Pork is soo underrated by a lot of people as an absolutely delicious meat. It certainly tastes and smells different uncooked…but so does all meat! It depends on your food socialization I guess because food does tend to be very cultural. Cooked right, it is tender and soft and has a delicious buttery taste. I tend to overeat when I make pork and so I limit myself to cooking it say twice a month…Oh heck sometimes I can’t resist and cheat…and cook it a little bit more often than that! That’s how good it is!
Meanwhile if you get to eat pork that’s not done nicely as a first experience, I guess it could spoil your relationship with pork and you may become skeptical about ever eating it again or making friends with it! Pork needs to be treated and seasoned well because it tends to have a strong smell…and again not unlike other meats like say fish!
You can make your pork adventure as simple or as complicated as you want. I like to keep it simple and after trying out so many recipes as seen on TV and found on the web, I discovered three simple ingredients that work well and are easy to find at any store…Paprika…mustard…salt! You can also determine to buy different varieties of the first two ingredients but I prefer the french poupon mustard complete with the grainy seeds in it and the Hungarian red paprika…The latter also gives the cooked pork a lovely reddish baked color! You can also choose to make it hot by adding powder chilli or garam masalla!
I recently had a conversation with a friend on FB and she said that she has been considering cooking pork and didn’t know why she had never done so before. She was prompted to do that after watching “The Chew”, a daytime TV show co-hosted by among others a fav chef of mine Mario Batali. I responded to her complete with my own very simple fav pork recipe thus:
“Wah!…You don’t cook pork becaaaauuuse…? Go get some chopped country style pork loin / rib pieces on bone. Wash the pieces under warm water and pat dry. Season generously all sides with grey poupon country mustard, red Hungarian paprika, salt, cover the pork in a bowl and leave in the fridge for at leas one hour.
Spray your oven cooking sheet with canola cooking spray. Turn on the oven to 450. When hour is up transfer the pork loins onto the sheet and apply a light spray of the canola cooking spray on the pork loin and put in oven. Shut oven and let cook for one hour. Turn them over and cook for another 15 min.
Remove after the time expires, wrap the pork in foil and let stand for the juices to redistribute and also render it even softer. Use the juices from the pork to make a stew using the same ingredients used to season the pork at the beginning and you can add roiko to thicken it. Make rice or ugali with fried baby spinach kando. Serve while hot….”
I like my pork “well done”…crisp on the outside…soft on the inside and certainly the juices must not run red! Owing to risk of Trichinella, pork needs to cook through thoroughly and should not be treated like beef, salmon…that is eaten rare or even sometimes raw (French Tartare…Italian Carpaccio…Japanese Sashimi). I guess that is what was on my friends mind when she responded to my post thus:
” lol..I think i was turned off since my days from school and learning about tape worm! Although I do eat bacon and ham..so it really doesn’t make sense! Yeah there was a nice recipe on he chew today..i’ve been meaning to try it for a while now, but just haven’t gotten around to it…”
I am waiting for her feedback…And yours too should you feel adventurous to try making friends with pork too!
©njeriOsaak is a trained Journalist, Public Relations Professional and a College Speech Communication Teacher / Consultant, currently based in the United States.