Chipotle Pork Steak Tacos - 222 Chipotle Pork Steak Tacos? I know what some of you are thinking. What’s a pork steak? Pork steaks are manna from heaven. They’re nothing more than a pork shoulder sliced into steaks. They’re a BBQ staple in the midwest, centered on St. Louis. Pork steaks have a lot of tasty fat in them and are uber tender. You can find a more detailed explanation in our primer on pork steaks including how to tell your butcher/meat cutter how to prepare them for you. If you can’t find pork steaks, you could always use tri tip as I did here with these Grilled Tri Tip Tacos

Chipotle Pork Steak Tacos Ingredients:

2 pork steaks, 3/4 inches thick
7.5 oz can chipotle peppers in the adobo sauce
Coarse salt
Black pepper
White pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 onion
1 chili pepper
Tortillas
2 tbsp olive oil
Shredded cheese

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Here are the illustrious pork steaks and the magical elixir that is chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

If you want to go vegetarian with this dish, then forget the pork steaks and stuff the tortillas with the grilled veggies and cheese. To go vegan, skip the chipotle pork steak and go with a cheese substitute.  There will be plenty of flavor without the pork steaks. Although one more pepper and a second slice of onion might be in order to feed more than a handful. Also brush the peppers and onion with the chipotle for some extra flavor.

If you aren’t going the vegetarian route, then be sure to pick up some pork steaks like these that I got from Mateker’s.

Here are the veggies that will go in our tacos:

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Peppers and Onions

Marinate the pork steaks in the adobo and chipotle peppers inside a plastic bag for 2-12 hours. While they marinate, toss them in the fridge:

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Marinate 2-12 hours

When it’s time to grill, prepare the grill for indirect grilling (also known as two zone grilling) which  means coals and smoke wood on one side and nothing on the other. In this case, I put a half moon kiln shelf on one side of my Kamado grill and the coals on the other:

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Indirect Grilling Set Up in my Kamado Grill

While the grill comes up to temp, remove the pork steaks from the fridge and hit each side with coarse salt, black and white pepper:

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Seasoned

Then slice the bell peppers, removing the stem, seeds and white flesh. Also, slice a really thick slab of onion:

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Sliced Peppers and Onions

What are those things sticking out of the onion? Those are the pro tip for this recipe.

***Pro Tip ~ Slice the onion really thick and then slide a couple skinny skewers into the side of the slab of onion to keep it together on the grill. Snip off the ends of the skewers otherwise they may catch fire:

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How to Grill Onions

Toss a chunk of smoke wood, I used peach, on the coals which happen to be Rockwood Charcoal (the best charcoal on the market which is available at BBQ specialty shops, independent grocery stores and butcher shops in and around St. Louis) and the meat on the side over the half moon kiln shelf:

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That’s a Beautiful Sight

Close the lid with a target internal temperature of the grill at 300. You could also place the peppers and onion on the hot side of the grill. I’m running a little hot, but no big deal:

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The Target Temp is 300 not 340

It only takes the pork steaks about 30 minutes at that temperature to get to 180 degrees and really close to our target temp of 180 degrees. I know this sounds way over done for pork.  According to the USDA pork can be eaten at 145 degrees. That’s for pork chops and loin and such. But pork steaks have too much fat and collagen to be ready to eat at 145. If you pull it from the grill at 145 it will be chewy and full of fat. Some see that as a detraction for the pork steak, but that extra fat and collagen means that this cut of meat is nearly impossible to dry out and will almost always be juicy and delicious.

Here’s one of the pork steaks at 30 minutes in:

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30 Minutes In

Place the pork steaks over the fire, along with the veggies, to sear and caramelize:

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Sear the Pork Steaks and Grill the Peppers and Onions

Once the chipotle pork steaks come up to temp, pull them from the grill and finish up the veggies if you need to. Don’t worry, the pork steaks won’t be cold when you eat them. Everything will go back on the grill to warm up when we make the tacos.

Here are the pork steaks ready to be sliced to go into the tacos:

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Chipotle Grilled Pork Steaks Ready to Slice

Now finish up those vegetables:

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Grilled Vegetables

If the peppers get a really good charr on the skin side, you might want to peal that skin away as it can get bitter. Once the peppers and onions are done, pull them from the grill to slice:

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Vegetables Ready to Slice

Don’t forget to slice each chipotle pork steak into long strips:

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Sliced

Take the tortillas and brush one side with oil and place it oil side down. Then layer down some shredded cheese over the whole tortilla and on one side add the meat, peppers and onions.

I loaded mine pretty thick and the tortilla wouldn’t stay folded over so I placed them flat on the side of the grill over the kiln shelf and closed the lid to get the cheese to melt:

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Back on the Grill

Once the cheese melted, it acted like glue and I was able to fold the tortillas over and place the tacos over the hot coals:

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Browned on One Side

Don’t go far. Even with the oil to insulate the tortillas, it doesn’t take long for them to brown. Flip them over when the bottom browns and brown the top:

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Browning on the Other

Then remove from the grill and plate:

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What’s Missing?

Something’s missing. Let’s see, the tacos are stacked in a way that nobody would ever serve them, I have raw chilies scattered around that nobody will ever eat, the meat is glistening and I have some stuff going on in the background, all for a great picture, yet something is missing. The picture looks great to me but there is still something missing. Oh, that’s right:

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Now it’s Perfect!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.

Chipotle Pork Steak Tacos
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Pork steaks marinated in chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, reverse seared on the grill and made into tacos along with grilled peppers and onions.
Ingredients
  • 2 pork steaks, ¾ inches thick
  • 7.5 oz can chipotle peppers in the adobo sauce
  • Coarse salt
  • Black pepper
  • White pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 chili pepper
  • Tortillas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. Marinate the pork steaks in the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce for 2-12 hours
  2. Remove the pork steaks from the fridge and and hit each side with salt, black and white pepper
  3. Prepare the grill for indirect grilling (also called two zoned grilling) with coals on one side and nothing on the other
  4. Target temperature inside the grill is 300 degrees
  5. Remove the stems, white flesh and seeds from the peppers and quarter
  6. Slice the onion into a thick slab and stab with a couple skewers to keep the onion together when it grills
  7. Once the grill is read, put the meat on the side with no heat and place a chunk of smoke wood on the coals and the vegetables over the glowing charcoal
  8. Smoke the pork steaks for about 30 minutes and then sear, pulling the meat from the grill when the internal temperature of the pork has reached 180 degrees
  9. Finish grilling the peppers and onions and then remove from the heat to be sliced
  10. If the peppers have a lot of blackened skin, remove the skin as it can become bitter
  11. Slice the peppers, onions and pork steaks
  12. Brush one side of each tortilla and then place them oil side down
  13. Lay down a layer of cheese across the entire tortilla
  14. Place strips of pork steak, peppers and onions over one side of the tortilla
  15. Place the tortillas (cheese, peppers and pork steak) flat on the side of the grill with no coals and close the lid to melt the cheese
  16. Then fold the tortillas over to form tacos and place them over the hot coals
  17. Brown both sides and remove from the heat and serve
Notes
If you wanted to go vegetarian with this dish, then forget the pork steaks and stuff the tortillas with the grilled veggies. To go vegan, skip the pork and go with a cheese substitute. Brush the peppers and onions with chipotle for extra flavor.
 

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

@GrillinFool

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4 comments

Great tip on the onion, perfect for cocktail skewers. Excellent post.

Reply

Thanks, Chris. I will do onions like that all the time. If I’m doing burgers or brats I’ll skewer a couple thick slabs of onion for garnish. See you in about 6 weeks in Vegas!

I tried these out a few weeks ago and they were excellent! The chiles with a adobo added a nice little zing to the pork.

Reply

Glad you liked them. The Pork Steaks can stand on their own, but I was craving tacos and roasted peppers!

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