Being a guy born and raised in St. Louis, I love pork steaks, so I’m going to write about them several times to get you all acquainted with one of my favorite meats. My first recipe was a smoked pork steak that took a couple of hours – this one is the extreme opposite.
When I was growing up my dad burned pork steaks on our grill once a week during the summer. Yes, burned. I’m pretty sure he’s the guy that invented the St. Louis way to cook pork steaks: Salt and Pepper, blazing hot fire, grill til they’re black, then sauce and turn 17 times until they resemble a block of tasteless cement…coated in sauce. Mmmmmmm…
Pork steaks are a delicious and cheap treat and can be prepared quickly or very slowly and have amazingly different – but all very tasty – results.
For those outside St. Louis, this is what you need to do: Go to your butcher and pick out a Pork shoulder/butt – commonly called Boston Butt. Then ask him/her to slice it into ¾” steaks. Your traditional boston butt will be transformed into St. Louis style Pork Steaks. Get ready.
If time allows, brine your pork steaks. Brine for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to overnight. All this is going to do is maximize how tender and juicy your steaks are, you know, if you care about that sort of thing. At this point you should be getting fairly excited.
Remove the steaks from brine, pat dry, and set on a tray. For simplicity, sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Do the same for both sides. If you want to get fancier, throw on some all-purpose rub. Set aside and go set up your grill for direct cooking. By the time the coals are ready your steaks will be ready to throw on.
When my coals are ready, right before I put my steaks on, I throw on a chunk of fruit wood – apple, pecan, cherry – whatever you have. Or you can toss a handful of wood chips if you prefer. These are available for a couple bucks at any local grocery store.
(For gas grill users, check out your options for a smoke box you fill with wet chips and place on your burners. They work great and have a similar effect.)
So for my quick steak recipe, I get the coals blazing hot. 400+ degrees is the goal. My a Weber Performer has a built-in thermometer for ease. Most gas grills do as well. If yours does not, you can pick one up at most local stores or order one online. This is another spot I’m asking you to rethink bbq. Pork steaks don’t have to be grilled for 45 minutes and completely dried out. (Please don’t tell my dad) They can be seared quickly just like you would a beef steak! You’ll love the results.
Grab an ice-cold frosty beverage and head outside.
Oh, and remember those half cans of soda? Pour those into a spray bottle (You can pick one up almost anywhere – Dollar Store, Home Depot, etc.). I often will spray my meat while grilling – adds flavor and moisture.
Sear on one side – maybe about 10 minutes, take your tongs, flip and sear the other side the same. What you’re looking for is a bit of the fat to blacken, and a pretty golden brown to your steaks, as pictured.
After searing your steaks, they are ready for a layer of your favorite bbq sauce. Grab another beverage, sauce and a good brush. I use our homemade team sauce, but you can use whatever your favorite sauce might be. Take your brush, dab – don’t smear! – DAB the sauce on. This will keep the spices and juices from brushing right off the meat. Flip and do the same thing on the other side.
At this point, I close my vents and let the smoke seep into my steaks for a few more minutes before pulling off the grill. Even just 5 minutes and you’ll be amazed at how more juices appear on the surface of your steaks.
Carefully pull your steaks off the grill onto a cookie sheet, being careful to try to keep the juices on the steak, not pouring onto your grill. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes and once again, you’ll see more juices pouring out.
This is the easy, quick way to have something similar to pulled pork in your kitchen any time of year. And you can change the flavor by simply using different spices and different sauces. I also recommend trying different woods until you find the flavors you enjoy. Try maple wood for a tasty twist.
Serve these pork steaks with some grilled pineapple and you have an easy, delicious, quick meal!