they need to be reheated, although they will probably loose their golden colour – just like my tan after being back in the UK for a couple of days!

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


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