4 pork facts you should know

By TASTE, 11 July 2004

Whether it’s bacon sizzling in a pan, a juicy pork chop on the grill, or succulent pulled pork in a sandwich, pork has become an integral part of numerous cuisines around the world. Learn more about this popular meat that can be enjoyed from head to trotters!

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The South African Pork Organisation has collaborated with Stellenbosch University’s Division of Human Nutrition to share surprising new information about pork. From its nutritional value to its many uses in cooking and culture, pork has some interesting stories to tell.

1. Pork is the most commonly consumed red meat worldwide

Yes, pork is classified as red meat! This is because of its higher myoglobin content when compared with chicken or fish. Myoglobin and haemoglobin are the pigments responsible for the red colour of meat.

2. Pork can be cooked to different levels of doneness

From rare to well done, pork can be cooked to various levels of doneness based on personal preference, food safety guidelines, and the desired tenderness of the meat.

3. Pork can be preserved through curing

Curing is a popular method of preserving pork, resulting in products such as ham, bacon and prosciutto, which have enhanced flavour and longer shelf life.

4. Each cut has its ideal cooking method

Know your cuts or ask your butcher to provide the best cut that complements your meal. The right cut will result in the best flavour, tenderness and texture. Here are the recommended cuts based on different cooking methods:
  • Roasting: leg, shoulder, belly, loin
  • Frying: bacon, mince, sausages
  • Grill/braai: chops, loin, fillet, ribs, sausages
  • Stir-fry: fillet, loin, belly
  • Slow-cooking: shoulder, leg cuts, trotters, shanks, ribs, neck

Pork ragù with polenta

Take advantage of staying indoors by taking it slow in the kitchen. Slow-roast pork shoulder to make a deliciously hearty ragù. This dish also features roasted fennel that softens and caramelises when roasted, and chickpeas that add some bite and a hint of nuttiness. Serve on creamy polenta or your favourite pasta.Pork-ragu-with-polenta

Get the recipe for pork ragù with polenta here. 

Balsamic pork chops with cauli mash

Brining is the best way to infuse flavour and tenderise meat. Brine pork chops in olive brine, olive oil and rosemary sprigs for at least 30 minutes (but we suggest doing this the night before or just before you head out to work) before searing and serving on cauli mash. It's a low-carb midweek dinner that can be tweaked to suit your taste and budget.

Get the recipe for balsamic pork chops with cauli mash here. 

Air-fryer pork belly

No more waiting for hours to achieve the best-ever crispy pork belly. Let your air-fryer do all the work and serve crispy pork belly with a sticky BBQ sauce in an hour! Pair with creamy mash or a fresh apple-and-fennel slaw, or slice it thinly and add to stir-fries.

Get the recipe for air-fryer pork belly here. 

Pork is a great choice for winter menu planning – it’s super versatile and great value for money. Woolworths offers a wide variety, from budget cuts such as bacon, bangers and chops, to big cuts including pork shoulder and pork belly.


Shop at Woolworths.

For more surprising pork facts please visit www.sapork.co.za


Article by TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.
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