Yes, I am the first to admit this is truly my favourite meat. Succulent, tender, juicy and high in nutrients – how could it not be. I am one of the lucky ones, who had a mother that cooked well and knew how to cook pork beautifully. So NO, I didn’t have dry over cooked tough pork chops with over cooked soggy vegies! And we regularly ate spectacular authentic Chinese ‘yum cha’ and lovely lunches at Chinatown… so very early on I appreciated good pork flavours.
Australia has excellent quality pork and strict regulations on the breading, hygiene and processing of our pork. We do not have the conditions found over seas. All fresh pork found in Australia is Australian pork – the government does not allow fresh pigs to be imported. So if it is fresh – it is Australian.
There is a huge array of cuts, every type of cut for every style of cooking – quick pan frying & char grilling through to slow succulent braising. Pork is actually a lean meat – and there are 10 cuts that have less fat than a chicken fillet!
Flavours – pork works so well within 101 different flavour bases. Just about everything marries well from citrus, garlic, curry flavours to mustards, tomatoes, olives and sweet spices like cinnamon, bay leaves and of course apple. Have a look at my roasted apple sauce recipe and of course the superb roast pork behind it ! Yummo, look at the crackling…. my mouth is watering.
Mostly pork is grain fed and yes there are some premiums free range brands such as Otway pork and a traditional heritage breeds like King Valley. I have tried different breeds and yes there is definitely a noticeable difference in taste & texture, so if you can pay a little more for these premium brands.
I myself prefer to purchase from a good butcher or breeder from a registered farmers market. There are some important rules choosing the cut the want and how to see (literally see) if the pork is tender, sweet and delicious.
- Chose pale light pink looking meat
- Choose the cut you need to suit the recipe
You can choose from the leg, loin or the forequarter. From bone in, to bone free & rolled and easy carve roasts which are quicker & so easy to cook.
Again choose from the leg or shoulder. The shoulder cuts are usually sweeter and more economical. Bolognese – pork is essential and is actually the
Stir frying, char grilling and pan frying:
Choose leaner cuts from the leg, forequarter & tenderloin.
Always dry the meat before cooking and I like to rub oil over the meat rather than add oil to the pan.
Resting is also essential, for roasting and even pan frying. It makes an amazing difference to the tenderness.
The rule of thumb for roasting: roast at 200 C for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180C. Roast 30 – 40 minutes per kg. Rest at least 20 minutes before serving – serve sweet, succulent and sightly pink – do not over cook!