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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Different ways to cook pork

In the south, pork is eaten more often than beef. It is less expensive than beef and comes in many forms. Of course, bacon is the most popular form of pork eaten. Pork is the main protein at many of BBQ competitions, like Memphis in May and Hogs for the Cause. There are, however, many different ways to cook pork.

Todays recipes will demonstrate three different ways to enjoy pork; Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin, Pork Rib and Sausage Jambalaya and How to pickle Pork. While the first two are recipes are complete dishes, the third one is used as an ingredient in other dishes. All three are tasty ways to enjoy pork.

One of the more popular salad dressing flavors is Honey Mustard. At the last restaurant I worked at, Cannon’s Restaurant, we would make 5 gallons a day of our most popular dressing. The flavors meld together wonderfully. He are these two flavors as a glaze for Pork Tenderloin.

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

4 pork tenderloins, 12 ounces each after trimming

3/4 cup honey

1/4 cup mustard seed, cracked

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Brush the pork generously with honey. Mix the mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl, and spread evenly over the loins. Put half the oil in the pan, heat for about 30 seconds, taking care not to let the oil smoke, and place two loins in the pan. Sear the pork until an even brown crust appears, about 4 minutes. Turn and repeat. Continue until all sides are brown and the loin is medium-rare to medium. Remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe out the pan, add the remaining oil, and repeat with the other two loins.

After the meat has cooled, about 3 minutes, cut slices on the bias to a thickness of about a third of an inch.

Serve with your favorite Barbecue sauce.

One of my favorite dishes since childhood has been Jambalaya. It is easy to make and great to stretch a dollar. This version uses an ingredient that is starting to become popular, Pork Short Ribs. This is definitely a Cajun style Jambalaya.

Pork Rib and Sausage Jambalaya

3 pounds pork short ribs

1 pound fresh pork sausage, removed from casing and crumbled

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups onions, chopped

1 cup green bell peppers, chopped

1 cup beef stock

2 1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice

Creole seasoning to taste

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

In a large heavy pot, brown pork ribs and sausage in oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Add water and rice. Season with Creole seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and cook, until rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and add parsley.

Pickled Pork is often used as a seasoning in dishes like Red Beans. When I first moved here, I was shocked to see that it was not available. After doing some research, I came up with this recipe to make my own. Use some in your next batch of Red Beans. You will be happy you did.

How to pickle Pork

1 quart distilled white vinegar

8 to 10 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

1/2 cup whole mustard seeds

2 tablespoons whole celery seeds

2 teaspoons cayenne (or to taste)

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, cracked

3 pounds pork meat, cubed

Combine all ingredients except pork in a 3 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and keep it boiling for at least 3 minutes. Let it cool and pour it into a glass or plastic container that has a tight fitting lid. Add pork, cover tightly, and let the pickling begin. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 days before using.

With all that is going on in the world, I am happy that the kitchen is becoming a focus of family time. Now is a great time to get the younger generation involved preparing meals. Pork is a good protein to focus on.

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