PORK BUTTERFLY FILLET STEAKS
As pork tenderloin is usually very thin, steaks cut from it are often "butterflied" to give them a bigger shape (see the illustrated instructions below).
The butterfly steaks may be fried plain or coated with breading, like the ones pictured on right.
1 whole pork tenderloin
(fresh sprig of rosemary or sage leaves)
Ideally, choose as evenly-shaped a pork tenderloin as possible, with a smooth surface. Wipe the tenderloin dry, place it on a cutting board and cut off any silverskin, sinew and/or excess fat from its surface.
How to cut butterfly steaks from pork tenderloin
Turn the fillet so that its smoothest side is against the cutting board, see figure 1 below.
Using a sharp knife and starting from the thicker end, cut a slice of about 1½ to 2 centimetres thick, cutting almost but not completely through the fillet, so that the slice remains attached to the fillet at the bottom part, see figures 2 and 3 below.
Cut a second slice of the same thickness as the first one, but this time cut through the fillet, detaching the piece from it, see figures 4 and 5 above.
Take the cut-out piece and spread its halves open like a book, forming a steak resembling the wings of a butterfly, see figure 6 above.
Repeat the cutting and forming of butterfly steaks with the rest of the fillet, see figure 7 above.
Press or pound the steaks gently with your knuckles to flatten them slightly and to obtain an even thickness. The steaks can now be cooked, or breaded and cooked (see the instructions for breading below).
How to coat pork butterfly steaks with breading
To bread the butterfly steaks, break the egg on a deep plate and whisk lightly with a fork. Set aside.
Pour some flour (about 100 - 200 millilitres) in a sturdy freezer bag and season with a generous amount of salt and white pepper. Shake the bag to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
Spread a thick, even layer of dry breadcrumbs on a (deep) plate, or pour them in a sturdy freezer bag. Set aside.
Either spread the seasoned flour in an even layer on a (deep) plate and press the steaks
onto the flour on both sides to coat them, or place one steak at a time in the bag with the flour, trapping some air inside to puff up the bag, and shake until the steak is coated, see figure 8 below.
Take the floured steak and dip it briefly in the whisked egg on both sides, see figure 9 above and figure 10 below. Let the excess egg drip back on the plate.
Finally, to coat the egg-covered steak with breadcrumbs, either press it on both sides onto the breadcrumbs on the plate, or if using a bag, place the steak in the bag with the breadcrumbs, trapping some air inside to puff up the bag, and shake until the steak is coated, see figure 11 above.
Cooking breaded steaks:
Without letting it brown, melt a generous amount of butter in a hot skillet. Lower the heat and place some steaks in the pan. Note that breaded steaks are fried using a lower heat, so as not to brown the butter too much. The breading absorbs the butter, and will taste burnt and bitter if the butter is burnt.
Let the steaks become light golden brown on both sides, then continue cooking on lower heat, flipping them over every now and then until cooked through, yet still moist and succulent inside (if you are not certain, cut one in half to check if they are done).
Add some butter to the pan from time to time if the breading seems to dry out too much.
Serve the steaks piping hot, drizzled with fresh lemon juice, or melt and heat some butter in the pan until foamy, squeeze in some lemon juice, reheat and pour over the steaks.
Cooking unbreaded steaks:
Melt some butter in a hot skillet. When it has ceased foaming and is just starting to brown, add some steaks in the pan. Lower the heat and cook the steaks flipping them over every now and then until done. Season with salt and white pepper and serve piping hot.
Keeping the steaks warm, melt and heat some butter in the skillet, add a sprig of rosemary or some sage leaves, lower the heat and stir the herbs in the butter for a few minutes. Discard the herbs (add some fresh lemon juice) and pour the herb-scented butter over the steaks.
For a mustard-flavoured creamy sauce, add a dollop of Dijon mustard among the nearly-cooked steaks in the pan, followed by salt, pepper and cream, and a splash of apple cider, apple wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or/and maple syrup or honey, if you like.
Cook briskly until the cream has reduced and thickened into a sweet-and-sour sauce.
Recipe source: family recipe.