JEFF TIEDEMAN: Pork tender‘Other white meat’ changes slogan but not its delicious taste
Work potlucks rank right up there with backyard barbecues, fish fries and restaurant buffets in my book.
We’re having one in the newsroom Thursday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and the entree on the menu that caught my eye isn’t exactly Irish but is one of my all-time favorites — pork ribs cooked in sauerkraut. (I like to make the dish a few times a year because of all the homemade sauerkraut we have on hand.)
And I’ll never turn down a good meal that includes pork.
I’ve been a fan of pork since my childhood. Mom used to fix a pork roast with mashed potatoes and gravy every couple of weeks when I was growing up. And my dad liked to make patties from venison burger and pork sausage, which he seasoned with ground cloves, salt, pepper and mustard seeds. It was yummy with fried eggs and toast.
Actually, we eat more pork than beef at home (no more than twice a week) when it comes to meat other than poultry. We have homemade elk or venison sausage two or three times a month that is made with ground pork, I sometimes like to make pulled pork (we’ve had it twice lately), and just this past Sunday, I fixed venison/bison burgers that had a little ground pork thrown into the mix.
Nutritionally, pork is a good source of protein, thiamin, vitamin B6, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus and zinc. Pork also is low in sodium but high in cholesterol.
Pork producers have significantly changed production methods to produce much leaner meat than 25 years ago. In fact, some cuts of pork are as low or lower in fat than chicken, and more than half of the fat is unsaturated, the type that helps lower cholesterol.
Here are a few suggestions on how to reduce the fat content and avoid adding extra fat when preparing pork.
— Remove most of the external visible fat before cooking.
— Prepare pork with herbs and spices to enhance flavor rather than using sauces.
— To reduce the amount of fat used when frying, stir-frying, sauteing or searing pork in a pan, use a nonstick skillet that requires less added fat or use a nonstick skillet with a fat free nonstick cooking spray.
— After cooking ground pork, place in a strainer and rinse under hot water to remove excess fat.
— Cook pork using a low-fat cooking method, such as roasting, grilling, broiling, steaming, poaching, braising or stewing.
Pork has been in the news lately. Just a few weeks ago, the National Pork Board replaced its decades-old ad campaign — “The Other White Meat” — with a new message: “Pork: Be Inspired.”
The new campaign is aimed at getting existing pork consumers to think about how they can incorporate it into their meal planning.
In other words, new tricks for an old hog.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at (701) 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at email@example.com.