Category Archives: pork

saffron pasta with pork and tomato sauce

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 12 ounces gnocchi-shaped pasta or orecchiette
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino Sardo or pecorino Romano cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
NOTE: When we first tried this all we had in hand was a block of Parmesan, and for pasta we used penne as that was the closest alternative in our pantry. preparation Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté until fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add onion and parsley; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add ground pork and sauté until brown, breaking up with back of fork, about 8 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, and sage. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (can be made 2 days ahead. Chill uncovered for 1 hour, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over low heat before using.) Cook pasta with saffron in large pot of boiling salted water until pasta is tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain; return to same pot. Add sauce and 1/2 cup of cheese; toss to blend. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and serve. NOTE: We saved the pasta water and combined pasta with sauce in the sauce pan, so we could add pasta water as needed to prevent overly thick sauce. We also added extra pasta water to leftovers before refrigerating, as they will get drier when reheating. nutritional information n/a yield: 6-8 servings time: 45-60 minutes source: The Bon Appetit Cookbook, p.207

grilled lemongrass pork

We served this with a Cambodian rice noodle salad.


for the pork:

  • 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of surface fat
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 medium shallots, quartered
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed to lower 5 or 6 inches, dry outer layers discarded, thinly sliced *
  • 1 serrano chili, stemmed and roughly chopped **
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • pickled carrots and daikon, for serving
  • lettuce leaves, for serving

for the dipping sauce (nuoc cham):

  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 3 1/2 TBSP lime juice
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 serrano chilies, stemmed and minced **

* Couldn’t find lemon grass stalks in any of our regular grocery outlets (and not about to add another trip right now) so we used lemongrass paste. did the job fine.

** Didn’t have chilies on hand and wanted the kids to eat it, so we substituted with a small pinch of cayenne



  1. Place the pork on a large plate and freeze until the meat is firm and partially frozen, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the garlic, shallots, lemon grass, chili, five-spice and 1 1/2 teaspoons each salt and pepper.Process until finely chopped, about 45 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and honey, then process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Using a chef’s knife, slice the partially frozen pork against the grain into pieces about 1/8 inch thick. The slices will be irregularly shaped; cut them into strips about 1 inch wide (it’s fine if the strips are not uniform). Add to the seasoning paste and toss, rubbing the paste into the meat.
  3. Thread the pork onto 10- to 12-inch metal skewers, evenly dividing the meat and scrunching it together, packing it quite tightly. If some pieces are too wide, too wispy or awkwardly shaped, fold the meat or tuck in the edges as you skewer. Place on a rimmed dish, cover and refrigerate while you prepare the grill.
  4. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 minutes, then clean and oil the grate. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high and heat, covered, for 15 minutes, then clean and oil the grate.
  5. Place the skewers (on the hot side of the grill if using charcoal) and cook until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the second sides are lightly charred, about another 3 minutes. Flip the skewers again and continue to cook, turning every couple of minutes, until well charred on both sides, about another 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to platter and drizzle with about 1/4 cup of the nuoc cham. Serve with the pickles and lettuce leaves for wrapping and with the remaining nuoc cham for spooning on or dipping.

nuoc cham: In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and 6 tablespoons water. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the garlic and chilies. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving.

NOTE: Don’t be afraid to pack pork tightly onto metal skewers. This prevents overcooking. If using gas grill, make sure to allow it to heat covered for about 15 minutes before cleaning and placing skewers on grate. This helps ensure the grill is hot enough to char the pork nicely.

nutritional information

yield: 4 servings
time: 50 minutes (not counting freezer time)
source: Milk Street, July-August 2020, pp.9-10

shredded pork soft tacos


Photo by Lisa Aragon Duque


  • 1 (3-4 lb) boneless pork butt roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed, and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 6 (3 inch) strips orange zest plus 1/2 cup of juice (we have also made this with tangerines and it has been even more delicious)
  • 2 onions (chopped fine)
  • 1 TBSP minced canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
  • 1 TBSP minced fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 TBSP lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 18 (6 inch) corn tortillas, warmed or 8 large flour tortillas
  • Optional: Thinly sliced radishes, tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, guacamole for garnish


  1. Combine pork, orange zest and juice, 1.5 onions, chipotle, oregano, sugar, cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and bay leaf in multicooker.
  2. Lock lid in place and close pressure release valve. Select high pressure cook function and cook for 25 minutes. Turn off multicooker and let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Quick-release any remaining pressure, and then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
  3. Remove pork from instapot. Discard orange zest and bay leaf. Shred any remaining large chunks with two large forks.
  4. Let braising liquid settle, then skim excess fat form surface using large spoon. Combine cornstarch with 1 TBSP water to make a slurry. Add slurry to juices and using highest saute or browning function, cook until sauce thickens (usually within a minute of when liquid boils). Stir lime juice into pork and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add sauce to taste. Serve pork with warm tortillas, chopped onion, cilantro, radishes, and lime wedges.

This recipe also works great spooned over rice, if you find yourself without tortillas handy because supermarkets have been cleaned to the bone because of an ongoing pandemic.


Lock lid in place and open pressure release valve. Select low slow cook function and cook until pork is tender, 2 to 3 hours (if using Instant Pot, select high slow cook function and increase cooking range to 7 to 8 hours). Turn off multicooker and carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.

nutritional information: Not available
yield: 6-8 servings (serving size: 1 bowl)
time: 1 hour 45 minutes pressure cooker
(4 hours slow cooker)
source: Multicooker Perfection from America’s Test Kitchen (page 114)

scallion noodles with ground pork


  • 2 bunches scallions
  • 10 ounces dried Asian wheat noodles
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 or 2 Fresno or jalapeño chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds (optional)


  • In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. While the water heats, cut the scallions into 2- to 3-inch lengths, then slice lengthwise into thin strips, reserving the whites and greens separately. To the boiling water, add the noodles, then cook until tender (refer to package instructions for cooking times). Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool to the touch; set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the scallion whites and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add about half the scallion greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and beginning to crisp, another 5 to 8 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the pork to the oil remaining in the pan and cook over medium, stirring to break the meat into small pieces, until the meat is well browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sugar, then bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan.
  • Reduce to low and add the noodles and fried scallions. Cook, tossing to combine, until the noodles are heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, then taste and season with salt. Toss in the remaining scallion greens. Divide among individual bowls and top with fresh chillies (if using).
nutritional information
yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/cup beef and 2/3 cup rice)
time: about 35 minutes
source: Milk Street

pressure-cooker hawaiian kalua pig



Whether you use an Instant Pot, a stovetop pressure cooker, or an electric one, the process is pretty much the same. The only difference is that the cooking time will be slightly shorter with a stovetop cooker than with an electric cooker (75 minutes vs. 90 minutes).

Drape the bacon in a single layer on the bottom of a pressure cooker. Press the “Sauté” button (if your cooker has one) and in about a minute, your bacon will start sizzling. (If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker instead, line it with 3 pieces of bacon, crank the burner to medium, and start frying your bacon.)

Cut the pork shoulder into 3 equal pieces. I normally cut out the piece with the bone first, and then cut the 2 other pieces to match the first.

If you’ve got some garlic on hand, use it! With a sharp paring knife, stab a few slits in each piece of pork, and tuck in the garlic cloves.

Sprinkle the salt evenly over the pork. As you’re seasoning the pork, you’ll hear the bacon sputtering in the pressure cooker. Don’t forget to flip the slices, and turn off the heat when the bacon is browned on both sides.

Place the salted pork on top of the bacon, keeping the meat in a single layer. Pour in the water.

Do not forget this step: With a pressure cooker, you have to add some liquid for it to work properly. Check your manual to see what the minimum amount of liquid is for your particular model, and adjust accordingly. (After some digging and experimenting, I discovered that 1 cup of water is perfect for this recipe in my Instant Pot.)

Next, cover and lock the lid. If you’re using an Instant Pot, select the “Manual” button and press the “+” button until you hit 90 minutes. For an electric pressure cooker, set it for 90 minutes a high pressure. If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker, you won’t have to worry about pressing all those fancy buttons. Just cook on high heat until high pressure is reached. Then, reduce the heat to low to maintain high pressure for about 75 minutes.

When the pork is finished cooking, the Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker will switch automatically to its “Keep Warm” mode. If you’re at home, press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to turn off the cooker and let the pressure come down naturally quicker. If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker, remove the pot from the heat. In either case, let the pressure release naturally (which will take about 15 minutes).

Once the cooker is depressurized, check that the pork is fork-tender. If the meat’s not yet fall-apart tender, you can always cook the pork under high pressure for another 5 to 10 minutes to get the right texture.

Transfer the cooked pork to a large bowl and taste the cooking liquid remaining in the pot. Adjust the seasoning with water or salt if needed.

Add the cabbage wedges to the cooking liquid. Replace the lid and cook the cabbage under high pressure for 3 to 5 minutes. When the cabbage is done cooking, activate the quick-release valve to release the pressure.

While the cabbage is cooking, shred the pork. Once the cabbage is cooked, pile it on your shredded pork.

nutritional information: Not available 
yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 bowl)
time: about 90 minutes
source: The Kitchn

asian dumplings in garlic broth with peas


Grapeseed or other high-heat oil, for the pot
5 to 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
3 1/2 to 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (organic if you can)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 carrot, thinly sliced into coins
1 package (16 ounces) Asian vegetable dumplings (substitute other kinds if desired)
2 cups peas, any kind; snow peas, thawed frozen green peas, sugar snaps
3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced, plus more for garnish


Heat up a soup pot over high heat. Drizzle in enough oil to cover the bottom. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until deep golden, about 1 minute (deep golden is good here, as it will flavor the broth well).

Add 3 1/2 cups of the broth, the soy sauce, and carrot. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Just before serving, slip the dumplings and peas into the pot and increase the heat to high. Cover and cook until the dumplings are heated all the way through, 4 to 5 minutes. If the dumplings soak up too much liquid add a little more broth. Toss in the scallions. Taste it! Does it need more ginger? A little soy sauce? Divide among big bowls and garnish with scallions.

other suggestions: add a dab of miso paste in the beginning; slice red chile for heat; asian chili paste at the end; garnish with chopped cilantro, mint, chives, or pea shoots; serve with soy sauce and hoisin sauce on the side.

nutritional information: not available.

yield: 12-15 servings (serving size: 1 bar)
time: 30 minutes (15 minutes prep)
source: The Family Cooks, p. 197

apple bacon stuffed pork chops


6 1″ thick pork chops
2 Tbsp lard
2 medium baking apples (Gala and York are our favorites), peeled, cored and diced
10 strips of bacon, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minces
4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Using a 4-6″ knife, pierce the fatty side of each chop. Wiggle your knife side to side until your “pocket” is about 5″ long and 3″ wide (70% of the chop).

In a medium pan (we recommend a cast iron skillet or dutch oven), melt lard over medium-high heat. Cook apples, bacon and onion until onion is softened and bacon is crispy, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, sage, paprika and lemon juice and toss for 2 minutes. Remove stuffing from heat, transfer to bowl and set-aside.

Salt and pepper each side of pork chop, stuff it with as much stuffing as you can fit and use a skewer or toothpick to close and prevent spilling (about half of the stuffing will be leftover). Insert pork chops into the hot pan to sear on each side, cook each side of the chops for 5 minutes in hot pan over medium-high heat. Transfer pan/dutch oven to 350 degree oven and bake uncovered for 35 minutes.

To serve, warm remaining stuffing and spoon on top of each chop.

NOTE: Instead of using lard, we started cooking the bacon first and then added the apples and onion late so that it would cook in the drippings. We also omitted the toothpicks (long story involving upper palate injuries) and the stuffing remained pretty well contained inside the chops.


nutritional information: not available.

yield: 2-4 servings (serving size: 1/2 or 1 chop)
time: 30 min
source: Paleoparents

double peanut-crusted chops


1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion (1 stalk)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
1/3 cup finely chopped honey-roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
4 boneless pork sirloin chops, cut 3/4 inch thick
4 ounces Chinese egg noodles or dried angel hair pasta


1. For peanut sauce, in a small saucepan heat peanut butter until melted; gradually whisk in pineapple juice, green onion, soy sauce, honey, ginger, mustard, and hot pepper sauce. Set aside
2 tablespoons of the peanut sauce. Keep remaining peanut sauce warm. For crust, in a small bowl combine peanuts, bread crumbs, and sesame seeds; set aside.

2. For a charcoal grill, grill chops on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 6 minutes. Turn chops; brush with the reserved 2 tablespoons peanut sauce. Sprink le chops with crust mixture. With the back of a metal spatula, press crust mixture onto chops. Cover; grill for 5 to 7 minutes more or until chops are slightly pink in the centers and juices run clear (160°F). (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place chops on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as above.)

3. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Toss noodles with remaining warm peanut sauce. Serve with chops.

nutritional information
Calories: 510(N/A from fat); Fat: 23g (sat 5g, mono N/A, poly N/A); Protein: 42g; Cholesterol: 89mg; Calcium: N/A; Sodium: 518mg; Fiber: 6g; Iron: N/A; Carbohydrates: 39g

yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chop)
time: 15 min
source: Better Homes and Gardens New Grilling Book, p. 212-3

parmesan and sage-crusted pork chops


1 (1 1/4-ounce) slice white bread, torn into pieces
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
2 large egg whites
4 (4-ounce) boneless thin-cut pork loin chops, trimmed
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil


1. Place bread in a food processor; pulse bread 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure about 1 cup. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, sage, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Place flour in another shallow dish. Combine mustard and egg whites in another shallow dish, stirring with a whisk.

2. Working with one pork chop at a time, dredge pork in flour, shaking off excess. Dip pork into egg white mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Coat pork completely with breadcrumb mixture. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining pork, flour, egg white mixture, and breadcrumb mixture.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add pork; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned and done.

nutritional information
Calories: 272(45% from fat); Fat: 13.6g (sat 3.7g, mono 6.6g, poly 2.2g); Protein: 28.8g; Cholesterol: 69mg; Calcium: 102mg; Sodium: 409mg; Fiber: 0.4g; Iron: 1.3mg; Carbohydrates: 7.0g

yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop)
time: 15-20 min
source: Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2008

north carolina pulled pork


6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1 (5-pound) boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and quartered
3 smoked ham hocks, rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke


1. Combine 3 tablespoons sugar, paprika, chili powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper in bowl. Using fork, prick pork all over. Rub sugar mixture over pork, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.

2. Place ham hocks in slow cooker. Unwrap pork and place on top of hocks. Pour broth over pork, cover, and cook until pork is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

3. Transfer pork and hocks to large bowl, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces discarding skin, bones, and excess fat; cover to keep warm. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon.

4. Strain liquid into medium saucepan and simmer until thickened and measures 1 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Whisk in vinegar, ketchup. liquid smoke, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Toss shredded pork with 1 1 1/2 cups sauce: add more sauce as needed to keep meat moist. Serve with remaining sauce.

why this recipe works

To make authentic North Carolina pulled pork, with its succulent, smoky meat, and tangy vinegar-based sauce, we began by smothering a pork butt roast with a sweet and spicy dry-rub made of brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Refrigerating the meat overnight intensified the flavor, allowing the rub to penetrate the meat further. For authentic smokiness we cooked the pork with smoked ham hocks, which could be shredded later on.

Reducing all of the defatted cooking liquid to a concentrated 1 cup on the stovetop, then stirring in cider vinegar, ketchup, more sugar, and liquid smoke, led to the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, and smoky flavors in the finished barbecue sauce.

Note that this sauce is fairly thin compared to gooey molasses-based sauces. Don’t shred the meat too fine in
Step 3; it will break up more as the meat is combined with the sauce. Serve on soft buns with pickle chips.

nutritional information: not available


yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 plate)
time: 9-11 hours
source: Slow Cooker Revolution, p. 145