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Murphysboro Style Pork Steaks

Popular in BBQ restaurants in southern Illinois down through St. Louis, pork steaks are a great option for a quick BBQ when you don't have the time to smoke a pork butt or shoulder! This recipe is based on pitmaster and World Champion BBQ Chef Ken Hess's experience dining at BBQ restaurants while getting advice from his fellow pitmasters. At Snow's BBQ in Lexington, Texas, pitmaster Tootsie makes an amazing pork steak, as does Mike Mills at 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro, Illinois. Ken's friend Randy Twyford, a pitmaster who runs pork steaks on his BBQ food truck once a week, gave him some pointers for this recipe as well. If you've never made BBQ with Kansas City red sauce, you're in for a real treat! Serve these mouth-watering pork steaks with your favorite BBQ side dishes—baked beans, grilled corn on the cob, roasted potatoes—you get the idea!

  • Servings 6
  • Dish Main
  • Time 3 hours
  • Skill Home Cooks

Ingredients

SWEET KC RED SAUCE (BOSS SAUCE) ingredients

1/4 cup bacon fat
2 whole onions, minced
10 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons pork rub (see step 3)
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups cider vinegar
1 pint sorghum molasses
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 #10 can ketchup
1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

North Carolina VINEGAR SAUCE ingredients

1 quart cider vinegar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons coarse-grind black pepper
2 cups ketchup
2 cups water
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

PORK RUB ingredients

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated garlic
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons dark chili powder
1 teaspoon coarse-grind black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

GRILLED PORK STEAKS ingredients

2 pounds pork steaks, cut to 1-inch thickness
3/4 cup pork rub
1 cup vinegar sauce (see step 2)
1 cup sweet KC red sauce (see step 1)

Equipment

Large sauté pan (Turbo Pot® FlamePro™ Nonstick Fry Pan)
Large mixing bowl
Large stock pot (non-reactive)
Charcoal grill
Whisk
Dry storage container
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Parts

SWEET KC RED SAUCE (BOSS SAUCE)

Step

In a large skillet or sauté pan, sauté the onions and garlic in the bacon fat until translucent.

Step

Add the pork rub and sauté the spices.

Step

Deglaze with the apple cider vinegar and let mixture simmer until it is reduced by half.

Step

Once the mixture has reduced, add the brown sugar, molasses, and ketchup, and bring to a simmer.

Step

Simmer mixture for 1 to 2 hours on low. Add fresh nutmeg halfway through the cooking process.

North Carolina VINEGAR SAUCE

Step

In a large non-reactive stock pot, whisk all ingredients together thoroughly and simmer for 30 minutes.

PORK RUB

Step

In a large mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients together, mixing well. Store in an airtight container.

GRILLED PORK STEAKS

Step

Rub the pork steaks with the pork rub. Allow the rub to sit on the steaks while you prepare your charcoal fire.

Step

Prepare a direct charcoal fire, heating to 450 degrees F.

Step

Place the steaks on the grill directly over the coals. Sear for 3 to 4 minutes per side. 

Step

After you flip the steaks a second time, baste with the North Carolina vinegar sauce. Allow to set slightly before flipping the steaks and basting the other side with the vinegar sauce. 

Step

After basting the steaks on each side with the vinegar sauce, switch to the sweet KC red sauce (Boss Sauce).

Brush a light coat of the sweet KC red sauce on the steaks. Allow this to set before flipping the steaks and applying the sauce on the other side. 

Step

The sauce will slightly char, which is what you want. Apply the sweet KC red sauce till the steaks reach 165 degrees F. Plate and enjoy with your favorite BBQ side dishes!