We do our best to align product availability with holidays and the traditional dishes that accompany them, but it doesn’t always work out that way! My inbox and voicemail are full of requests for Easter hams or turkey, and over and over I must disappoint. But wait! What about trying something else? Something new! Something different! Something…. easy!
How about barbecued pork shoulder steaks with sides of perfectly roasted lard potatoes and creamed spinach? A meal simple enough to cook any night, but delicious enough for a holiday feast.
If you are a lucky locavore like me, you will also be able to source all of the main ingredients from local farms, which can be hard to do so early in the spring. I used potatoes from Helmer’s Organic Farm, spinach from Plenty Wild Farms, gorgeous shallots from Laughing Crow Organics, and the world’s best garlic from my neighbour, 3 Ravens Farm.
Shoulder Steak Ingredients:
shoulder steaks (1 per adult). You could also use pork chops.
Roasted Potato Ingredients:
potatoes (about 0.5 lbs per person)
salt & pepper
Creamed Spinach Ingredients (1x this for every 4+ adults):
2 tablespoons butter
2 larger shallots or 1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
16 oz fresh spinach
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Reverse-Sear the Pork Shoulder Steaks
- The morning before you are going to barbeque, or at least a couple hours before, salt the thawed steaks generously and leave them on the counter, ideally on a rack. This will allow the salt to penetrate, and the meat to dry and come to room temperature.
- Using a very low BBQ, oven, or toaster oven (200-250 °F), bake the steaks on a sheet or rack for about 30 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of about 110 °F.
- Allow the steaks to rest for about 10 minutes while you bring the BBQ to searing temperature (400-500 °F).
- Sear the steaks on both sides until the fat is golden brown and they reach an internal temperature of 140 °F.
- Using your BBQ tongs, quickly turn each steak perpendicular to the grill to sear the edge of the fat cap, remove from the grill, and rest uncovered until serving.
Roast the Potatoes
Timing-wise you’ll want to start the potatoes in the oven just before beginning to bake the steaks. This means that unless you have a second oven, or a dual-oven you’ll need to use a low bbq, or a toaster oven (what I used) for the steaks. Otherwise, you can always bake the potatoes ahead of time, then use the oven to reverse-sear the steaks, and then warm the potatoes back up in the oven while the steaks are searing on the BBQ.
- Preheat the oven to 475 °F.
- Chop potatoes into 1″ cubes and spread on a roasting pan or large cast-iron pan (my preference!). The pieces can be touching and even overlapping a bit, as they will shrink while they bake, but use a pan(s) that allow enough room for a single layer of potatoes.
- Sprinkle potatoes with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste (use garlic powder instead of fresh because fresh garlic will burn at this high temperature).
- Add a heaping spoonful of lard.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for a few minutes to let the lard melt, then stir with a spatula to distribute the lard.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the potatoes are crunchy and brown. Open the oven and stir with a metal spatula every 15-20 minutes.
Make the Creamed Spinach
Okay, I haven’t made creamed spinach in forever, since that one time when I was vegan and made it with almond milk and way too much nutmeg… This is way better than that – it is totally, completely delicious, and is such a great way to celebrate our local farmers’ abundance of spring greens. This is quick to prepare – you can do it while the potatoes are baking, and just before putting the steaks on the grill. I adapted this recipe from cookieandkate.com.
- Melt the butter in a large chef’s pan or dutch oven. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onion is soft, and just barely starting to get some color – about 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach in big handfuls, stirring after each one. Cook until all of the spinach is wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
- Add the cream. Continue cooking and stirring until the spinach is totally wilted and coated in the cream. Add the Parmesan and stir to combine.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Serve warm.