Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pork Steaks with Mushroom and Onion Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

I've always loved Salisbury steaks... the crappy TV dinner kind, the school cafeteria kind, the greasy diner kind. They're usually made with ground beef or cubed steak.  Well, we had some pre-tenderized pork steaks we'd been buying lately that were like cube steaks, and they've been a fast, tasty fix for nights we haven't felt like cooking.  Recently, we've had some sitting in our freezer and rather than breading and frying them like we usually do (delicious!), I thought I'd try something that "fancied" them up a little, but wasn't a pain in the ass to cook.  And this is the recipe I came up with!  It looks like a lot of ingredients, but don't let it scare you, it's really fast to make.  Basically you're just throwing some onions and mushrooms in a pan with flour and broth, then making a quick dry rub and broiling the steaks for 8 minutes.  Super basic, cheap, and some serious home style comfort food. 

Having come up with the recipe, I had to decide what kind of music I wanted to listen to while cooking.  It seemed like it was a bit of a Southern dish, but I just wasn't in a real hard, punk rock mood.  Instead, I did a little 90's flash back to some good, southern alt-rock: The Toadies.  I know, I know, we said this was a punk rock cooking blog.  But we listen to a LOT of different kinds of music, and we cook a whole lot, so sometimes we're just going to have to mix it up a little.  The Toadies never fail to bring some messed up, dark, Southern imagery to mind... creeping kudzu, old plantation houses, old dark family secrets, people mentally and emotionally (and sometimes physically) tortured by generations of fucked up bible thumping... oh yeah, and gravy!  So here is one of my favourite Toadies songs, "Away".  -jen

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional oil for drizzling)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, julienned
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons dry Sherry
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large pork steaks, tenderized (we bought ours pre-tenderized, like cube steak)
Seasoning Mix:
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a large skillet with straight sides, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter on medium-high heat.  Add onions and mushrooms, tossing to coat with oil and butter.  (The pan's going to look too full, but it'll all cook down.)  Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender.  Add garlic, Italian seasoning, thyme, Worcestershire and soy sauce, cooking another 3-5 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir in until completely absorbed, cooking about 3-5 minutes.  Add chicken and beef broth all at once and stir quickly in order to avoid lumps in your gravy.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer until gravy has thickened.  Add Sherry, Sriracha and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside on very low simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure gravy isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, turn oven to broil.  Mix together all of the ingredients for the seasoning mix.  Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.  Pat pork steaks dry and lay over olive oil on one side, then flip to the other side so both sides are coated with a small amount of oil.  Season both sides of steaks with seasoning mix to taste (you'll probably use 3-4 teaspoons of the mix in total).  Leftover seasoning mix can be stored in airtight container for future use!  Broil steaks on one side for about 5 minutes.  Flip and broil an additional 2-3 minutes.  Serve smothered in onion and mushroom gravy.  We used homemade mashed potatoes, but concurred that egg noodles or rice would also be delicious.

Serves 4
  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • pepper to taste
Bring well salted water to boil in large pan.  Peel 1/2 of the potatoes (and scrub skin of the unpeeled ones clean).  Dice into 2" cubes.  Carefully put into boiling water and cook until they're fork-tender (about 12-15 minutes, fork should slide in easily).  Remove from heat and drain.  In a large bowl, combine potatoes, butter, and milk.  Mash with a hand masher until all ingredients are well mixed (butter will melt from the heat of the potatoes).  Add pepper to taste.

(We're really trying to work on our plating techniques... so we thought we'd each try a plate.)

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