Pork blade steaks are thin, so they cook up in a flash: 10 minutes on the grill, and they’re done. These are shellacked with mustard, dusted with fennel pollen, and plated alongside grilled melon, squash blossoms, and pickled garlic scapes. Nothing is more summery.
Light the grill: Place a chimney starter on the grate of a charcoal grill. Add newspaper in the bottom, then fill with charcoal. Light the newspaper, which will in turn light the charcoal. When the charcoal is mature with ashed-over gray embers (about 30–45 minutes later), remove the chimney and pour the charcoal into the grill. Using oven mitts, replace the grill rack.
Season the pork: Set the pork on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Brush with mustard, then season with pepper and several generous pinches of salt. Flip the meat, press down so it absorbs the seasonings, and repeat on the other side. Sprinkle fennel pollen over the meat on both sides and set aside.
Grill: Cut the melon in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut into 7 or 8 wedges. Place on the outer edges of the grill, where the heat is indirect, and cook 4–6 minutes, turning halfway through. Lay the pork steaks in the middle of the grill over the hotter, direct heat. Place foil-wrapped bricks on top of the pork to keep the meat’s edges from curling. Remove every 2 minutes to flip the meat, then replace bricks. If the meat flares up, move it to another spot on the grill. Halfway through grilling (which will take a total of about 6-10 minutes), baste the pork on both sides with the butter mop, and sprinkle with sugar to aid the caramelization. When the melon and the pork are both nicely charred, switch their locations on the grill: move the pork to the cooler edge of the grill and the melon to the hot center for about a minute, to warm through. Meanwhile, cut the radishes into large slices and set aside.
Finish the dish and assemble: Grill the pickled garlic scapes for 1–2 minutes. On a serving platter or wooden board, plate the pork steaks, melon, charred garlic scapes, and radishes. Sprinkle everything with fresh lemon juice, a pinch of fennel pollen, and salt. Drizzle olive oil over the melon and scatter torn squash blossoms just before serving.
Garlic Confit Butter Mop
For the garlic confit, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a small saucepan, add the garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon peel, and bay leaf. Cover and bake 1–1½ hours, until the garlic is tender and golden. For the butter mop, heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add half the garlic confit (the remainder will last, refrigerated, up to two weeks); break it up and let it sizzle, 2–3 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes a thick paste. Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking with each addition. Bring the butter to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Whisk in the mustard and black pepper, and set aside until it’s time to baste.
Pickled Garlic Scapes
Place 10 garlic scapes in a jar. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; pour the liquid over the scapes to scald them. Seal the jar and place in a cool, dark place for 10 days to ferment.
Tools You May Need
Tools You May Need
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