Search This Blog

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Pork Steaks - St. Louis Style

The pork steak.  Beautiful slices, thick or thin, of porky goodness straight from the pork butt.  Some white meat, some dark meat, all perfectly marbled with fat that just wants to be crispy.  If you have ever surfed the recipes on this site, I have a love affair with pork steaks.  This love affair started in Germany at a cook out that a colleague was having in his neighborhood one frosty November evening.    Yes, a cold autumn cook out is a neighborhood tradition in the wine country of Germany.  Trimmings from grape vines after they have been harvested for the upcoming wine making season make for a BBQ tradition.  On this particular evening, the families from the block gathered in the middle of the street with a rag tag assembly of grills of all shapes and sizes, numerous bottles of last years Riesling, and a lot of sausage, chicken, and pork.  The smoke from the grape vines imparts a nice sweet flavor to whatever is being cooked on the grill.  Everything was good, but I was drawn to the pork steaks.  These were sliced thick, about an inch if memory serves me correctly.  They were marinaded in a mix of white wine, vinegar, rosemary, and garlic for 24 hours.  Then they were grilled hot and fast.  Crispy pork fat on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.  The combination of the marinade and spices with the marinade hooked me for life.  This is how my love affair started with the glorious pork steak.

Over the years I have gravitated towards the marinate and grill method.  But, I have had a few conversations with the good folks over at The Good Que Crew about cooking the pork steak.  They hail from St. Louis, another area where the pork steak is a staple of a summer BBQ.  They cook them a little differently though.  Dust them with rub, sear them on the grill, then finish cooking them while swimming in BBQ sauce, foiled in a pan.  I happened to have some pork steaks in the ice cave a few weeks ago and I had a taste for BBQ.  Non-competition BBQ that is.  So, upon thawing my steaks, I set out to cook them St. Louis style.

Ingredients needed are:

4 Pork Steaks
1 Bottle of Stubbs Pork Marinade
Your favorite rub.  I used Slabs Birds and Bones.  A little sweet, savory, and no heat.  Perfect to balance the heat from the Stubbs marinade.
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce.

First, I placed the pork steaks in a vacuum seal bag, dumped in the marinade, then sealed the bag.  Into the fridge they went for an overnight soak.  Every time I opened the fridge, I flipped the bag.

The next afternoon, about 16 hours of marinade time, I removed the steaks from the pouch and placed them on a cookie sheet.  I lightly dusted the top with my rub.  After 30 minutes, I flipped them over and lightly dusted the other side with the rub.  Then, I went outside to start my grill.

I set up the grill for two zone cooking.  First, I give the steaks a good sear.  About 3 minutes a side.

Next, I placed the seared steaks in a foil pan, added my BBQ sauce, then foiled tightly.

I placed the pan on indirect heat and allowed them to cook for 30 minutes, turning the pan 180 degrees after the first 15 minutes.  After 30 minutes, I brought the pan inside, removed the foil, and served hot.

I gotta say, I think I like the St. Louis method for cooking pork steaks.  A little bit of crisp, tender juicy meat, a nice thin glaze of sauce.  Warning, the Stubbs marinade can have a little bit of bite, especially after 16 hours of marinading.  If you don't like heat, I would suggest a different marinade.  But it may not matter.  Hope doesn't like heat, but she suffered through the bite because she loved the flavor.  Your choice.

Have a great 4th of July.  Thanks for stopping by.