If you’ve ever eaten pork steaks then you can relate to my enthusiasm for this cut of pork. A pork steakette is cut from the pork butt, a square piece of meat that’s attached to the shoulder. The pork butt (also known as the Boston butt) comes from the shoulder (not the pig’s rear) and the shoulder consists of two parts – the top portion being the butt and the bottom portion being the picnic. The butt is sold bone-in or boneless.
I prefer to buy the boneless as it’s easier for cutting up as desired later at home. The pork butt is a fatty cut and you may have to trim some outside fat or remove the cap (if the butcher hasn’t done this already). If you take a look at the meat of the pork butt, you’ll see wonderful marbling in the meat – not around it (like your usual pork shops). In Greece, the pork butt is often used to make a Sunday roast, souvlaki or, boneless pork butt is thinly sliced (slightly pounded) and stacked to make juicy, succulent Gyros and today I present to you another fabulous way to cook up pork butt – pork steakettes.
In Greece, these “brizolitses” are popular with the masses – an economical cut that’s easy to cook up, the marbling (fat) in the meat is forgiving to even the most challenged of backyard grillers. These thinly sliced pork steakettes are thinly sliced, require a little care it watching out for flare-ups from the far but otherwise, you have no-brainer grilling.
A quick word on pork cuts: there are some differences between a Greek and say, a North American butcher. Here in Canada and the US one will have no issue with finding or asking your butcher for a pork butt. In Greece, asking for the butt at your Greek butcher will gain you only weird looks or the wrath of the butcher. In Greece, the cuts of pork one should ask for are the from the “omoplati” (shoulder) and/or the “laimos” (neck). Now you’re talkin’ the Greek butcher’s language.
Little fuss is needed when grilling pork steakettes (brizolitses) – seasoned with salt and pepper, thrown on a grill over medium-high heat and grilled until that deep brown colour is attained. As always, flip the meat just once, do’t poke and prod it – let the grill do its work. Since these pork steakettes are smaller that your usual pork chop and thinner, one can whip up a dressing in a large bowl that can make these succulent cuts of meat into a finger’lickin’ good kinda of experience. In essence, it’s a Latholemono (or oil/lemon sauce) that contains sweet paprika, minced garlic and dried Greek oregano..,’cause I just can’t help it!
Grilled Pork Steakettes (Μπριζολιτσες)
1 pork butt (boneless), 6-10lbs.
coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Paprika & Garlic Latholemono
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
squirt of Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp. of sweet paprika
2 tsp. of dried Greek oregano
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- Remove any fat that may surround your meat. Before slicing your steakettes, you may have to cut your butt into two so that your portions aren’t too big. Slice your pork butt into 1/2 inch slices. Pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill to a medium-high heat (be able to place your hand on the grill and count to five). Brush the grill surface until clean, wipe the grill with a towel dipped in vegetable oil.
- In the meantime, Add the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, paprika and oregano in a large bowl and whisk until amalgamated. Taste, adjust flavouring and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Season your pork steakettes with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Slap the steakettes on the heat and grill for about 3 minutes/side or until grill marks and/or well seared. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl with the Ladolemono. With your tongs, toss the steakettes for a couple of minutes or until well coated. Cover the bowl and allow to rest for 2 minutes.
- Serve on a platter, garnish with thinly sliced red onions, a sprinkle of sea salt, lemon wedges and dried Greek oregano. A Kir Yianni Akakies Rose would make a wonderful complement to this grilled pork steakette dish.
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