Leg of Pork Steak, pan-fried with rosemary and garlic

Leg of Pork Steak, pan-fried with rosemary and garlic

Going to update this post as I’ve cooked this again with thicker leg of pork steaks. Will add that at end of page. Besides, the photo at end of post of the gravy is far more accurate in colour and consistency. As I had to buy a pack of two steaks for the previous post, and as I’d already wolfed my way through the mushroom goulash, I decided to use up some winter root vegetables with the second one. Besides, it might be spring but it’s still very damp and chilly outside. And I’m still not hankering after more springlike foods, yet. This would be perfect for pork chops. Having said that, as I’m not keen on a lot of animal fat (and pork chops invariably have their fair share), and as chops are almost £2 more per kilo, I’m going with leg of pork steaks again. Slight problem for me, then, as I don’t have a kitchen mallet. And these steaks could do with a right clobbering to help tenderize them. Not only that, they’re never the same thickness. As it’s possible to see from the photo above, and as I’m not using a mallet, it’s difficult to get these steaks evenly golden in colour.

I just don’t understand why people shy away from making home-made gravies. Especially as they’re so easy to make. This reduction, with a little roux to thicken, takes all of 10 minutes to cook – if that. Admittedly, I used to have a container of vegetable gravy granules in my cupboard. Until I learnt how easy it is to make gravy from scratch. I’ve never looked back. And haven’t bought gravy granules, nor packs of sauce mixes, for years.

If you’re wondering there are pan-fried parsnips in the photo above as I wanted to use them up. And, unfortunately I forgot to whisk the gravy before adding it to its preheated jug, which is why the gravy has separated. Yikes! View the last updated photo below to see how the gravy should look.

In N. Ireland and Scotland swede is called turnip. Here in England turnips are small root vegetables that are whitish in colour and have a green/purple/red colour on top. Swedes/rutabagas are much larger and have a yellow coloured flesh. They’re normally boiled in chunks for a mash by themselves or with carrots, parsnips or potatoes.

Leg of Pork Steak, pan-fried with rosemary and garlic

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 200g (7.05 oz) x new potatoes per person, scrubbed, cut into halves or smaller and boiled. Mash with butter, cream, milk or extra virgin olive oil – use your favourites
  • rapeseed oil
  • 1 x 275g (9.7 oz) pack leg of pork steaks, or larger if you want more meat per person, rinse and tenderize the meat a little by clobbering the steaks with a kitchen mallet
  • 3 – 4 x fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 – 3 x medium garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
  • 200ml (0.422 pt US Liq) x preferably cooking liquor from boiling the potatoes OR water
  • 1/2 x chicken stock cube
  • 1 x dried bay leaf, ripped
  • 1 x tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 x tablespoon plain (AP) flour

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • If you’re going to serve mashed potatoes I’d prepare them before the meat. Cover with just enough cold water (without salt), put them on heat No 4 and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to No 2, cover with a lid and simmer until cooked. Strain into a suitable container, reserving their cooking liquor for the gravy. You will  need 200ml (0.422 pt US Liq).
  • If you need further instructions for creamy, mashed potatoes then click: Pork shoulder steaks with creamy mashed potatoes
  • After preparing the meat put a heavy-based pan, or saucepan, with a little rapeseed oil on electric heat No 4 (out of 6). Allow the pan to become hot, making sure the oil doesn’t smoke. Carefully place the steaks into the pan and allow to brown on both sides for about 5 minutes each side. Any sign of scorching and reduce heat a little, or take off heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the rosemary after about 5 minutes or so and place the steaks on top. After 10 minutes turn the steaks over and add the garlic and reduce heat to No 2. After a further 5 minutes turn the steaks over and reduce heat to No 1. After about 20 minutes cooking time (if you’ve bought thicker steaks their cooking time might be a further 10 minutes or so – please read update at end of post) remove the steaks and set aside. If necessary cut through to their middle to check that they’re completely cooked. This cut of pork shouldn’t be served pink.
  • If you want to eat the garlic, as I did, you’ll have to keep an eye on those halves and turn them over with the meat. To the extent it might prevent scorching if, and when they’re nicely golden, they are moved unto the meat itself. Or removed and set aside.
  • Put a small saucepan on heat No 1, add the oil and flour and stir through. The mixture should be slightly runny as it will be much more manageable. Allow several minutes for the flour to cook out. If any bubbling occurs take off heat and allow to cool. Keep repeating this process, but do not let the flour turn a nutty brown! If that happens start again from scratch.
  • When the steaks are nicely cooked remove them from the pan and allow to rest by covering them (keep the rosemary in the pan). Put the same pan on heat No 4 and pour in the cooking liquor or water, add the stock cube with the bay leaf. Stir through until dissolved. When the flour for the roux above is cooked out enough add it slowly to the stock and stir continuously until the gravy thickens slightly. Strain the gravy through a fine wire sieve, before serving, discarding the rosemary and bay leaf. Do whisk the gravy if the oil separates before serving.
  • If you need to reheat the steaks I’d just place them in the gravy and keep on low heat whilst you finish off preparing the mash and cooking the swede.

As I cooked this again with thicker steaks, around 330g (11.64 oz) for 2, I had to alter the times and heat slightly. Especially as it was running late and I was starving. Perhaps not massively different, but at least this is an option if you like more meat. I also had to stay with the pan just in case the garlic and rosemary would scorch.

  • Put a heavy-based saucepan on heat No 4, and when oil is hot but not smoking add the steaks for about 1 minute. Turn the heat down to No 3, add the rosemary and garlic and turn the steaks over.
  • Allow to settle at this point but do keep an eye on the garlic, making sure to turn their pieces over every so often. After about 15 minutes (and do flip the steaks over every 4 – 5 minutes), turn the steaks over and place on top of the rosemary. If the garlic is cooked to your liking either place on top of the steaks or remove and set aside. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes, turning the steaks over every 5 to get them evenly cooked. Place the rosemary on top, too, as this will help to prevent them from burning. Continue the gravy with the instructions above.

.

FOR THE SWEDE/rutabaga

  • One medium swede/rutabaga is loads for two people, large should be enough for up to four.
  • Either slice the swede crossways so you’re left with almost circular pieces, about 2.5 cm or 1 inch in thickness. Peel and trim the piece or pieces into the shape you want. Or peel and then slice. Whichever’s easiest.
  • Put a heavy-based pan on heat electric No 2 (out of 6), large enough to cook 1 or more pieces at a time. I use a small Le Creuset with a lid. Pour in enough oil to cover its base, and when hot enough add the swede. I simply cover with a lid for 15 – 20 minutes, turn it over and continue to cook, without the lid, for another 10 – 20 minutes. It’s according to how large the piece is. And it might be better to reduce heat to No 1. When it’s soft enough to pierce with a fork it’ll be cooked. The swede should be nice and golden on both sides by that stage.
  • If you don’t have a lid for your pan chances are it will take longer to cook them. You could slice them thinner. And in smaller pieces. One cm thick and sliced into a square could look really good on the plate.

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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