Pork Steaks with Apple and Bourbon Cream are a great fall meal. Tender and flavorful pork steaks with braised veggies, apples and a bourbon cream sauce. These pork steaks just scream fall comfort.
When I think about fall I think about apples, braised meats and veggies and heavier sauces. All things that give me a comforting and nostalgic feeling and these pork steaks are exactly that.
Bourbon cream sauce is one of my favorite sauces to pair with pork. It always reminds me of a dear friend that taught me how to make it years ago at my first restaurant job. We cooked a lot of things with bourbon there, come to think of it.
Anyhow, bourbon, cream and mustard pair so well together. With this recipe I added a bit of apple cider in too!
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What are pork steaks?
Pork steaks are a cut from the pork shoulder region that contain the blade bone. You can use larger cuts of pork shoulder to make pulled pork. You cook pork shoulder at a low and slow temperature to make it tender.
On the contrary, you can cook pork steaks at a high heat and they will still be tender and flavorful. They are thin exactly for that reason. Pork steaks contain a higher amount of fat which is where much of the flavor comes from. They are a cheap and flavorful option for dinners!
Ingredients for Pork Steaks with Apple and Bourbon Cream
- Pork Steaks – A thin flavorful bone-in cut of meat from the pork shoulder
- Shallots – I love using shallots especially during the fall and winter months
- Garlic – Fresh garlic here for the best flavor
- Carrots – Carrots are a favorite of mine when it comes to braised veggies
- Kosher Salt – Salt will always help bring out the flavors in the recipe
- Black Pepper – I prefer the course ground to get a little extra bite
- Olive Oil – The oil is used to get a nice sear on the pork steaks
- Fresh Thyme – Thyme goes really well with apples, pork and bourbon
- Apples – I like to use a honey crisp apple but feel free to use your favorite apple
- Chicken Stock – This will add depth of flavor to the dish. If you have pork stock then use that
- Apple Cider – The braising liquid contains apple cider to help get that apple flavor through the dish
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Use a good apple cider vinegar that contains the “mother”. I like this one
- Bourbon – Really just use your favorite bourbon here because ultimately you want a flavor you like
- Whole Grain Mustard – I love mustard and bourbon together and I love it over pork
- Heavy Cream – I add this to the bourbon sauce for a nice smooth texture and fat content
- Lemon – A splash of lemon juice to “brighten” the sauce a little
- Chives – Fresh herbs on top of a dish always make it better
Tips for Pork Steaks with Apple and Bourbon Cream
- Get your pan nice and hot to sear the pork steaks. This will give the pork a nice deep brown color and crust on the outside that is super flavorful
- STAND BACK when you light up the bourbon in the pan. The flame will go high (like several feet off your pan), please be aware
- You can sub Dijon mustard for the whole grain if you’re in a pinch or just don’t buy whole grain
- Mashed potatoes go really well with this dish, especially if you dump the bourbon cream over the top
- A cheap bourbon is completely fine for this recipe. I used Maker’s Mark but Evan Williams is a go-to cheap bourbon that I like, especially for cooking
- A cast iron or Dutch oven work well for this recipe, here are my two favorites! Cast Iron, Dutch Oven
How to cook pork steaks
You can cook pork steaks a number of different ways. I prefer a high heat method. For instance:
- Searing – This method uses high heat on the stove top. You can use a cast iron pan, Dutch oven, skillet, etc. Heat the pan over high heat for 1-2 minutes until very hot, add the oil then add the seasoned pork steak. Leave the pork in place until you’re ready to flip it to make sure you get that nice sear. A couple minutes per side will cook the pork steak all the way through.
- Grilling – Grilling pork steaks is another favorite of mine. Get your grill nice and hot then grill the seasoned pork just like you would any other steak. A couple minutes per side should do it since pork steaks are so thin.
You can also use a low and slow method –
- Braising – You still sear the seasoned pork to begin with then you finish cooking it in liquid, covered with a lid at a low temperature until the pork is very tender. With this method the pork will become “fall apart” tender.
What temperature should I cook my pork steaks to?
Ok, so I know this is a controversial topic. Many people are still with the old school way of thinking that pork needs to be cooked to death so you don’t get sick from it. That’s not the case.
I prefer my pork cooked to 150°F-155°F. This allows the meat to still be very juicy, tender and delicious.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with cooking your pork to 160°F-165°. I cook pork to that temperature and beyond when I’m braising it and also typically will fully cook ground pork.
I prefer pork chops, pork steaks and pork tenderloin to be more in the 150°F-155°F range. That’s a personal preference, it’s delicious and I’m here to tell you that you won’t get sick as long as you’ve properly handled your pork.
How to make Pork Steaks with Apple and Bourbon Cream
Turn your oven on to the “keep warm” setting. That should be somewhere around 160°F-180°F. Heat a cast iron or Dutch oven on the stove over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil to the pan, season the pork steaks then add them to the pan.
Sear them on each side for 2 minutes then remove them from the pan and set them in the warming oven. Drizzle a little more oil to the same pan then saute your shallots, carrots, apples and thyme until they begin to get some brown color.
Add the garlic cloves, salt and pepper then give a good stir. Pour in the chicken stock, apple cider and cider vinegar then cover with a lid and braise until tender. About 15 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the braising liquid.
Make the sauce while the veggies and apples are cooking
While the veggies and apples are braising, make the bourbon cream sauce. Heat the oil and minced garlic on low for about 20 seconds until the garlic becomes fragrant. Turn the heat up to medium, dump in the bourbon, pull the pan back a bit and tilt it toward the flame to light the bourbon.
Lean back and turn your face when you do this, the flame will go very high and I don’t want anyone burning themselves! The flame will die down then you can cook the bourbon for another 60 seconds.
Add the reserved braising liquid then cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the mustard then the cream. Add the lemon juice then whisk well.
Pull the pork steaks out of the oven then place them on plates or a serving platter. Take the veggies and apples out of the liquid with a slotted spoon and place them next to the pork.
Top the pork, veggies and apples with bourbon cream sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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Pork Steaks with Apple and Bourbon Cream
- cast iron skillet or Dutch oven
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 pork steaks
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
Braised Veggies and Apples
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 10 shallots peeled, cut in half if large
- 2 cups carrots peeled, large cut
- 2 apples (honey crisp) cored, cut into 8 wedges each
- 12 cloves garlic peeled
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme take leaves off stem
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup apple cider
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Bourbon Cream Sauce
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 clove garlic
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1 cup reserved braising liquid
- 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice fresh
- 1 tbsp fresh chives finely chopped
Searing the Pork Steaks
- Preheat the oven to the "keep warm" temperature. Anywhere from 160°F-180°F
- Heat a cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the olive oil. Season one side of the pork steaks with half of the salt and pepper then add the pork to the pan
- Sear for 2 minutes, season the top side of the pork then turn over and sear the second side for 2 minutes
- Remove from the heat and place on a tray in the oven to keep warm
Braising the Veggies and Apples
- While the pork steaks are searing, peel the shallots, carrots and garlic. Cut the carrots and apples
- In the same pan you seared the pork in turn the heat to medium – high and add a drizzle of olive oil
- Add the shallots, carrots, apples, garlic and thyme leaves to the pan and sauté until golden brown
- Add the salt and pepper and stir to coat
- Pour in the chicken stock, apple cider and cider vinegar. Braise for about 15 minutes until fork tender but not falling apart. Reserve 1 cup of braising liquid
Making the Bourbon Cream Sauce
- While the veggies and apples are braising, make the bourbon sauce
- Add the olive oil and minced garlic to a sauté pan and heat over low heat for about 20 seconds until the garlic becomes fragrant
- Turn the heat up to medium-high, wait 10 seconds then quickly pour the bourbon into the pan. Pull the pan back slightly and tip it just a little so the bourbon lights up. Make sure to turn your face and body when you light the bourbon as the flame will be large and near your face
- Once the flame dies down after 10 seconds or so, cook the bourbon for an additional 60 seconds
- Add the reserved braising liquid and let simmer 2-3 minutes
- Whisk in the mustard then the cream then the lemon. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt or pepper if needed
Serving the Pork Steaks with Apple and Bourbon Cream
- Remove the pork steaks from the oven and place on a plate
- Remove the veggies from the liquid with a slotted spoon and place alongside the pork
- Pour bourbon cream sauce over the top of the pork, veggies and apples and enjoy!