Pork presents an interesting problem. It is so good so many ways, what is the best way to prepare it? The fact is, they're all the best way. Pork can be used to add flavor (bacon, ham hocks), or it can be the main feature (bacon, ham hocks).
But there is one golden rule--do NOT overcook it. EVER. For years we've been hearing about all these diseases that pork can give you. Don't believe the hype. We think pigs have a bad reputation because of their soily existence. But the fact is the dangerous bacteria that can cause problems in pork is killed at about 140 degrees (72 less than boiling water).
Get a meat thermometer and lose your pork stereotypes. It doesn't always have to be overdone. That only leads to tough pork. And that just is not acceptable.
Just follow our simple recommendations for all your porky meals:
- Allow 1/3 to 1/2 lb. with bone or 1/4 to 1/3 lb. boneless per serving for normal people.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees (mod.) Season meat with pepper and salt. Place fat-side up (like when you're tanning your stomach at the beach) on rack in open pan. Roast according to chart below.
- Cooked lean pork should be grayish-white. However, a little tinge of pink at the center is acceptable. A TINGE OF PINK--NOT A GIANT COLD PINK SPOT. You don't want your guests to be sick over your Roast Pork debut. Trichinosis is a fun word to say, but not very pleasant to get (or spell on the hospital admittance forms). The truth is there has not been a documented case of the stuff in a long time in this country, but do you want to be the first? If you have a meat thermometer, insert it through the fat to thickest part of meat. Do not baste, cover or add water. It really doesn't get any easier.
When the roast is done, remove it to a hot platter and keep it warm (cover it up with aluminum foil) while making pan gravy. But what the heck is pan gravy you ask? Do you know what pan gravy is, and want to try G-Man Jim's Double Bypass Gravy?