If you were to do a pop quiz on words people associate with pork, here’s what we bet you’d hear.
Juicy! Tasty. Crunchy. Absolutely bloody delicious. Drool-worthy!
But dry? Now dry is not a word anyone wants to hear when it comes to pork.
But let’s be honest, dry cooked pork does happen to good people. And worse than dry? Rubbery pork happens. Flavourless pork happens. In fact all three elements have been known to combine, disappointing all involved parties to no end.
So we’ve established that for pork lovers, dry cooked pork is a fate worse than death – of a good piece of pork, that is. But how do you mitigate the risks against dry cooked pork? How do ensure this terrible fate doesn’t happen to you?
We’ve scoured the expert opinions out there for some top tips to help keep your pork moist and warm for longer, and anything but dry.
Fact 1: Pork is easy to overcook, so take heart if you’ve ever done this, as you’re not alone.
As much as we love all things pork, we will admit that pork is not always the easiest meat to perfect.
If you are working with a cut of meat like a leg, consider braising it rather than roasting it. You could do this with a garlic and herb infused stock.
Chefs also recommend introducing some fat into the mix, such as bacon or lard, to increase the fat content in the cooking process. You can also try the method many cooks swear by, of patting dry and then salting the meat, keeping it uncovered in the fridge overnight before cooking.
Fact 2: Pork likes to rest. (Just like we all do!)
If you are roasting your pork meat, it’s best to start cooking it when it’s at room temperature, rather than cold, straight out of the fridge.
At the end of the cooking process, you should also allow your meat to rest, as this is where the juices get a chance to come to life and distribute themselves more evenly throughout the meat.
Fact 3: Less is more – juicy!
Many spirited home cooks enjoy more success preventing dry pork by simply choosing to cook pork chops, or steaks, by frying, roasting or barbecuing, rather than attempting to roast a whole portion of meat, which can result in uneven cooking.
Fact 4: Dry pork has a second life.
If you have gone down the well-worn path of creating you self some dry cooked pork, you can redeem the situation. Over-cooked, a bit on the dry side pork is still pork after all.
Already-cooked pork can be a great addition to a toasted sandwich – think thinly sliced pork lavished with mayonnaise, mustard, pickles and cheese for a tasty take on a Cuban sandwich.
There’s a great recipe here that makes use of our always perfectly cooked Hot Roast Pork with Crackle (available at your local Coles supermarket) for a Cuban Style Pork Sandwich that will get your tastebuds kicking.
Dry cooked pork will also add some crunch and yum-factor to pasta sauces, soups or even fried rice!
Fact 5: Quality, Australian pork is always a good idea.
No matter your cooking skill levels, ultimately, you will have a better chance of cooking juicy, tender pork when you start with quality ingredients.
Always look out for locally produced pork that has been farmed with care and attention to detail, like our Riverview Farms pork.