Thursday, December 12, 2013

Living High On the Hog

I've already come perilously close to re-branding my blog as "your Holidailies source for home chocolate-making," so now I'll make a 90-degree turn, building off another aspect of my previous post, at the risk of this blog becoming "your Holidailies source for all foods pork-ish." Then again, I guess I could do worse than being the chocolate and pork guru, right?

Growing up, it seemed like pigs could only end up one of four ways: bacon, sausage, ham, and pork chops. Plus restaurants seemed to have access to the ribs of pigs, as well as some kind of fantastic pulling technology. In the home, though, it was pork chops. And since the FDA word was law in our household, our pork chops were cooked to within an inch of their lives, to make sure that ours were safe.

One of the big expansions of my porcine horizon came when I married into a family with roots in St. Louis, where pork steaks are apparently commonplace. I have always been a fan of any and every steak I've had the pleasure of meeting (and eating), so I was intrigued when my father-in-law first threw pork steaks on the grill. Swine has never been so fine.

And now that we get a half-hog from our farmer each year, we go through several packages of pork steaks each year, and we also get chops that are much thicker than anything my mother ever cooked. Also, we thumb our nose at the FDA guidelines in favor of some juicy, porky goodness.

One of my favorite ways of cooking pork steaks or chops--other than grilling--is shared below. It's simple, it's delicious, and as you'll see, it's pretty versatile. You can use steaks or chops; you can use soy sauce, or you can go soy-free and use coconut aminos; you can use green onions, or you can use pretty much any other onion (yellow, white, red, sweet... whatever!); and although it's not listed in the recipe, this recipe is also pretty awesome with mushrooms added into it, too.

Pork Steaks

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos (Paleo and/or soy-free option)
1 bunch green onions (or one--or more--onions)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 pork butt steaks (or chops) (truthfully, I can only fit two big steaks or four chops in a skillet)

Melt butter in a skillet, and mix in the soy sauce. Saute the green onions and garlic until lightly browned. If using "regular" onions, I would saute in butter for a while first, then add the garlic and coconut aminos (or soy sauce).

Place the pork steaks in the skillet, cover, and cook 8 to 10 minutes on each side. Remove cover, and continue cooking 10 minutes or so, to your preferred internal temperature. of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

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