~Pork Butt Blade Steaks w/Peachy Keen BBQ Sauce~
Known as pork steaks, pork butt steaks or pork blade steaks, these bone-in steaks are cut from the shoulder of the pig -- the same part of the porcine used to make pulled pork. Similar in taste and texture to close-kin country-style spareribs*, they were invented in St. Louis, MO, and are a Midwest staple. As a country-style spare rib lover living in central Pennsylvania, I ask my butcher to custom-cut these inexpensive, lesser-to-unknown-here steaks for me. Perhaps this post will help them to catch on "here in the counties", and start showing up in our local markets.
*Country-style ribs are cut from the blade end of the loin close to the shoulder. They're meatier than other ribs. They contain no rib bones, but contain parts of the shoulder blade bone.
"Pork butt" or "Boston butt", is a bone-in cut of pork that comes from the upper part of the "pork shoulder" from the front leg of the hog. Smoked or barbecued, Boston butt is a southern tradition. This cut of meat got its name in pre-Revolutionary War New England:
Butcher's in Boston left the blade bone in this inexpensive cut of pork shoulder then packed and stored the meat in casks called "butts". They sold the pork shoulders individually to their customers, and, when they got popular, they began shipping "the butts" Southward and throughout the Colonies. Simply stated: the way the hog shoulder was butchered, combined with "the butt" they arrived in, evolved into the name "Boston butt".
Because overcooking renders them dry and tough, this quick-cooking cut is perfect for the grill, sauté pan or broiler. Choose pinkish-gray steaks that are generally the same size and thickness (3/4"-thick is ideal), and, have been trimmed of excessive fat from around the fat-cap-side.
Note: These 8 steaks, weighing a total of 8.05 pounds, cost $14.33. That's a whole lot of economical wonderfulness -- especially if you've got a big family with big appetites to feed.
Because overcooking renders them tough, this quick-cooking pork steak is perfect for the grill, grill pan, sauté pan or broiler.
Choose side-dishes to complement the seasonings used & set the table:
Pork steaks cook to an internal temp of 145° in a short 5-6 minutes per side.
There are no words to tell you how well my Peachy Keen Barbecue Sauce for Poultry or Pork, which is made with my Perfect Peach Preserves from the Bread Machine (which I keep on hand in my freezer) and a host of aromatic spices (allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and mace to name a few), pairs with these pork steaks. Store-bought peach preserves will work just fine too, so, don't let that sway you from taking the few minutes to make this divine sauce for your pork blade steaks.
How to cook great pork steak indoors on a grill pan:
~ Step 1. I'm demo-ing one steak today, so I'm using my 10"-round grill pan. To cook 4 steaks at once, I use my bigger double-burner-sized grill pan. To cook 8 steaks at once, I use both of my double-burner grill pans.
~Step 2. Spray a grill pan with no-stick spray and place over medium-high heat. Place a 3/4"-thick, room-temperature pork butt blade steak on the hot grill grids. Season with freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend, about 5 grinds of salt and 10 grinds of peppercorn blend. If you have a bacon press, place it on top of steak -- this will hold it closer to the heat which makes for prettier grill marks -- if you don't have a bacon press, no big deal. Cook steak on first side for 5 minutes, or until golden grill marks appear, but do not cook it longer than 6 minutes. Flip steak over. Season the cooked first side with salt and pepper, place the optional bacon press back on top and cook for 5 (and no more than 6) more minutes. Turn the heat off and allow steak to rest, in pan, for 3 minutes.
Slice in half on a diagonal (half bone-in, half boneless)...
Serve w/a side of my Creamy Crunchy Cole Slaw & dig in!
Special Equipment List: appropriately sized grill pan (a sauté pan may be substituted); large spatula or bacon fork (for flipping steaks over); bacon press (optional)
Cook's Note: Pork shoulder or pork butt, when trimmed and cut into 3/4"-1" cubes makes marvelous chili. For one of my favorite New-Mexico-Style versions, try my recipe for Hatch Green Chile Chili with Pork and White Beans. Make a big batch because it freezes great.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)