As I had a whole packet of Scotch Bonnet peppers left over from the Trinidadian Prawn Curry, I was alert to anything that required a chilli pepper - and Spicy Pork Steaks were on the menu.
I'm now not quite so scared of the Scotch Bonnets. Mine are only small, so it is easy not to over-chilli just by using a half. I am terrible for doing the "I've cut this much off, so I'll use this much, even if it's too much", because I can't bear the idea of the waste. Which is bizarre, because if a recipe says "half a chilli pepper", then (if it won't keep nicely and it's something small) I've no compunction in throwing the other half away. I don't understand myself, sometimes. In fact, in this incarnation, I could easily have used the other half of the Scotch Bonnet as it was hot and spicy, but on a scale of 1-10, registered at around a 4-5.
I love pork in all its different cuts. I am not one of these people who are put off by the presence of fat in meat and can eat a degree of fat, i.e. on a pork chop, or in slow roasted belly of pork. Unfortunately, (for me, that is!) both hubby and son are those sorts of people, so we don't get to have pork very often as all the cheaper cuts are laden with fat.
Every so often, though, I find a recipe that will do well with the pork steaks from our local butcher and I get to have a pork fix. I usually cut the majority of the fat from the chaps' portions and leave the fat on mine - which helps with the overall flavour and gives me a little porky fat moment.
So, when I made the Spiced Chicken Legs by Galton Blackiston recently, it occurred to me that the recipe would potentially be good with pork. So I gave it a whirl, this week.
Regrettably, I had used up all the fresh coriander in the Trinidadian Prawn Curry (forgetting I'd need some for the pork dish), so had to think a little bit sideways.
I used Galton's recipe as a base and differed from it in that I substituted half a Scotch Bonnet pepper for the large red chillies, used orange juice because we'd run out of apple juice (that'll be the Tequila Cocktails that did that!) and included two tablespoonfuls of honey instead of the coriander.
I debated adding a little vinegar and going down the sweet and sour route, but the marinade was all getting a little bit too liquid by then (I should have reduced the amount of orange juice) so opted not to.
However, what turned out was really very nice indeed.
The marinade was certainly hot - no doubt about the Scotch Bonnet in there! - but perfectly acceptable and in the oven, had reduced down to a sticky glaze that coated the pork steaks. When I do this one again (and there will be another time!) I will turn the steaks part way through cooking and baste them with the marinade, to take advantage of its stickiness.
The edges of the pork steaks had caramelised beautifully in the oven too, which gave a lovely flavour to both the marinade and the pork - my favourite bits!
I served the steaks with baked jacket sweet potatoes (and an ordinary potato for son & heir, who has decided he's not keen on sweet potatoes) which had a lime & chilli sour cream dressing, (made by including a finely chopped sweet red chilli & zest of half a lime plus some salt & pepper into a pot of sour cream, so couldn't be easier!) plus some garden peas. Yummy!
HOT AND SPICY PORK STEAKS (feeds 3)
6 pork steaks
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 Scotch Bonnet chilli pepper, minus seeds (or 2 red chilli peppers)
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
100ml orange juice
2 tbsp runny honey
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.
1. In a large bowl, mix together the tomato ketchup, garlic, chilli, Worcestershire sauce, orange juice and honey, to make the marinade.
2. Dunk in the pork steaks and leave to marinade for as long as possible - at least an hour.
3. Pre-heat your oven to 200deg C/400deg F/Gas 6.
4. Fish out each pork steak and lay them into a baking dish. Cover with the remains of the marinade, making sure that each steak is liberally coated.
5. Roast for around 25-35 minutes, until the pork is tender, the marinade has turned sticky and the corners of the steaks have begun to caramelise. It may well be worth turning the steaks and re-coating with the marinade part way through the cooking.