Thinly sliced, yet large enough to satisfy any appetite, Pork Steaks (also known as Blade Steaks) are a budget-friendly cut of pork, rich in marbling and loaded with big flavor. This is an easy, one-pan dinner idea for tender, flavorful steaks that cook up fast in the skillet and end up on your plate swimming under a sea of savory Brown Onion Gravy.
In addition to a cheap and hearty dinnertime recipe, we'll also cover everything you need to know about this marvelous cut of meat:
- What Pork Shoulder Steaks are and where they come from.
- How to cook them to tender, juicy perfection on the stovetop.
- Pork Steaks vs. Pork Chops -- the ultimate pork showdown!
- Plus, a flawless gravy recipe perfect for smothering any cut of pork.
WHAT ARE PORK STEAKS?
If you aren't yet familiar with Pork Shoulder Steaks, you should be. They are thinly sliced steaks that come from the shoulder of the pig. The shoulder is a hard-working cut of pork and is therefore tough by nature. Because of this, pork shoulders are often slow-cooked or braised. You're likely most familiar with this cut served as Pulled Pork.
However, when the pork shoulder is thinly sliced into individual steaks there is another way to cook it, and still obtain phenomenal results. Pan-searing them over high heat (done right) can result in tender, juicy Pork Shoulder Steaks - no marinade, no braising required.
ARE PORK STEAKS AND PORK CHOPS THE SAME?
Pork Chops and Steaks are not the same things. As mentioned above, Blade Steaks come from the shoulder of the pig, whereas chops typically come from the most tender part of the pig -- the loin.
Both of these cuts have their own benefits. Pork Chops are more tender and perhaps a touch more forgiving, and can be cooked any number of ways with phenomenal results. For Pork Shoulder Steaks, on the other hand, it's best to stick to braising or quick cooking over high heat, such as pan-searing or grilling.
While it may seem chops have the upper hand, steaks take the cake when it comes to flavor. So who's actually winning now?
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
- Shoulder Blade Stakes - You'll often find them labeled "Shoulder Blade Steaks" or "Blade Steaks," and are found near the pork chops in the meat section of your grocery store. They are dark in color, and more times than not, you will find them with a blade bone running through them.
- Oil - Pork Steaks cooked on the stovetop need to be cooked over medium-high heat. This means you will want an oil with a fairly high smoke point to keep them from blackening in the pan. Avocado or canola oil are excellent choices for this.
- Seasoning - Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder is what you'll need from the spice cabinet for seasoning Blade Steaks.
ONION GRAVY FOR PORK
As soon as your meat comes out of the pan, start on the gravy to go with them! This brown onion gravy is perfect for pork, requires very little in the way of ingredients, and takes just a few minutes to make.
- Butter - If you intend to make this gravy to smother your Pork Steaks (which we highly recommend) you'll also want to have a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter on hand.
- Onion - Yellow onion is best for this Pork Gravy Recipe, however, you can also use white onion if you already have it on hand.
- Flour - Use only all-purpose flour.
- Beef Broth - Use only unsalted or low-sodium beef broth. It will give you more control over the sodium levels in your gravy, and help prevent it from turning too salty.
- Worcestershire Sauce - Worcestershire sauce adds tang, intensifies meaty flavors, and gives your Pork Gravy an extra depth of savoriness.
HOW DO YOU TENDERIZE PORK STEAKS?
You don't have to do anything to tenderize Pork Shoulder Steaks before cooking them. You just have to cook them the right way. This is either by braise/slow-cooking or cooking them in a pan over the high heat setting. The latter is the method we will use today.
Blade Steaks will take only 7-8 minutes to cook in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat. However, you should factor in that you will not be cooking all the steaks at once -- these steaks are big after all. Overcrowding the pan will result in an uneven cook and might even cause portions of the steak to steam rather than sear. And, when it comes to quick-cooking meat, searing over high heat is necessary in order to get flavorful and tender results.
HOW TO MAKE PORK STEAKS
- Prep - In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Then, pat the pork dry with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides liberally with the seasoning. Set aside until ready to use.
- Sear the Steaks - Next, prep the pan by adding the oil and allowing it to come to temperature. Do not add the pork before the oil is hot. Sear the steaks in batches, cooking for 3-4 minutes on each side. Then, set them aside on a plate and get ready to make the gravy!
- Cook the Onion - The gravy begins with butter and onion. So automatically, you know this is going to be good. Before you add the butter, reduce the heat to medium so that it does not burn. As soon as the butter has melted, add the onion to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Make the Gravy - Flour will serve as the thickener for your gravy. Sprinkle it over the onions and stir until they are evenly coated. To ensure a smooth and creamy gravy, add the beef broth one big splash at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once the mixture starts to resemble pudding, you can add the remaining broth all at once. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, just until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and ladle over your Pork Steaks to serve!
5 MORE PORK DINNER IDEAS YOU’LL LOVE
- Country-Style Ribs are a delicious, budget-friendly dinnertime option. Braised in a quick, savory, homemade barbecue sauce. They’re sticky, sweet, and 100% fall-off-the-bone tender.
- BBQ Spare Ribs are easy to make and take less than 15 minutes to prep! They’re covered in a smoky, brown sugar rub and then slow-cooked in the oven until tender and juicy, yielding the perfect bite.
- Pork Tenderloin is packed with flavor thanks to a mustard-rosemary rub and never comes out dry!
- Slow-Cooker Spare Ribs are as close to ribs hot off the pit as you’ll get, and although cooked indoors and in a crock pot they come with a big burst of BBQ flavor. Best of all? They’re seriously easy to make.
- Breaded Pork Chops with a crispy panko breading are always tender, never dry — this easy dinner recipe will be your family’s new dinnertime favorite!
An easy, one-pan dinner idea for tender, flavorful Pork Steaks topped with a savory brown onion gravy. Quick-cooking and sure to satisfy any appetite!
- 4 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 pounds thinly sliced pork shoulder blade steaks
- 2 tablespoons canola or avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 ¼ cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Pat the pork steaks dry with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides liberally with the seasoning. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and allow to come to temperature. Add the pork steaks to pan, taking care not to overcrowd the pan and cooking in batches if needed. Cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook 3-4 minutes more. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining pork steaks. Set aside on a plate and make the gravy.
Reduce the heat to medium heat and add the butter. As soon as the butter has melted, add the onion to the pan and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened and cooked through.
Sprinkle the flour over the onion and stir until evenly coated. Then, one big splash at a time, add the beef broth, whisking well after each addition. Once the mixture starts to resemble pudding, add the remaining broth all at once. Add the Worcestershire sauce and whisk to combine. Allow to simmer, 3-4 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.
Serve your pork steaks with a ladle full of gravy and enjoy.