Pork is the most widely consumed type of meat in the world. It’s affordable, versatile, and can also be preserved by smoking or curing. Pork meat contains a high amount of essential vitamins: vitamins B1, B3, B6, and B12. It’s also rich in minerals such as potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Some home cooks are afraid of cooking pork as the lean cuts are especially prone to dry out. But with these tips, you’ll soon be cooking succulent pork!
Don’t rinse your meat
Besides the fact that rinsing raw meat can lead to cross-contamination, it’s better to start with dry pork. This will result in better browning when frying or grilling.
You should avoid defrosting pork too quickly (e.g. in the microwave or in hot water). It will dry out your pork, and leave you with chewy meat. Rather defrost it in the refrigerator overnight.
Cook at the correct temperature
Never cook with cold meat. Take your pork out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature. This will result in evenly cooked pork that’s juicy and tender.
Prevent the curl up
When pork chops are fried, they tend to curl up. Avoid this by taking a sharp knife and making three incisions in the outer skin of the pork chop.
Don’t stew at high temperatures
If you are using pork cuts destined for a stew, it’s important to stick to low and slow. If you try to cook these cuts at high temperatures, the meat will shrink and become tough and chewy.
Complements to pork
Certain flavors are a perfect match to pork. Spices that work really well are cumin, coriander, Chinese five spice, white pepper, fennel, and curry powder. If you don’t enjoy the porky taste (also known as boar taint) associated with pork, then use it in a curry stew. The spices will complement the pork flavor, but the gamey taste won’t be as noticeable.
Apple, mustard, and honey sauces are popular choices for pork. You can also incorporate apples, peaches, and pineapples into roasts. For sides, choose something sweet like baked apples or roast sweet potatoes. If you are making pork sausages, add sauerkraut, as the acidity cuts through the fattiness of the pork.