|4 x ½-inch-thick pork shoulder steaks |
8–10 large habanero chiles, seeded, chopped
½ cup 80-proof clear liquor, such as tequila, mezcal, or vodka
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
|3-inch cinnamon stick |
3 large sprigs thyme, divided
½ large red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 cup pure maple syrup
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Generously season both sides of pork steaks with salt. Let sit on a wire rack set inside a sheet tray at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, stir chiles and liquor in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and let sit at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- Peel 4 wide strips of zest from orange with a vegetable peeler, leaving white pith behind.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over high until it begins to smoke, about 3 minutes. Add pork, cinnamon stick, and 1 thyme sprig to pan and cook, turning pork once, until steaks are browned on both sides but still pink in the center, 3–4 minutes per side.
- Transfer steaks to a plate, reserving cinnamon stick in skillet; discard thyme. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook onion and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in skillet, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, tender, and just beginning to brown, 5–7 minutes.
- Strain chiles through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl (reserve liquor for a spicy cocktail). Add chiles, garlic, orange zest, and remaining 2 thyme sprigs to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until chiles are tender and just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add syrup and vinegar, season with ¾ tsp. salt, and increase heat to high.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and syrupy, 6–8 minutes.
- Transfer steaks and any accumulated juices to skillet and cook, basting steaks with maple glaze, until syrup is thickened and steaks are glazed over, 2–3 minutes.
- Discard cinnamon stick, orange zest, and thyme sprigs.
- Divide steaks among plates and pour pan juices over.