I am going to start by telling you about my obsession with sage leaves fried in butter. Seriously, it’s not just me, my kids want to eat them as if they were potato chips. They are super flavorful, rich, earthy, crunchy, buttery, simply the best. I have a huge sage plant in the garden, I’ve had it for 3 years; in the winter it gets sad and dull, but every spring it goes back to life. I try to preserve the fresh leaves as long as I can, and while the bush is going wild I add buttery sage leaves as a garnish to a lot of meals.
This recipe is very simple, all it takes is basically cooking the pork steaks in a skillet, and then making the sage butter in the same skillet to pick up all the flavors. That sounds too easy, right? I served it with a crisp salad that includes apples. Apples and pork are a great combination. To give it a little bit more texture, I made thin and crunchy onion rings. I have to be honest, I made this meal on a weeknight with no intention of posting it at all. Then I realized how great the flavors came together and how pretty it was. I decided to snap some pictures, and here we are, it made it into my recipe collection. It could easily impress your guests. So, let’s get making this super easy and flavorful Pork Steak with Sage Butter, Apple Salad & Crispy Onions.
For the crispy onions:
1 large Vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings*
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup garbanzo flour
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup canola oil, for frying
For the apple salad:
2 cups mix greens, roughly chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, thinly sliced
1 Cortland apple, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
For the pork steaks with sage butter:
4 bone-in pork steaks, about 1 inch thick
6 tablespoons butter
10 fresh sage leaves (or more 🙂 )
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Prepare the crispy onion rings. In a bowl combine the onion slices and the buttermilk, stir with a fork until the onion is well coated, and the rings are separated. In a heavy bottom pan, heat the canola oil, test the oil with the handle of a wooden spoon, when bubbles form around the handle, the oil is ready. In a shallow bowl, add the flour and season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain the onion from the buttermilk and working in batches add it to the flour, mix it in until the rings are well coated with the flour. When the oil is ready, working in batches, fry the onion rings until browned and crisp, about 1 minute. Don’t over crowd the oil, is better to do this in batches, they are ready quickly. Let drain on paper towels. To keep the onion rings crispy, keep them in a warm oven in a single layer until you are ready to serve.
In a large bowl whisk the Dijon mustard and vinegar, add the olive oil in slow strikes to emulsify, season with salt and pepper. Add the mix greens, red peppers, apples, and toss gently to coat with the dressing.
Generously season the steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add pork steaks, cook turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to a platter. Keep in a warm oven. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and sage leaves, cook over high heat, stirring, until crisp, about 45 seconds. Remove the leaves and place over a paper towel. Add vinegar to the skillet and bring to a boil, make sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to remove to brown bits. Simmer until reduced by half. Turn the heat off, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring to obtain a creamy sauce; season with salt and pepper.
Place each pork steak in a large plate, spoon the butter sauce on top, sprinkle fried sage leaves, pile about half a cup of apple salad next to the steak, and top with the crispy onion rings. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
*For this recipe, slice the rings thin. The flour coating should be very light. We are using them as a garnish, they should be crunchy and the onion cooked all the way through.
Cook’s Note: when I am preparing a meal that has various components that cook at different times; I set the oven to the lowest temperature, around 200 F, and I keep the food warm until I am ready to plate the meal.
The Pork Steak recipe was adapted from the book Chef’s Easy Weeknight Dinners by Food & Wine, chef Chris Cosentino.