By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician
This little piggy went to market. Traditionally, pigs went to market this time of year. October became National Pork Month. Today every month is pork month with pigs going to market continually throughout the year. We take time in October to thank pork producers as well as sit at the table to talk about the safe, healthy, delicious products with consumers being produced on Ohio farms today.
There is more to Ohio’s pork industry than bacon alone! Ohio ranks eighth in pork production. Stats say there are almost 3 million pigs in the state, producing over $580 million in revenue. Pigs are big pig business! Animal emissions get a lot of PR these days. No problem, pigs are earth friendly! The National Pork Checkoff states that pigs are only responsible for .33% of U.S. emissions. Manure goes back to the dirt to turn it into rich soil for crop production.
Pork of today is a lean, mean protein machine. Three ounces of lean pork loin, sirloin or tenderloin provides 24 grams of protein. That’s a powerful punch in a deck of card size portion! This serving of pork has over 16% less fat than back in the days of my childhood. Pork is packed full of important nutrients. It is an excellent source of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, phosphorus and Vitamin B-6.
Enjoy some of the pork recipes below and know that Ohio pig farmers are hard at work. They are raising a healthy product for you as well as maintaining farms that are sustainable and earth friendly! Well done Ohio pork producers, well done!
Eat well and Healthy,
farmers were responsible for about one-
Ginger Pork Bibb Cups ohiopork.org
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
8 ounces lean ground pork
3 cups coleslaw mix (with carrots)
8-oz can water chestnuts drained/diced
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
16 Boston bibb lettuce leaves
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue boiling 1 minute. Remove from heat and place in a small bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, coat a medium skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat until hot. Cook the pork until no longer pink, stirring frequently breaking up larger pieces while cooking.
Combine the cooked pork, coleslaw mix, water chestnuts, cilantro, ginger, salt and black pepper in a medium bowl and toss until well blended. Spoon equal amounts in each of the lettuce leaves, (about 1/4 cup per leaf. Spoon equal amounts (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) of the dressing over each. May serve with knives and forks or pull up edges of leaves and enjoy as mini wraps.
Makes 16 total (16 leaves, about 5 cups pork mixture and 1/2 cup dressing total)
1 1/2 pounds boneless center cut pork loin cut into 1/4-inch thick slabs, then 1/4-inch thick strips, about 3 inches long
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil plus extra if necessary
5 cloves garlic peeled and minced or pressed through a garlic press
2- inch knob of fresh ginger grated
1/2 cup mild honey
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup sriracha or chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
In a liquid measuring cup or a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mild honey, sriracha, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside.
Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and swirl to coat. Let it heat until it is shimmering. While the oil heats, sprinkle the pork strips with kosher salt and black pepper then toss with your hands to distribute it evenly. Carefully add the pork to the pan, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Let the first side brown, flip the pieces with tongs or a spatula, and brown the second side. Transfer the pork to a plate.
Return the pan to the heat and add in the garlic and ginger. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Raise the heat to high and pour in the sauce mixture and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When the sauce is very bubbly and thickened like warm honey, toss the pork back in and toss constantly to coat everything and reduce the sauce to a thick, sticky glaze on the pork. This can be served immediately over rice, noodles, or as finger food, or can be allowed to cool and be eaten cold.
BBQ Pork Mac n’ Cheese Pork.org
3 lbs. pork shoulder (cut into 3 pieces*)
18 oz. barbecue sauce
12 oz. elbow macaroni (or another small pasta)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 red onion (finely chopped)
1 1/2 cups Fontina cheese (shredded, Can substitute white cheddar)
Place the pieces of pork shoulder and BBQ sauce into the slow cooker. Cover and place on low heat for 8 hours.
After 8 hours, using two forks, shred the pork while it’s still in the slow cooker. Once shredded, let it rest in the slow cooker with the remaining BBQ sauce.
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.
Return the pot to the stove over low heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is warm, add the onion, season with salt and cook until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the half and half. When the mixture just begins to simmer, add the cheese and whisk until smooth.
Once the cheese has melted, add the pasta and stir to coat. If the macaroni and cheese seems thick, add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt as needed.
Evenly distribute the pasta to 6 serving bowls and add a serving of the shredded BBQ pulled pork on top of the pasta and serve. Reserve the additional pulled pork for leftovers.
Cranberry-stuffed Pork Chops www.foodnetwork.com
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3/4 cup chopped scallions
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
4 slices potato bread, cubed (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 3 pounds)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and scallions and cook until slightly softened, 2 minutes. Add the cranberries and sage and cook 2 minutes. Add the bread and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and the parsley and stir until the broth is absorbed, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to a bowl. Wipe out the skillet.
Holding a knife parallel to the cutting board, cut a deep 2-inch-wide pocket into the side of each pork chop. Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper and fill the pockets evenly with the stuffing. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes per side. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth; reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and cook until the chops are cooked through, about 5 more minutes. Transfer to plates.
Add the remaining 3/4 cup broth and the cream to the skillet and increase the heat to medium high. Simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the chops.