Friday, February 27, 2015

Shallow-Braised Chardonnay Pork Shoulder Steaks

When I was growing up, one of my mother's signature dishes was shallow-braised pork shoulder steaks. She didn't call it that, and I doubt she thought in terms of signature dishes, but it was something that she made quite often.

When I watched my mother make those pork steaks, it was the most puzzling bit of cooking alchemy that I ever witnessed. She used a huge wobbly frying pan that had warped from abuse, so it was impossible for the bottom to heat evenly.

Sometimes the pan was covered, sometimes it wasn't. Sometimes she'd let the liquid cook out, and then she'd add more and cover it again. Sometimes she'd turn the heat off and just let it sit, and then turn it on again later.

It was almost like she had no idea what she wanted to do, or that she had no idea how long it would take to cook properly. But in the end, the dish turned out exactly the same every time. She probably knew what she was doing, but it confused the heck out of me.

Or maybe she was just lucky.

I still love pork shoulder chops, but I don't make them exactly the way mom made them. Hers typically had green peppers, maybe some onion, and they were finished with just a little bit of a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce at the end of cooking. And that's about it. They were simple, but good.

On the other hand, I tend to add extras.

If you think it's unusual to cook with Chardonnay, as far as I'm concerned, you can cook with pretty much any wine that you like - you just need to make sure the flavor of the wine pairs well with the food. And a glass of wine to go along with the meal would be a great idea!

This post is sponsored by Sutter Home, who sent me Chardonnay to work with. Other participating bloggers received other types of wine. Sutter Home also provided the giveaway items.

Shallow-Braised Chardonnay Pork Shoulder Steaks

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pork shoulder steaks
4 stalks celery
1 onion
1 cup Sutter Home chardonnay
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 generous cup bell pepper strips
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

Heat the vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a large frying pan with a lid or other wide shallow pan that will easily fit the steaks.

Add the shoulder steaks and brown on both sides.

While the pork shoulder is browning, you should have time to slice the celery into 1/4-inch pieces and to quarter the onion and slice it into a similar thickness.

When the steaks are browned, add the celery, onion, chardonnay, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and paprika, and give it all a little stir.

The shoulder steaks shouldn't be submersed in the liquid, but there should be at least 1/4-inch of liquid in the bottom of the pan. If you have a very large pan, you might need more liquid. Add more wine, or you can add water, if you prefer.

Bring the liquid to a low simmer and cover the pot. Let it simmer slowly for 60 minutes, then add the parsley and bell pepper strips (I used frozen multi-colored pepper strips, but you could core, seed, and slice fresh bell pepper, if you prefer.

Cover the pan and continue cooking on a low simmer for another 15-20 minutes, The pork should be fork-tender. Remove the cover and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and thickened to create a sauce.

If you like (and it's what mom did) add a teaspoon of cornstarch to 2 tablespoons of cold water and add it to the pan, Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens even more and coats the meat and vegetables.

Serve hot. I served it with rice, but it's also good with simple boiled potatoes.

But there's more!

Don't forget to check out the other two bloggers participating in this giveaway to see what they made and what wines they used.

Foodhunter's Guide to Cuisine made Orechietti with Veal, Porcini, and Spinach.
Miss in the Kitchen made a Tex-Mex Cheesy Rice Casserole

Thanks to the nice folks as Sutter Home, we're doing a giveaway of these items - all to one winner!

  • Napa Valley Olive Oil    
  • Sutter Home Wine Koozie
  • Sutter Home Logo Tote
  • Napa Valley Cabernet Portobello sauce
  • Napa Valley BBQ sauce
  • Sutter Home VinoAir
  • Napa Valley Peach Salsa
  • Napa Valley Garlic Mustard
  • 2 Sutter Home Logo Vino
  • Capabunga Sutter Home Logo
  • 4 Napa Valley Chocolate Bar
  • Sutter Home Ahso wine opener
  • Sutter Home coaster
  • Napa Valley soaps x 2
  • Sutter Home Bubbly stopper
  • Napa Valley Lotion
The giveaway has ended.

This post, as well as the giveaway, is sponsored by Sutter Home.