Tuesday, May 5, 2015

We Have Pork Leg Steaks - What Now?

A few months ago, we went "halfsies" with a friend on a half of a pig.  For the most part, a lot of the pig has been sitting in the freezer without many ideas on what to do with it.  Sure, we know what to do with pork chops, ribs, ground pork, pork belly, etc.  Some of the cuts are a bit unfamiliar to us, so we have to get creative with them!

Fast forward to tonight, and we had a pork leg steak that we needed to use.  Chance pulled it out of the freezer the other day, and I was left with the responsibility of cooking dinner tonight.  He told me it was pork chops (and essentially, it is), so I looked up a recipe for pork chops.

Plus I needed to cook those fiddlehead ferns that were sitting in my fridge before they went bad.  It would be tragic if I let them go to waste!  Of course the real tragedy is their short availability season - late March through mid to late May.  They're my favorite side dish!  Sometimes I will just saute them with bacon, butter, garlic, salt and pepper.  I know, I know - it's cheating.  Of COURSE any vegetable would taste great that way!

I saw the label on this cut of meat and began to doubt myself.  He explained that I should just cook it like a pork chop and we will cut it in half after it is done.  So off I went!

I found a pork recipe that sounded good - mostly because I knew I had all of the ingredients in the kitchen and I wouldn't have to run to the store - and tweaked it.  So here is my entire dinner recipe, folks!

Balsamic Pork Chops/Leg Steaks

3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of chopped rosemary (dried is fine)
1 pork leg steak
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 2/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup fig balsamic vinegar (or whatever other balsamic vinegar you have in your pantry)
Salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Stir the flour, rosemary, and some salt and pepper together on a large plate to make a nice dredging flour.  
  2. Place the leg steak in the flour, and use a spoon to get some of the flour mixture in all of the little crevices.  Flour both sides of the leg steak.
  3. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, melt the butter together with the olive oil.  Put the crushed garlic cloves in the oil and let it simmer in the oil for about 1 minute.
  4. Place the flour-coated leg steak into the skillet and cook each side for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden.
  5. Remove the leg steak after cooking for 4 minutes on each side and set it on a plate.
  6. Pour the chicken broth and vinegar into the same skillet and use a whisk to scrape up any stuck on bits.  Reduce the mixture until about half of the liquid is gone - about 5 minutes.
  7. After the liquid has reduced, put the leg steak back into the skillet with the balsamic reduction and cook it for about another 6 minutes total.  You can flip the steak about halfway through so the liquid nicely coats both sides of the meat.
  8. Remove the leg steak from the skillet and cut it in half.  One leg steak should be two servings.
  9. Serve with a tablespoon or so of the balsamic sauce on top.

Fiddlehead Ferns and Yellow Squash

1 yellow squash, cut on a bias in 1/3 inch thick slices
1 lb fiddlehead ferns, washed to get the darker leaves off and end pieces trimmed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp "Dirt" brand Creole blend seasoning
Salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Put the butter and olive oil in a medium size skillet on medium heat.
  2. Stir the squash and fiddlehead ferns together in a bowl with the Dirt seasoning.
  3. Place the garlic, squash, and fiddlehead ferns in the skillet and stir.  
  4. About 10 minutes into the cooking process, add the chicken broth and stir.  If you prefer, you can add more dirt seasoning, salt and pepper, at this time.
  5. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until ferns are softened yet still a little crisp and the chicken broth has mostly boiled down.  I put the vegetables in the pan at the same time I put the leg steak in, and the vegetables took almost the same amount of time as the leg steak.  I just turned the heat down when the chicken broth had mostly boiled down.

Steamed rice

2 cups steamed rice, cooked per your rice cooker's instructions

Seriously, go buy a Zojirushi rice maker.  It will CHANGE you.  It keeps cooked rice perfect for almost 2 entire days!  Nope, I am not going to list instructions on how to cook rice!  Just pour some of that balsamic sauce on the rice, and serve with the rest of the above dinner items.