Father's Day

The Rev. EJ's Pork Steak Po'Boy

October  4, 2022
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 8 depending on the size of the pork steaks
Author Notes

This sandwich is an homage of sorts to my late father-in-law, who if you were lucky enough to know, was one of the funniest and fun loving people around. He was not a reverend but all his friends called him" the rev" because once at a wedding he was mistaken for a man of the cloth. My in-laws lived in a lake house and liked to entertain, to put it mildly, and more often than not Boston butts with this rub were thrown on the grill for anyone who showed up. My understanding is that the rub for these came from somewhere in Danville, Indiana in the late 60's early 70's and I am guessing it was a Kiwanis fund raiser type event but can't say for sure. I used fresh spices and ground them but you by all means can use pre-ground. I think the rub smells like a good gin and tonic but once it gets grilled it becomes more Caribbean and takes on a jerk appeal. I decided to make a po'boy because the crusty bread just does the steak justice. I also decided to brine them to keep them juicy. If you were at the lake house and depending on if the grill operator was drinking and might have been grossly over served, these might be just cooked and slightly crispy or blackened and really crispy. The latitude of doneness is why I have brined them so they stay juicy. You could also sear these in a saute pan if a grill is not available. Serve with sweet potato or plantain chips and bread and butter pickles, preferably home made. It is important to keep the steaks cut thin, no more than a half inch, otherwise the brown sugar in the rub will burn before the steak finishes cooking. Icy cold Dixie beer is a really good pairing too. - thirschfeld —thirschfeld

Test Kitchen Notes

I was tickled to find that this is basically an all-American banh mi. It shares the ex-pat French bread (or local interpretation thereof); substitutes bread-and-butter pickles for carrots and daikon; and adds a down-home rub on the pork. I sliced the steaks into thin strips after grilling, as the prospect of biting into the whole steak was daunting. Verdict? Easy-peasy to cook, and absolutely delicious. The bite of the pickles offsets the sweet, fatty crust on the steaks. The creole mustard kicks up the heat while the romaine cools things back down. I would absolutely make again, and highly recommend. - BadgerBakery
—The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the rub:
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons celery seed
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons all-spice
  • 2 tablespoons dark chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • For the sandwich:
  • 4 to 8 Boneless Boston Butt Steaks cut no more than a 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt, if you use table salt use a 1/3 of a cup
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 32 ounces ice water, cubes still in it
  • 32 ounces really hot tap water
  • 2 loaves of crusty, airy French bread
  • 1 head of roasted garlic, roasted till tender
  • 1 tablespoon creole mustard of your choice
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • bread and butter pickles
  • 4 cups shredded romaine
  • unsalted butter, softened
  1. If your are using any whole spices grind them fine and then make the rub by combining all the rub ingredients. Break up any clumps of brown sugar. Place in an air tight container until needed.
  2. To brine the pork steaks combine the hot water with the 1/2 a cup of salt and the 1/4 cup of brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. The bowl should be large enough to hold the steaks and all the liquid. Stir until all is dissolved and then add the ice water. Using you finger test the brine temperature and make sure it is cold. Add the steaks, place the bowl in the fridge and brine for two hours.
  3. In a small mixing bowl squeeze the roasted garlic head and cream it with the back of a spoon. Add the mustard, mayo and mix. Taste and season the mayo with salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Near the end of the brine time start your grill and get it good and hot. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees so you can warm the bread.
  5. Remove the steaks from the brine and pat them dry with a paper towel. Pour some of the rub into a shallow casserole and drag the steaks through the spices giving them a nice coat.
  6. Cook the steaks on the grill blackening them, not burning, until they are cooked through. About half way through the steak cooking time get the bread into the oven.
  7. Split the hot bread in half lenghtwise. Butter one side and mayo the other. Add a handful of shredded romaine and then top with a steak and pickles and serve. An icy cold Dixie beer would be my choice.
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  • thirschfeld
  • Joe
  • emcsull
  • Head2Tail

4 Reviews

Joe April 30, 2017
This recipe ill-advisedly calls for 'really hot tap water'.

In the United States, hot water drawn directly from the tap generally is not potable. From one city's department of health to another, one will learn that heat-friednly bacteria may grow in the boilers that heat the water, and these bacteria may make one ill, sometimes seriously ill.

Hence, municipal departments of health generally advise using cold tap water for drinking and eating which is then heated over the stove or in the oven to the desired temperature.

Please correct this recipe and the many others on this site that advise the use of substances that are known to make one ill and caution readers to avoid this danger.
emcsull June 9, 2013
so what is dark chile powder as opposed to cayenne ?

Thanks !
thirschfeld June 9, 2013
Not as much heat and, for me anyway, it has a more rounded flavor.
Head2Tail November 4, 2012
This is, by far, the best use of pork steak I've encountered. I ran out of the roasted-garlic mayo combo and used mango chutney and mayo instead -- an excellent quick substitute.