Pork and onion. Few things go together so well. Do you know what’s better? Iberico pork and caramelized onion. This is a great combination altogether.
We smoked these Iberico steaks on our Kamado Joe with two cubes of cherry wood up to 65°C (150F) and then continue cooking them between those delicious onions. Add a few roasted potatoes, and maybe some fresh vegetables, and you have a feast that the whole family can enjoy.
This is Iberico Tapilla. Steaks cut from the bottom of the shoulder. Beautiful meat with exceptional marbling and nice soft fat on the outside. That fat protects the meat during smoking and makes for the juiciest piece of pork you’ve ever eaten.
You could use pork chops cut from the shoulder if you can’t find Iberico at your butchers.
All we do with the meat is a simple dry rub that we apply thinly. Put the meat in the fridge while the seasoning does its work. Preparing the onions may take a while, and keeping meat out of the fridge for so long is not good. Certainly not in warm weather.
To prepare the onions, we take a cast-iron skillet. We put a little vegetable oil in there and then the onions. Now it is essential to let the onions cook slowly. That is the only way to get them good. You would think that if you use higher heat, it will go faster, but chances are that the onions will only burn.
You could use any pan to caramelize onions, but a heavy-bottomed pan like this skillet is perfect. Cast iron keeps the heat over the entire surface so that the onions fry evenly.
If the onions become soft and a bit more yellow, the brown sugar can be added. The color immediately becomes a lot more beautiful, and the onions become even sweeter. Let the onions fry for a few minutes and then scoop them and let them cook again.
When the moisture in the pan evaporates, the onion will stick to the bottom and burn. Then add a little water and repeat the scooping and leaving until they are to your liking.
This can sometimes take up to an hour. Caramelizing onions is not a rush job. Tasting in between is the only way to check. We call this pitmaster privilege.
If the onions are to your liking, the pan may come off. Put some chunks of smoke wood between the coals and place the heat deflectors. Set your grill to 110°C (230F) and place the Iberico steaks on the grid. Now close the lid and cook to a core temperature of 65°C (150F).
The meat has a beautiful red color from the cherry wood. The fat on the surface has become even softer, and you could secretly taste a bit.
Now you put the Iberico steaks with the onions in the pan and then put it in the barbecue to let everything heat up. We add some soy sauce and apple cider vinegar sauce over the steaks to make it extra sticky.
This way, you keep the food nice and warm until everyone is ready to eat.
- Iberico Tapilla
For the dry rub
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
For the onions
- 4 large white onions (duh). First, cut in half and then sliced.
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Pepper and salt to taste
For the sauce
- 100 ml sweet soy sauce
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 clove of garlic grated
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Mix the ingredients for the dry rub and sprinkle this over the Iberico steaks. Put the meat in the refrigerator while the herbs are absorbed.
- Put a cast-iron pan on the stove with a little sunflower oil and then the onions. Divide the onions over the pan and leave them for a few minutes, after which you scoop them. Repeat until they are soft and yellow.
- Now we add the brown sugar and repeat the cooking and scooping.
- When the onions are as they should be, season them with a little salt and pepper and then remove the pan from the heat.
- Prepare your barbecue to smoke at a temperature of 110°C (230F). We use cherry wood for the mild taste and the beautiful color it leaves behind. Cook the steaks to a core temperature of 65°C (150F).
- In the meantime, mix all the ingredients for the sauce.
- Now put the meat with the onions and pour the sauce over the steaks. Let the steaks cook, and the onions heat up again while you look for everyone to come and eat.