Happy (late) Easter to all of my readers out there! I hope you took some time to slow down this weekend. If not, I hope you have the opportunity to do so this week.
Around Easter every year, I get a hankering for some BBQ. Something about the longer days and the temperature warming up, is the perfect recipe for some major cravings for ANYTHING GRILLED. However, if you don’t have access to a BBQ/grill (like me), or the weather won’t cooperate with your food cravings – I have the perfect solution. It’s my caramelized pork steak recipe! This recipe also works great with chicken breasts, just be sure to lower the heat, and cook it a bit longer to ensure it’s not tough and stringy.
I’ve cooked this many times to ensure consistency, but please make sure you have a meat thermometer on hand, as all ovens vary in temperature. Also, I’ve included two variations below, to show you a few of the possibilities for this recipe. What makes this dish beautiful and so yummy is the iron skillet that adds loads of flavor! The toppings on the pork finish cooking in the oven, along with the steak, so be sure not to over cook the toppings or the pork in the skillet on the stove. Enjoy!
Caramelized Pork Loin Steaks
Makes 2-4 servings
Takes about 45 minutes to an hour to prepare.
What you will need:
- 10 inch iron skillet
- Meat thermometer
- 2-4 pork loins about 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons honey
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Begin by adding flavor to your iron skillet, by making one of the two toppings below. This will add depth and flavor to your pork. Once you have made either the Crispy Onion Topping or the Roasted Bell Pepper Topping, heat the iron skillet to medium and add 2 Tablespoons butter coating the entire pan. Sprinkle the pork loin steaks with salt and pepper on both sides, then add then into the hot skillet.
While the pork is cooking make the caramelizing sauce, by mixing the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and honey in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. After the pork has been cooking for two minutes, flip them over and add 2 more Tablespoons of butter to the skillet. After about one minute, spoon about half of the caramelizing sauce over the pork. Add either the Crispy Onion Topping or the Roasted Bell Pepper Topping to the top of each pork loin steak. Then add the remaining caramelizing sauce and add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter on top of the toppings.
Pop the skillet into the 300 degree heated oven, for about 15-20 minutes to finish cooking. Be sure the internal temperature of your pork reaches 145 degrees, then let it rest for five minutes. Voila! Now you have scrumptious grilled pork, without the grill.
To make with Crispy Onion Topping:
You will also need:
- 1/2 cup yellow sweet onion sliced into rings
- 4 additional Tablespoons of unsalted butter
Heat a 10 inch iron skillet on low heat and oil with two Tablespoons vegetable oil. Finely slice 1/2 cup of a yellow sweet onion into rings. Add the onion to the pan, along with a dusting of salt and pepper. Caramelizing onions on low heat will take a while, but the flavor will pay off later. Resist the temptation to heat the skillet higher than low. Once the onions are translucent, or begin to bubble, add 2 Tablespoons butter to the skillet. After about ten minutes, they should begin caramelizing, and smelling fantastic! This is when you need to keep a keen eye on the skillet and add the additional 2 Tablespoons butter. Also, to prevent too much sticking, make sure the onion always has enough butter to soak up. After the onions have been cooking for about 15-20 minutes, and look golden on the edges, take the onion off the skillet and reserve for later.
To make with Roasted Bell Pepper Topping:
You will also need:
- 2 bell peppers (yellow or red are the most flavorful)
- 2 additional Tablespoons of unsalted butter
Heat a 10 inch iron skillet on low-medium heat and oil with two Tablespoons vegetable oil. Slice bell peppers into strips, and add to the skillet. The peppers should be cooked only until the edges are caramelized. For these, if you need to turn the heat to medium to hurry up the process, that’s ok! Just keep a sharp eye on them, because you don’t want to fully cook them, just get the edges caramelized. Add the butter about a minute into cooking on the skillet. Set aside for the topping later.