Home / Recipes / Star Anise Pork Steaks with Green Beans
2 September, 2014

Star Anise Pork Steaks with Green Beans

Posted in : Recipes on by : nommom

I can count, on one hand, the number of times a kitchen mistake or random assembly of ingredients has created a masterpiece. The first was what we called “Chicken Pate Soup” a vegetarian chicken-style soup that I created in my early twenties. In my late twenties, my attempt to self-soothe while I did my taxes led to the creation of my Kahlua Hazelnut Cheesecake, a knock-your-socks-off creation that, if timed right, will give you a bit of a buzz.

Tonight I wanted some pork, so I picked up some steaks from the local hippie market and grabbed a cookbook that arrived from Amazon Prime and was still sitting in my car. I realized I had all the ingredients to make a lemon thyme pork steak, so I headed on home to get started. As I assembled and began to prepare the meal, I realized it was not lemon zest I had stashed away in my freezer, but orange zest!

 

Stop. Everything.

 

Orange is NOT lemon. Does it pair well with thyme? I have no idea. In such high stakes steaks emergencies as these one can only turn to a trusted source for supper salvation: The Flavor Bible.

Those two words changed the course of our dinner and led me from a Western European farm deep into the aromatic spice bins of Asia. Behold: 

Steaks

  • 4 bone-in Pork Shoulder Steaks
  • zest of one organic orange (conventional oranges often have wax on their skins)
  • 1.5 star anise pods
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley

Green Beans

  • 16 oz green beans
  • 3 carrots, cut diagonally
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 2 tsp. boullion (we use better than chicken boullion)
  • 1/2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. diced fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. coarsely crushed star anise (use pods from above)
  • 1 tbsp tamari

To prepare Steaks

Rinse pork steaks and pat dry. Rub lightly with avocado or grapeseed oil. Mix zest and thyme together and rub into the steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside. This is where I realized I had orange zest on hand instead of lemon and consequently, here’s where we get a little creative.

I only had star anise pods, so I had to hand grind them myself. If you have pre-ground spice, you’ll probably need 1/4 tsp for the steaks and 1/2 tsp for the green beans. I recommend grinding them by hand. You’ll see why in a moment.

I grabbed some star anise from my spice chest and used a mortar and pestle to grind it into a fine powder, drawing upon the instincts embedded in my Mexican DNA to determine the appropriate pressure, flick of the wrist, and length of the curve as I pressed into the stone bowl. I have not used this ancestral tool but once before; it serves more as a kitchen decorative than a useful tool in our home. Tonight I was glad to have it; it effortlessly ground the rock hard anise into a powder without me concerning myself over the blade and motor of our coffee grinder.

As is the case with most hand-ground spices, there were larger bits and tiny bits. Unfamiliar with freshly ground anise, I wanted to be somewhat spartan with the flavoring of my steaks so it did not overpower the meal. I put the ground star anise into a tea ball and closed it, shaking the spice over the steaks so only the finest bits of ground anise offered its flavor. If you do not have a mortar and pestle a Vitamix or coffee grinder should also give the uneven blend of coarse and fine spice.

 

 

2014-08-26 18.08.04

Use a large tea ball to sift anise powder onto steaks. Reserve remaining bits for the green beans.

Then I rounded out the steaks with a little parsley for color.

2014-08-26 18.10.232014-08-26 18.10.232014-08-26 18.10.23

Set the steaks aside while preparing the beans.

 

To Prepare the Beans:

Trim beans if necessary (I love to skip this step with the 16 oz. bags of precut, washed green beans from Trader Joe’s). Slice the carrots like so…

Carrot Crosses 006

 

…and put them and the beans in a large bowl. Here’s a video tutorial if you further instruction on fancy-pants carrot slicing.

Peel and slice the shallot into very thin half moons. Place in bowl with the carrots.
Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Add to the veggies and toss to coat. Set aside.

Preheat oven broiler with a cookie sheet inside (the cookie sheet will heat up and blister the beans nicely).

Fire up the grill and grill pork steaks on the grill for 6 min each side. While steak rests, pour green beans onto broiler and broil until crisp tender; 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve alongside pork steaks.

 

Both times I’ve made this we nommed so enthusiastically that I do not have photos of the finished meal. Suffice it to say, hand grinding the star anise allows the fine powder to present a complimentary earthy note to the pork while the green beans have sporadic bursts of sweet, earthy star anise that really brighten up the meal. This meal pairs quite well with a moscato tempranillo.

 

 

 

 

5 from 1 reviews
Star Anise Pork Steaks with Green Beans
 
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Star anise makes this meal amazing and is worth hunting for and grinding by hand. This gorgeous spice adds a complimentary earthy note to the pork while the green beans have sporadic bursts of sweet, earthy star anise that really brighten up the meal. This meal pairs quite well with a moscato tempranillo.
What you Need:
  • 4 bone-in Pork Shoulder Steaks
  • zest of one organic orange (conventional oranges often have wax on their skins)
  • 1.5 star anise pods
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
  • 16 oz green beans
  • 3 carrots, cut diagonally
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. grated ginger
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • 2 tsp. bouillon (we use Better than Chicken bouillon)
  • ½ tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. diced fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp. coarsely crushed star anise (use pods from above)
  • 1 tbsp tamari
Make it!
  1. To prepare Steaks: Rinse pork steaks and pat dry. Rub lightly with avocado or grapeseed oil. Mix zest and thyme together and rub into the steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. I only had star anise pods, so I had to hand grind them myself. If you have pre-ground spice, you'll probably need ¼ tsp for the steaks and ½ tsp for the green beans.
  3. Use a large tea ball to sift anise powder onto steaks. Reserve remaining bits for the green beans.
  4. Then I rounded out the steaks with a little parsley for color.
  5. Set the steaks aside while preparing the beans.
  6. To Prepare the Beans: Trim beans if necessary. Slice the carrots on the diagonal so they create lovely little ovals and put them and the beans in a large bowl.
  7. Peel and slice the shallot into very thin half moons. Place in bowl with the carrots.
  8. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Add to the veggies and toss to coat. Set aside.
  9. Preheat oven broiler with a cookie sheet inside (the cookie sheet will heat up and blister the beans nicely).
  10. Fire up the grill and grill pork steaks on the grill for 6 min each side. While steak rests, pour green beans onto broiler and broil until crisp tender; 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve alongside pork steaks.

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