The aroma that whiffs through your house when you’re making this dish will have them at the dinner table early. This is a very easy meal to make that’s prepared in one pot. All you have to do extra is add a salad.
About two months ago I purchased half of a whole pig with a friend of mine. The pig was raised organically on a farm in Pennsylvania. I had to put the order in a year ahead of time for them to raise the animal. My freezer has been full since then and I’m just starting to make a dent in it. My son Michael said he will take half of my half on the next one. The meat is truly amazing, like nothing you get from commercially raised pork. The meat is darker with a bit more fat in it. Really adds to the flavor. This is the way pork used to be before it became the “other white meat”. Today’s pork is commonly dry and tasteless. After you experience one of these local farm raised animals you can never go back.
A half a pig is a lot of meat. In addition to chops and roasts they even smoked the hams and bacon and made breakfast sausage for me. The bacon is nothing like you get in the supermarkets. The real hickory smoked flavor is wonderful, and the hickory smoked hams are something special. Nothing like the watered down versions you get commercially.
I even had them give me the pork jowls so I can make guanciale. In essence, guanciale is pancetta on steroids. It’s much more flavorful than pancetta and has an intense pork flavor. It’s truly a neglected part of the pig that is very difficult to get outside of Italy. I understand that some specialty stores are starting to carry it. When I cure the guanciale I’ll post it here with some recipes. Even a small amount of this cured meat adds a ton of flavor to your recipe.
From the pork shoulder they cut these steaks. I never had pork shoulder steaks before so I decided to braise them with potatoes and onions and came up with this dish. I hope you enjoy it.
Braised Pork Shoulder Steak
- 1 pork shoulder steak 1 1/2″ thick, about 2 1/4 pounds
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for searing
- 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled and quartered
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and quartered
On your cutting board combine the garlic, oregano, thyme, salt and black pepper and rub down and mash the mixture with the side of your chef knife until you form a paste.
Put the paste in a small bowl and add the olive oil and vinegar. Mix well.
Rub half the mixture on both sides of the pork steak.
In a dutch oven place about a tablespoon of olive and turn the heat to high. Sear the pork shoulder steak about 3 minutes on each side to give it a nice brown color. Take out the pork steak and turn off the heat.
Brush or rub the remainder of the seasoning onto both sides of the seared pork shoulder steak.
In the same dutch oven place the onions, potatoes, bay leaf and chicken stock. Place the seared pork steak on top of the vegetables and cover the pot.
Place in a 350 degree oven and braise for 1 1/2 hours. Check after 1 hour and add more liquid if necessary. The meat should be fork tender when it’s ready.