If something akin to “meat butter” sounds good to you, then head to your favorite local (or online) butcher shop and ask for pancetta, guanciale or lardo. All three are fatty cuts of pork – with an emphasis on fatty – that are dry cured with salt, herbs and spices.
Guanciale comes from the jowl, lardo comes from the back and pancetta comes from the belly. The long curing time (usually a couple months or so) means these seriously tasty slabs of mostly fat marbled with a little meat can be eaten raw. This is usually done by draping very thin slices of pancetta, guanciale or lardo over cooked meat, fish or vegetables, so it melts like butter. Meaty, salty, extremely rich butter.
Remember this delicious harissa lamb chop recipe? Take the recipe’s advice and also try harissa – a spicy North African condiment you can make at home with dried chiles, garlic, coriander, cumin, caraway and olive oil – as a rub for other types of meat like pork or beef. This recipe for slow cooker harissa stew guides the way.
In this recipe, harissa gives the stew meat complex, spicy flavor but the stew isn’t overly hot. However, if the moderate level of spiciness is still too hot for you, then cool the stew down by adding extra coconut milk at the end. If the stew isn’t spicy enough, then use leftover harissa as a condiment served with the stew.
Be warned that bacon jam is a highly addictive substance. You’ll no sooner make one batch than you’ll want to start another, tweaking the recipe slightly to make it a little smokier, or sweeter or spicier. Just remember that bacon jam is a condiment, not a main course to be eaten with a spoon – at least not every day.
What does one spread their bacon jam on? Scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, omelets, spinach salad, steak, burgers, salmon, grilled vegetables…the smoky, spicy, sweet flavor can jazz up just about anything. It’s a secret weapon to keep in the refrigerator, transforming a meal from blah to “aha!”
Swedish meatballs can be a main course, but their small size is ideal for an appetizer, ready to be stabbed with a toothpick or picked up by hungry fingers. But if you’re not planning a festive smorgasbord in the near future, then just stash these meaty morsels in the fridge for middle of the week snacking.
The allspice and nutmeg seasoning in these Swedish meatballs is subtle, but enough to be noticed, and makes the dish taste different from your average meatball. Swedish meatballs are usually made with a blend of beef and pork, which you could certainly do, but they’re also really delicious made with ground bison. The small size of Swedish meatballs means they don’t need to be cooked long, which is perfect for bison, a type of meat that is most tender and juicy when served medium rare.
Ramen is Japanese soup made from pork broth, roasted pork, boiled noodles, and various toppings like vegetables, seaweed and egg. For many, the noodles are the main ingredient that the dish revolves around. But Primal ramen puts all the attention on the pork. Slow roasted pork, smoked pork shanks and bacon all play a role in making ramen that’s deeply flavorful and satisfying, even without noodles.
If you’ve traveled to Japan, then you’re familiar with the ubiquitous ramen shop serving steaming bowls of ramen that reflect the shop’s own distinctive style. If you were ever a hungry teenager or college student, then you’re definitely familiar with instant Top Ramen. This recipe is a far cry from instant ramen and not as labor intensive as ramen made in restaurants. It does take a little time to make (most of it hands-off) but suddenly all the ingredients come together. You’re rewarded with delicious steaming broth, tender slices of pork, vibrant collard greens and garnishes of egg, scallions and nori.
Buttermilk is a marinade that pork responds to beautifully. Soak pork chops in buttermilk and the meat will stay juicy and tender, even if you overcook it just a bit. Overcooking a pork chop is easy to do. One minute it’s red and juicy and the next minute it’s tough and chewy. So if you tolerate dairy and hate a dry chop, then buttermilk can be your go-to marinade for pork (it works well for chicken too).
A buttermilk marinade is especially helpful when cooking thin, boneless chops. You know, the ones that curl up around the edges and usually have the texture of a rubber tire. But even thick succulent pork chops with a flavorful bone holding the meat together can benefit from a soak. It’s some combination of the buttermilk’s mild acidity and calcium content that works the tenderizing magic.