So You’ve Ordered a Pork Share: Now What?

You’ve just received your first pork share from West Side Beef and the experience is a bit like opening a treasure chest. If you are like me you’ll survey what’s laid out before you and think This looks goooooood. Really good. And just in time, because I’m so hungry.

Then it hits you: What will I do with all this fresh pork?

The one thing you don’t have to do is go out of your way to come up with a recipe that’s going to be demanding or fussy when it comes to preparing pork. And, thanks to freezers and vacuum-sealed packaging you don’t have to figure out how to use your pork all at once either.

The trending news here is that pork is wonderfully versatile, and its subtle flavour goes nicely with all kinds of seasoning blends from savoury, to spicy, to sour, or sticky sweet.

I’m confident when I say that almost any recipe you like to cook with chicken or beef can be cooked using pork instead. Enjoy it in fajitas, curries, chilli, stir-fries, pasta dishes, soups, or stews. You can braise, grill, roast, fry, pressure cook, slow cook, or even poach pork in milk (a classic Italian dish).

I don’t know about you, but when it’s the weekend I look forward to a traditional baked dinner, so using my fresh pork loin or pork belly for a meal with family or friends works out well. Succulent fresh pork cooking in the oven smells so good I drool impatiently and with great anticipation. Even when it’s just two of us for dinner I’ll cook up my pork shoulder with a plan to make the most of the leftovers mid-week in a fried rice bowl or spicy pork and cabbage soup.

There are great ways to use your pork share anytime for quick meals. Simply grill up your pork loin chops and serve with some roasted potatoes and a salad. Or use some of your pork sausages in a new way by squeezing the meat out of the casing to create a brightly flavoured pasta dish that will satisfy hunger with every bite. And, think of your pork shoulder as a reliable stand-in for all kinds of recipes. When I’m not using mine for a Sunday roast dinner I cut the meat into chunks for stew and let the slow cooker do the work for me.

I’m not going to waste a mouthful of my pork share. The bone that’s left from my pork shoulder will get wrapped up and tucked into the freezer. Once I’ve collected a few more pork bones I will simmer them slowly in water, with a few vegetables and some seasoning added in. This will result in a most delicious broth that I will use to make a flavour-packed soup.