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~ Mel's Bone-Suckin' Copycat-McRib & Onion Subs ~

IMG_3943On those rare occasions when McDonald's returns the McRib to its menu for a limited time, I'm not ashamed, well maybe a little ashamed, to admit to making the pilgrimage to the golden arches drive thru.  For the ten or twelve minutes it takes to sit in the parking lot and eat it with a side of fries and a diet Coke, I lock my nutritional conscience in the glove compartment and indulge in what I believe to be their greatest achievement.  Perhaps the "blush would come off the rose" if it were available whenever I wanted one, and, "if wishing made it so", I'd be willing to find out.

The McRib was introduced in the USA in 1981 and developed by McDonald's first Executive Chef René Arend, who invented Chicken McNuggets in 1979.  His McNuggets were so successful that every franchise immediately wanted them, but there wasn't a system in place to supply enough chicken.  Arend had to come up with something to give the franchises as an alternative to chicken -- a new product.  The McRib came about because of a chicken shortage.  It was Arend's idea to shape the McRib like a slab of ribs, even though a round patty served on a standard hamburger bun would have been cheaper.  The process of restructuring meat was first developed by the US Army as a means to deliver large volume of low cost meat products to troops serving in the field. The McRib was born, and despite its name, it is composed of pork shoulder (Boston butt),   

Hold the pickles hold the lettuce special orders don't upset us.

T-mcdonalds-McRibYes, there is a way to copycat the McRib at home, but, the machinations of stripping the meat from uncooked pork ribs, grinding it in a food processor, then forming and freezing the elongated patties prior to grilling them, while worthy of mention:  is freekin' tedious.  Just reading it made me tired -- tired enough to come up with my own pickle-free way of doing it.  Armed with a sub roll, my recipe for the perfectly-broiled 22-minute pork blade steak (a 1"-thick pork steak cut from the Boston butt, which mimics rib meat with 100% accuracy), my favorite Bone Suckin' Seasoning and Bone Sucking' Sauce, plus a diced sweet onion, from start to finish, in 30 minutes, my user-friendly version of the McRib is done, and I'm no longer longing for one.

6a0120a8551282970b0223c8493631200c-1Steaks cut from the pork shoulder are marbled with lots of fat and rich with collagen, which, like the roast, makes them extremely flavorful.  

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"-1" thick is ideal), and, have been trimmed of excessive fat from the fat-cap-side.

The four steaks pictured above, weighing a total of 6.48 pounds, cost $10.87.  That's a whole lot of economical porcine wonderfulness -- especially if you've got a big family with big appetites. Depending on the recipe du jour, sometimes I marinate these steaks, sometimes I don't.  When it comes to pork blade steaks, absorb this: marination (which does not affect the cooking time), is a flavorizer not a tenderizer.  Please know: these steaks are super-tender with zero marination.

* Note:  I have electric ovens and none of mine have a hi or low setting for the broiler.  With the door cracked (which is how broiling, a from-the-top-down dry-heat-method of cooking, is done in an electric oven), an oven-thermometer reads 325-ishº throughout the cooking process.

IMG_3901For each copycat McRib sub sandwich

1  1"-thick pork blade steak

Bone Suckin' Sauce Seasoning & Rub

1/2-3/4  cup diced yellow or sweet onion

1/4 cup Bone Suckin' Barbecue Sauce

1  high-quality 8" sub-type roll

additional Bone Suckin' Barbecue sauce , for drizzly topping

IMG_3902 IMG_3902 IMG_3902 IMG_3902 IMG_3902 IMG_3902 IMG_3902~Step 1. Place the steak, about 1 1/2-1 3/4-pounds, on a corrugated broiler pan -- allow to come to room temperature, 20-30 minutes.  Lightly season top with Bone Suckin' Seasoning & Rub.  Place steak 5 1/2"-6" underneath preheated broiler for exactly 11 minutes -- 5 1/2"-6" is a key measurement when broiling pork blade steaks.  Remove steaks from oven, flip steak over, season second side with a bit more (not too much) Bone Suckin' Seasoning and Rub.  Return to oven and broil for 11 more minutes.  Remove from oven, set aside, and allow steaks to rest, in pan, for 5-6 minutes.

6a0120a8551282970b0224df30e995200b 6a0120a8551282970b0224df30e995200b

IMG_3917 IMG_3917 IMG_3917 IMG_3917 IMG_3917 IMG_3917~Step 2. Slice steak on a diagonal, in half lengthwise -- half bone-in, the other boneless.  Thinly-slice the boneless half across the grain while holding the knife at a 30° angle, into (1/8"-1/4"-thick) strips.  Carve meat away from bone on the second half, then slice that meat in the same manner. Place the still-warm meat strips in a medium sized bowl as you work.  Add the Bone Suckin' Sauce.  Using a spoon toss the meat to coat.  Add the diced onions and toss again.  If you have the time (make the time), set aside for about 10-15 minutes to allow all the flavors time to marry.

Stuff the roll w/crispy-edged perfect-fat-to-pork-ratio meat:

IMG_3933Drizzle w/additional sauce & eat, eat, eat:

IMG_3943Mel's Bone-Suckin' Copycat-McRib & Onion Subs:  Recipe yields instructions to make 1, very hearty 8" copycat McRib sandwich.

Special Equipment List: 11 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 1 1/4" disposable aluminum broiler pan w/corrugated bottom; cutting board; chef's knife; spoon; serrated bread knife

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c95a5bf5970bCook's Note: When my foodie friends start talking about a yummy salad made in the style of McDonald's iconic Big Mac, I listen -- because these are friends I listen to, and, because I have been known to indulge in an occasional Big Mac. Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun is, perhaps, the yummiest cheeseburger creation in the fast-food circuit.  ~ The McDonald's-Style Big Mac Cheeseburger Salad ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019) 


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