8 quick and easy ways to use ground pork
Here are a few basic recipe ideas that reflect the many wonderful ways to cook with pasture raised ground pork. Ingredient amounts are approximate as the recipes are more suggestions that can be adjusted as needed.
Pork burgers with bacon: Mix .20 pound ground bacon with 1 pound ground pork. Form into 2-4 patties. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a pan over low heat with some olive oil and cook until the burgers are browned on both sides and fully cooked through.
Fast pasta sauce: Sauté half a chopped onion in olive oil. Add 1 pound ground pork and brown well. Season with salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Add enough tomato sauce to cover. Simmer until pork is fully cooked, then toss with cooked pasta.
Tacos: brown 1 pound pork with ½ onion and season with salt, pepper, chili powder, ground cumin and a squeeze of lime.
Stuffing: mix well 1 pound ground pork with 1 teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and a small handful chopped fresh thyme. Spices and herbs can be varied as needed. Stuff this mixture into the cavity of a chicken or into squash (topped with breadcrumbs) and bake until the chicken is done or the pork is fully cooked.
Cottage pie: Brown pork, with onions, garlic, peas, carrots, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover with a layer of mashed potatoes and bake in the oven.
Fried rice: Sauté the ground pork until browned and cooked through. Add onions, ginger, peas and day old rice. Season with soy sauce and sesame oil and top with cilantro.
Meatballs: mix 1 pound ground pork with 1 beaten egg, a small handful each breadcrumbs and grated parmesan, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, a splash of milk, 1 teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Form in ping pong size balls and fry in olive oil. Top with warm tomato sauce and grated parmesan.
Lettuce Wrap: Season ground pork with sea salt and black pepper. Sauté until golden brown. Place a heaping spoonful onto a butter lettuce leaf. Top with green onions, cilantro and sriracha.
Scrambled eggs: Brown ground pork in a pan over medium heat. When nearly cooked add 3-5 eggs beaten with a dash of heavy cream as well as a few pinches chopped fresh parsley, basil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ground pork is also great in chili, dumplings, meatloaf and many other dishes!
Pork Shoulder Braised With Apples
Recipe by Bon Appetit January 2012
• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
• 4 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut into ½” pieces
• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
• 5 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 6 pieces or more
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
• 1/3 cup Calvados or other apple-flavored brandy
• 1 ¼ cups apple cider, preferably fresh
• 2 tbsp. (or more) of apple cider vinegar
• 3 tart, firm apples (such as pink lady or honey crisp) peeled, cut into ½” wedges (about 4 cups)
• ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
• Chopped fresh chives
Place rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325 degrees. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until browned and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Using a slotting spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add butter to pot with drippings. Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Working in batches if needed, cook pork shoulder, reducing heat as needed to prevent overbrowning, until brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Transfer pork shoulder to a plate.
Add shallots to pot and cook, stirring often, until shallots begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
Remove pot from heat; add Calvados and stir, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Return to heat and simmer for 1 minute. Add apple cider and 2 tbsp. vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then return pork shoulder to pot, placing in a single layer on bottom of pot (the meat should not be completely covered.)
Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise pork shoulder, turning after 1 hour, until fork-tender, about 2 hours. Stir in reserved bacon.
Using tongs, transfer pork to a deep platter. Skim fat from cooked liquid. Place pot over medium heat and bring liquid to a simmer. Add apples and cook until apples are just tender and sauce is slightly reduced, 8-10 minutes.
6-Hour Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
Recipe from Jamie Oliver
This is a proper old-school Sunday roast with crackling. Leaving the bone in adds a bit of extra flavor and having a layer of fat helps to keep the meat nice and moist as it roasts. This isn’t the kind of joint you carve into neat slices. If you cook it right, it should pull apart into shreds with a couple of forks. If you’re worried about scoring the cracking yourself, ask your butcher to do it for you, that’s what he’s there for.
- Sea salt
- 2 red onions, halved
- 2 carrots, peeled and halved lengthways
- 2 sticks celery, halved
- 1 bulb garlic, skin on, broken into cloves
- 6-8 bay leaves
- 600 ml water or organic vegetable stock
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place your pork on a clean work surface, skin-side up. Get yourself a small sharp knife and make scores about a centimeter apart through the skin into the fat, but not so deep that you cut into the meat. If the joint is tied, try not to cut through the string. Rub salt right into all the scores you’ve made, pulling the skin apart a little if you need to.
Brush any excess salt off the surface then turn it over. Season the underside of the meat with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Place your pork, skin-side up, in a roasting tray and pop it in the preheated oven. Roast for 30 minutes, until the skin of the pork has started to puff up and you can see it turning into crackling. At this point, turn the heat down to 325 degrees, cover the pork snugly with a double layer of tinfoil, pop back in the oven and roast for a further 4 and a half hours.
Take pork out of the oven, take the foil off, and baste the meat with the fat in the bottom of the tray. Carefully lift the pork up and transfer to a copping board. Spoon all but the couple of tablespoons of fat out (save it for roast potatoes!)
Add all the veg, garlic and bay leaves to the tray and stir them into the fat. Place the pork back on top of everything and return to the stove without the foil to roast for another hour. By this time the meat should be meltingly soft and tender.
Carefully move the meat to a serving dish, cover again with tinfoil and leave the rest while you make your gravy. Spoon away any fat in the tray, then add the water or stock and place the tray on the hob. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to scrape up all those lovely sticky tasty bits on the bottom of the tray. When you’ve got a nice, dark gravy, pour it through a sieve into a bowl or gravy boat, using your spoon to really push al the goodness of the veg through the sieve. Add a little more salt and pepper if it needs it.
Serve the pork and crackling with your jug of gravy and some lovely roasted potatoes (as a treat, you can try roasting them in the fat you spooned out of your roasting tray. Some stewed red cabbage and a dollop of apple sauce will finish this off perfectly.)