Pork Recipes

Terrific recipes for juicy pork chops and tenderloins, fresh-baked hams, sausages and deliciously crispy bacon.

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Pork Loin Stuffed with Pesto and Prosciutto

When I was younger, one of my favorite things was any kind of “stuffed” food. Stuffed chicken breasts. Stuffed mushrooms. Stuffed peppers, grape leaves, pork. You get the idea. There was something magical about cutting into one thing only to find something altogether different on the inside. Alas, many stuffed foods have been consigned to the “old-fashioned” category. But I’m convinced they deserve to return to the table. Picture a stuffed chicken breast (like this delicious recipe stuffed with couscous and Moroccan spices), cut into rounds that show off the multicolored stuffing inside, fanned across the plate—I’m pretty sure no one would reject that as dated. Or how about beautiful, deep green Swiss chard leaves (like this recipe from Justin Chapple) filled with a wildly savory ground pork and rice stuffing, just begging to be eaten. But today I have a recipe for you that could hardly be easier or less intimidating—stuffed pork loin. It’s easy enough to make for your family on a Tuesday night and beautiful enough to save for guests on Saturday. Pork loin, not to be confused with the much smaller tenderloin, is fairly lean, very inexpensive, and easy to work with. And the best part: it requires only three very simple cuts to butterfly it in preparation for stuffing. (See my recipe below for specific directions.) The stuffing is an herb pesto, which can be changed depending on what’s in season or what you have available in your refrigerator that you need to use up. My recipe leans on tarragon, chives, basil, parsley, scallions, and lemon zest to form a light, bright pesto that will flavor the loin from the inside. But feel free to use whatever you have on hand. No scallions? Use a couple of tablespoons of minced onion. For the herbs, use a mix of whatever you have on hand that’s green and soft, like arugula or even kale; you’ll need about 2½ to 3 cups of leafy, flavorful greens. (You could even substitute about ½ to ¾ cup store-bought pesto, in a pinch.) For a bit of luxury, I’ve added some prosciutto, but feel free to omit it or use whatever thinly sliced cured meat you have around. All you’ll need to do is open up the pork loin, pound it to an even thickness, salt the meat, paint it with the pesto, top the pesto with the prosciutto and cheese, roll it back up, tie it, and roast it. The whole procedure takes about an hour, and the results are delicious—and anything but outdated.
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Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Strawberry–Merlot Sauce

At Beringer, chef Alex Hrabovsky leans on savory pork drippings and lush Merlot to balance the sweet-tart strawberries in this rich sauce for pork tenderloin. A gentle finish in the oven keeps the pan drippings from over-reducing.
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Picadillo-Stuffed Leaves

Briny olives and sweet raisins give this wild mash-up of picadillo and dolma glorious brightness, while cinnamon lends a warmth that makes it subtly wintry. Serve these steamed logs with herbed rice, black beans, and plenty of vinegary hot sauce.
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Pretzel Schnitzel with Mustardy Brussels Sprouts Slaw

Schnitzel has become a regular weeknight fix in my house. It’s quick and easy to prepare, but it also has a certain something extra. Not to mention how stress-relieving it can be to pound out a pork cutlet at the end of a long day. The idea for using crushed pretzels for the breadcrumb coating came to me years ago when I was working on my first cookbook, Pretzel Making at Home, and I had a surplus of homemade hard pretzels on my hands. I turned them into pie crust; I baked them into cookies; I used them as a calamari coating; I even retooled Austria’s national dish into a pretzel-crusted version. Pretzels deliver an extra crunch, and that curious alkaline flavor that can only be described as “pretzely.” On a trip to Germany many years ago, I had a thing with schnitzel. I ordered it at almost every restaurant I visited to try it with the various sauces and accompaniments. Potatoes and spaetzle are of course delicious, but my favorite pairing was the contrast of a bright green salad with the crispy, pan-fried cutlets. At home, that may be arugula, simply dressed with lemon and olive oil, but in winter, I find this heartier shaved brussels sprouts salad with mustard dressing and sharp pecorino cheese perfectly fits the bill. Let’s talk about pan-frying. It can be intimidating, but the simple thing to remember is to get the oil hot enough so that a few crumbs sizzle on contact. Be patient and wait for this to happen, and your crust will turn out crisp rather than oil-soaked and soggy. You also want to avoid getting it so hot that the oil starts to smoke, because that results in off flavors. Speaking of smoke points, it’s a good thing to fry in olive oil. It’s a myth that extra-virgin olive oil shouldn’t be used for frying, or cooked at all, for that matter. On the contrary, it’s a stable oil with a high-enough smoke point to make it ideal for pan-frying, and it’s better here than other oils for both taste and nutrition. A few pats of butter make it even better. As for what to drink with your Pretzel Schnitzel, an everyday-priced Grüner Veltliner from Austria is the ideal, if somewhat expected, choice for pairing, with its refreshing tartness and notes of fresh green herbs and citrus zest. It’s the perfect lift for a comfortingly crispy, just-rich-enough weeknight dish.
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Olive Brine–Marinated Pork with Roasted Olives and Beans

At a recent dinner showcasing kitchen sustainability, chef Jonathan Waxman taught us a new trick for using up leftover brine from a jar of olives—make it into a marinade. Here, we’ve combined it with sage and lemon to punch up your weeknight pork tenderloin.
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Slow-Cooked Pork Belly with Potatoes, Onions, and Garlic

Pre-seasoning the pork belly with salt not only flavors the meat itself, but creates a crispy crust, while dry white wine helps balance the richly fatty meat. Save rendered fat for searing vegetables or making onion confit.
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More Pork

Pork Loin Braised with Mushrooms and Wine

Fistfuls of fresh herbs, fragrant strips of orange peel, and plenty of garlic perfume the wine-infused braising liquid penetrates this essential Corsican comfort food. The resulting jus is vibrant and richly seasoned; ladle extra over the polenta on each plate.
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Yunnan-Style Spicy Pork–Stuffed Eggplant

This dish is a specialty of shaokao, or barbecue, cooks in China’s Yunnan province, and it leans on a fragrant spice mixture that includes dried chiles; Szechuan peppercorns; and the piny, fragrant black cardamom that is so important in central Yunnan cooking. Use a seedless Japanese eggplant; Italian varieties are generally too bitter and may have too many hard seeds.
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Green Chorizo

Traditional chorizo boasts a garnet color from smoky chile powder and paprika; this herb-forward Green Chorizo gets color and bright, smoky flavors from a thick paste of charred green chiles, cilantro, and oregano. The quick blast of heat during cooking slightly dulls the color of the herbs, so this recipe uses a dash of spinach powder to amp up the green. (We like Koyah brand spinach powder). This chorizo is made with Mexican oregano; unlike Greek oregano, which is a member of the mint family, Mexican oregano is from the verbena family and has more citrusy undertones. (It’s a subtle difference, so substituting one for the other is just fine!) For the best results, don’t let the Green Chorizo rest too long before cooking it; if you let it sit longer than 30 minutes, the acid in the vinegar will start to negatively impact the texture of the pork. Try it in these Green Chorizo and Potato Tacos.