producer_pork

Pork is the world’s most popular meat, making up over 43% of the world’s meat consumption. From mainstream palate pleasers to exotic global flavours, pork mild taste lends itself to a broad range of herbs and spices, including rubs and marinades. A wide variety of pork cuts, both bone-in and boneless, suit all cooking styles and make meal planning and preparation easy.

Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide recommends selecting lean meats, like pork, more often and preparing them with little or no added fat or salt.

Purchasing

It’s important to understand the variety of cuts available and the characteristics that play a part in creating a perfect pork dish. Pork comes from four main wholesale areas;

Loin

  • the most tender and lean of the wholesale sections
  • divided into the rib end (closest to the front shoulder), the centre cut and the sirloin end
  • produces loin roasts, chops, cutlets, cubes and strips
  • prepare by dry heat methods*

Leg

  • very lean and more economical than the loin
  • consists of three muscle cuts (inside round, outside round, sirloin tip)
  • produces roasts, steaks, schnitzel, scallopini, cutlets, cubes and strips
  • may be prepared by dry heat methods but moist heat** produces the best results

Shoulder

  • most economical cuts
  • consists of the blade and the picnic
  • produces roasts, blade steaks, cubes and strips
  • may be prepared by dry heat methods but moist heat** produces the best results

Belly

  • produces side ribs (spare ribs), bacon and further processed pork products

 

*Dry Heat Methods

- cooking uncovered without the addition of liquid, such as roasting, broiling/grilling, panfrying/sautéing, stirfrying, barbecuing

**Moist Heat Methods

- cooking in a covered container with the addition of some liquid, such as braising/pot roasting, stewing

How Much To Buy

  • Boneless Cuts: allow 3-4 servings per lb/0.5 kg
  • Bone-In Cuts: allow 2-3 servings per lb/0.5 kg
  • Ribs (side & back): allow 1-2 servings per lb/0.5 kg

 

Storing, Preserving and Food Safety

  • Refrigerate meat as soon as possible after purchase
  • Place meat package on a plate or in a container before placing in the refrigerator to prevent meat juices from dripping onto other foods
  • Always defrost in the refrigerator
  • Always place cooked meat on a clean plate, not one which has been used for uncooked meat
  • Remove as much air as possible from freezer bags before sealing
  • Wash hands before and after handling meat
Storage Guide Refrigerator (36-40ºF OR 2-4ºC) Freezer (0ºF OR -18ºC)
Roasts, steaks, chops 2-4 days 8-10 months
Ground Pork 1-2 days 1-3 months
Sausage (fresh) 4-5 days 2-3 months
Variety meat 1-2 days 3-4 months
Smoked sausage 3-7 days 1-2 months
Ham 3-4 days not recommended
Bacon 7 days 1 month
Cold Cuts 3-5 days not recommended

 

Cooking Tips & Techniques

Pork Roasting Guide

Retail Pork Cut Weight Minutes
Lbs kg per lb./0.5 kg
Centre cut loin, bone-in 3.0-5.0 1.50-2.2 20-25
Single loin, boneless** 1.5-2.0 0.75-1.0 30-35
Double loin, boneless 3.0-5.0 1.50-2.2 30-35
Leg, boneless 3.0-4.0 1.50-2.0 20-25
Shoulder blade/picnic, boneless 3.0-6.0 1.50-3.0 30-35
Shoulder blade/picnic, bone-in 5 2.5 25-30
Rack of Pork 3.0-5.0 1.50-2.2 20-25
Tenderloin** ½-3/4 250-375g 30-35***

** Roast at 375ºF (190ºC)

***Total Cooking time

 

How to Cook a Crown Roast

  • For small, medium and large roasts: Crumple aluminum foil into a ball and fill the roast cavity. Place roast in pan, bones pointing up. To prevent excess browning, cover bone tips with small pieces of foil, if desired.
  • Small Roasts: under 7 lbs (3 kg)Roast, uncovered, at 325ºF (160ºC) for ½ to 1 hour. Remove from oven; remove foil ball. Fill cavity with stuffing. Cover with foil to prevent drying. Roast for another 1½ hours or until meat thermometer reaches 160ºF (70ºC).
  • Medium Roasts: 7-9 lbs (3-4 kg)Roast, uncovered, at 325ºF (160ºC) for 1½ hours. Remove from oven; drain off excess fat. Remove foil ball. Fill cavity with stuffing. Cover with foil to prevent drying. Roast for another 1½ hours or until meat thermometer reaches 160ºF (70ºC).
  • Large Roasts: over 10 lbs (4.5 kg)Roast, uncovered, at 325ºF (160ºC) for 2½ hours. Remove from oven; drain off excess fat. Remove foil ball. Fill cavity with stuffing. Cover with foil to prevent drying. Roast for another 1½ hours or until meat thermometer reaches 160ºF (70ºC).

 

Nutrition

Pork provides energy and many nutrients that are all important for the maintenance of good health.  Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide recommends Canadians eat 1-3 servings of meat and alternatives every day, and to choose lean meats, like pork, more often.  All trimmed pork cuts, with the exception of ribs, are “extra-lean” with 7.5% fat or less.

Vitamins

  • Thiamin – B1: to build and repair muscles, maintain appetite and release energy from carbohydrates
  • Riboflavin – B2: to release energy from protein, maintain the nervous system, build and repair body tissues, maintain healthy skin and eyes
  • Niacin – B3: to release energy from foods, maintain healthy skin, maintain the digestive tract, protect the nervous system
  • Vitamin B6: to release energy from protein, help form Niacin, aid functioning of the nervous system
  • Vitamin B12: maintain red blood cell, ensure healthy nerve tissue, help produce genetic material, support cell function and metabolism
  • Pantothenic Acid: releases energy from foods, forms cholesterol, hormones and hemoglobin

Minerals

  • Iron: to form hemoglobin in red blood cells, help with energy with energy production, help in healing and immune function
  • Zinc: to enhance and protect bones, improve resistance to infection, help in would healing, essential for healthy growth and development
  • Phosphorus: to strength bones and teeth, promote healthy skin, help build genetic material, help energy production
  • Magnesium: to help form strong bones and teeth, for energy production, to maintain nerve and heart function, for healthy muscle tone
  • Protein: to build, repair and maintain body tissues, regulate body processes, form antibodies to fight infection

 

Fat: to supply energy, protect and insulate body parts, help absorb fat soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K, promote normal growth and healthy skin

For more information on PORK nutrition, visit Manitoba Pork.