Pork is considered the most widely consumed meat in the world, and is cooked in a variety of ways in different cultures. Certain pork cuisine has symbolically represented certain culture in so many ways. Processed pork like bacon, ham and sausages for instance has been the staple diets of Americans and Europeans for centuries. As ‘Char Siu’ (roast pork in sweet sauce) is common pork dish for the Chinese, so is ‘Eisbein mit Sauerkraut’ (pork knuckle on sauerkraut) a distinctly German cuisine.

Pork is a flavorful meat and is gastronomically considered as a white meat. It can be cooked in a variety of ways be it grill, roast, broil, stir fry, braise or sauté. This article provides a simple guide on how to prepare delicious pork dishes for different occasions.

Grilled Pork:

Grilling is normally done outdoors on a charcoal or gas grill or indoors on a stove-top pan grill or flattop grill. The amount of time required to grill pork depends on the thickness of the meat and whether it is on direct or indirect heat. For example, a 1-1½ inches thick boneless center cut requires 5 to 6 minutes of direct grilling on each side. It is advisable for pork to be completely cooked through when the internal temperature of the meat reaches about 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If in doubt, one can use a cooking thermometer to gauge whether it is ready to be taken off the grill.

Grilling creates an aromatic smoky flavor to the meat and is the ideal way for easy cookouts especially when one is hosting a family event or entertaining with close friends. Traditional grilled pork dishes include marinated pork chops, baby back pork ribs, pork strips on skewers, grilled pork roast and barbeque pork.

Roast Pork:

Roasting pork in an oven is a great way to cook pork as the continuous hot air circulating over the meat makes it tender and juicy. To start roasting, the marinated meat is placed on a rack or a roasting pan and oven is set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The amount of cooking time depends on the cut and thickness of the meat. For example, a boneless pork loin requires about 25 minutes cooking time per pound and a bone-in center cut may require longer approximately 30 minutes cooking time per pound.

After taking the pork out of the oven, it should be allowed to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting. Examples of roasted pork dishes include oven-baked spare ribs, roast pork loin, pulled pork and pork roast recipes.

Stir Fry Pork:

Stir fry is a traditional Asian technique of cooking and stirring food in a wok or a deep frying pan. The technique is quite similar to the Western method of sautéing. Firstly, cooking oil is added into a heated pan, followed by dry seasonings such as ginger or chopped garlic. When the seasoning’s aroma can be detected, meat is stirred in and sauté with the seasoning until the juice from the meat is mixed together with the seasoning to create a flavorful aroma. Finally, vegetable and sauce is added into the mixture. For stir fry, pork meat is cut into strips to enable its flavor to easily mix and cook with the other ingredients in the wok or pan.

Stir Fry pork can be cooked with a range of other ingredients such as carrots, long beans, bell peppers or chili peppers, celery, cashew nuts, hard tofu or egg plant.

Pork Stew:

Stewing is when a meat and vegetable are added into a pot and slowly cooked in liquid for at least an hour on low heat. Less tender cuts of meat are normally used for stews as the slow boiling liquid will tenderize the meat and makes it juicy and flavorful. For pork stew, pork cubes are added into a heated pot with 1 to 2 teaspoons of cooking oil, stirring occasionally until semi cooked. Then water, wine or broth is added to cover up the meat. Once the meat gravy is boiled, other ingredients such as carrots, potatoes, onions and celery are stirred into the pot. The stew is then brought to a slow simmer until all ingredients are softened and mixed together to create a delicious stew.

Due to the slow cooking nature of a stew, one can also use a crockpot which has a timer and heating adjustment. Pork stew is easy to prepare; it is also an economical, delicious and nutritious meal for the family.

For more pork recipe ideas, one can visit All Recipies.com.

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