During the colder, cozier months, pork shoulder is a go-to for fall-off-the-bone braises; in the summer, however, grilling it hot and fast will change the way you look at this flavorful cut. Sliced about one inch thick and grilled at a high temperature turns pork shoulder into something magical: rosy, tender and succulent on the inside with crisp, charred fatty bits on the outside.
In this recipe, the steaks are marinated with all the classic flavors of beloved Italian Porchetta—aromatic wild fennel pollen, rosemary, sage, garlic and lemon—plus a dose of fiery heat from IASA hot peppers. Paired with a bright, crunchy salad of fennel and tomatoes, these steaks will be the star of any BBQ.
Recipe, food styling and photography by Asha Loupy
For the pork shoulder steaks, combine the extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and juice, hot peppers, garlic, rosemary, sage, fennel pollen, salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth. Place the pork shoulder steaks in a large zip-top bag and pour the marinade over them. Massage the pork shoulder steaks until they are fully coated in the marinade. Refrigerate and let marinate for 6 hours to overnight.
An hour before grilling the pork shoulder steaks, remove the meat from the refrigerator to come to room temperature.
About a half hour before grilling, prepare a grill to medium heat. When the grill is hot, grill the pork shoulder steaks until charred and caramelized on the outside with an internal temperature of 145°F, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked pork shoulder steaks to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes.
While the meat is resting, prepare the salad. In a large bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and salt until emulsified. To prepare the fennel, pluck off the fronds off the stalks and tear into bite-sized pieces (you should have about a cup of fennel fronds). Cut the remaining stalks off the fennel and save for stock or another purpose. Thinly slice the fennel bulb. Add the thinly sliced fennel bulb, fennel fronds and the heirloom tomato pieces to the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
To serve, slice the rested pork shoulder steaks into 1/2-inch thick slices against the grain and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle any meat juices that have accumulated during resting over the sliced pork. Arrange the fennel and tomato salad around the slices of pork. Serve warm or at room temperature.