The Lee Bros. City Ham Steak with Red-Eye Gravy Recipe

The Lee Bros. City Ham Steak with Red-Eye Gravy Recipe
  • Yield:4 people


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four 12-ounce brined ham shank steaks, 1/2-inch-thick
  • 2 cups Rich Pork Broth (recipe below)
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika or Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Shoulder bones from a bone-in pork shoulder or a 1 pound pork shank bones and trimmings
  • 1 large onion, trimmed, peeled, and cut into eighths
  • 2 large stalks celery, greens and stem end trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 cups cold water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 250° F and place an ovenproof serving platter or large plate and an ovenproof gravy boat on the middle rack.

  2. 2.

    Place the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the ham steaks and fry in 2 batches, leaving about 1 inch of space between them. Turn each steak as it becomes golden brown in patches, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the first 2 steaks to the serving platter and set it back in the oven to warm as you fry the second bath.

  3. 3.

    When all 4 ham steaks are warming in the oven, reduce the heat to medium and add the brother to the skillet. When the sizzling subsides, stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Mix the flour, sugar, and paprika in a small bowl. When the broth comes to a simmer, sprinkle the flour mixture into it with one hand while whisking vigorously with the other, to prevent slumping. Add the coffee and continue to whisk occasionally until the gravy returns to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the gravy has thickened to the consistency of melted ice cream, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk the butter until it melts.

  4. 4.

    Remove the serving platter and gravy boat from the oven and fill the gravy boat with the gravy. Pass the gravy at the table.

  5. 5.

    Rich Pork Broth

  6. 6.

    - makes 3 to 4 cups -

  7. 7.

    Place the bones, onion, celery, and bay leaves in a medium stockpot and cover with the cold water. Bring to a vigorous simmer over medium-high heat, then turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour.