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Pan-Seared Pork Steak with Apple & Pecan Risotto

Pan-Seared Pork Steak with Apple & Pecan Risotto

Pan-Seared Pork Steak

One good thing about my pals and I are that we are easily teased by food. Apart from friendship, this is the strong bond that brings us lot together. Think of us as a Knighthood of Glorified & Appreciative Eaters, if you like. So anyway, everyone got properly jittery when Starbucks released their Christmas red cups, considering the fact that among us we have people who have either worked/works at Starbucks and/or are just generally unadulterated Starbucks junkies (and unafraid to admit that we are). 

So, still satiated and buzzing from an afternoon Christmas special drink (with the roof of my mouth tingling a little from burning it on a dark cherry mocha), feeling nice and toasty in my new slipper socks as my room is slowly infused with the scent of burning mulled wine candles, I plot my Sunday lunch.

And blimey, was this Sunday lunch very brilliant on the flavours! Just last week, I’d popped two beautiful pork steaks into the freezer in an effort to save them for a time when I was better prepared ingredient and energy wise. Today was just the perfect day for tasty steaks and what better to pair pork than with apples? The advent of winter also means making use of wintry flavours in fruit and nuts.

I found an interesting recipe incorporating Chinese ingredients for a pork marinade. I was a little worried on how that might work with a fruit risotto but my fears were put to rest once I put a fork of meat to mouth. The flavours were gorgeous! Chinese 5 spice and the garlic was just wonderful, making the meat so juicy and succulent with a nice lacing of oriental sweetness. I adore this marinade and highly recommend it. In fact, I’m hoping to use this recipe again next week for another friend of mine, in hopes of wowing his socks off and showing him what a stunning cook I am. Actually, it’s also because I owe him a meal after he whipped me up some amazing chicken fajitas about 2 weeks ago. This man, I swear, is some sort of god of fajitas.

The apple risotto too was quite amazing. Word of advice, don’t pick sweet apples such as Royal Gala or Pink Lady. As much as these apples are tasty and beautiful to look at, I find that choosing a rather tart apple like Braeburn or maybe even a Cox just perfect, especially since it’ll go well with a dash of white wine.

Pan-Seared Pork Steak on Apple & Pecan Risotto Ingredients

  • 2 fresh pork steaks
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1/2 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • sprinkle of dried thyme
  • For the Apple & Pecan Risotto:
  • 150g Italian arborio rice
  • about 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 40g salted butter
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 30-40g grated parmesan
  • 1 red apple (I’ve used a Braeburn), chopped into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup whole pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • sprinkle of dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
In a small bowl, mix together ingredients for the marinade. Place pork steaks in a large plate and pour marinade over the tops of the steaks. Rub gently into the steaks, flip over and cover the clean sides with marinade. Make sure to pat the chopped ginger in the marinade onto the steaks. Cover plate tightly with clingwrap and let sit in the refrigerator overnight or for at least an hour.

For the risotto, make sure you start on it about 10-15minutes before pan-searing the steaks as this will take about 5-7minutes to cook completely. Heat the butter in a saucepan. Add the risotto rice and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the shallots and fry a little longer. Ladle about 2 ladles of vegetable stock into the saucepan, lower heat and let simmer. The arborio rice will slowly absorb the liquids in and be careful to only add a ladle of stock each time, stirring now and again as the rice cooks - you can add liquid to risotto but not take it out! When all the liquid is nearly absorbed, add another ladle and continue this cooking process. This will take about 10-15minutes to cook. 

Once the risotto rice is cooked through, add the white wine and stir. Once the consistency of the risotto has reached the desired thickness, remove from heat and add 1/2 the prepared grated parmesan, thyme, apples and pecan. Stir with a quick and firm hand until all the ingredients have just come together. Add the rest of the grated parmesan, saving a tiny bit for sprinkling over the tops. Season with black pepper if needed.

For the pork steaks, preheat the oven to 200d Celsius and prepare a hot frying pan. The pan has got to be very hot but not overly hot. Grease lightly with cooking spray. Remove steaks from refrigerator. Place steaks on hot frying pan and let sear for about 7 seconds (you will have to judge this by eye). With a pair of tongs or a spatula, flip the steaks quickly to sear the other side for another 7 seconds. Now remove and place on a grill, then slide into the oven to cook for about 5 minutes. Once cooked, serve quick on a bed of apple & pecan risotto with a sprinkle of grated parmesan.