Take a tip from us
Whether you're looking for the perfect pork pairing for dinner, the right seasoning for your cut of Good Nature® pork or delectable side dish ideas to help complete your ideal meal, we've got a few ideas to get you started. So pick a topic that interests you, then follow our tips for a tasty pork-eating experience.
Pop a cork with your pork
There's nothing better than a home-cooked meal with Good Nature® pork at the center of your plate and a wine glass to the side. For many people, the process of pairing wine to pork dishes seems like a science, but it doesn't have to be if you follow these recommendations for matching the right wine to the right type of pork dish.
The gold standard for pairing wine with Asian dishes is a quality Pinot Noir, but Rieslings and Sauvignons also balance well with spicier dishes. Pick up your Pinot of choice, and try pairing it with a dish like Asian Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple.
Italian pork dishes and wine make a natural pair. If your Italian meal is on the spicier side, try Chianti. Otherwise, a Pinot Gris is probably a safe choice – preferably one paired with a delectable pork dish like Grilled Pork Parmesan.
For standard barbecue fare, you can't go wrong with a Chardonnay, Zinfandel or a Pinot Noir. That's because the smoky flavor and higher fat content of dishes like pulled pork and ribs meshes better with these wines' acidity levels and tannins. Try any of these three with this recipe for Barbecue Pork Skillet.
Marinades & Rubs
Spice up your pork naturally
When you've got pork as naturally good as Good Nature® pork, there's little you need beyond a shake of salt and pepper and a healthy appetite. But if you want to experiment with new flavors and try something different, marinades and rubs are great ways to do just that. Try any of these great marinade and rub ideas courtesy of the National Pork Board and treat your taste buds to something special.
Combine 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons cayenne, 1½ teaspoons ground white pepper, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves and 1 teaspoon oregano leaves in a jar. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, shake and apply rub to pork.
Combine ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup dry sherry, ½ cup minced onion, 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, 2 teaspoons five-spice powder and 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a plastic zipper bag. Add pork to bag and marinate in your refrigerator for as little as 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
Combine ½ cup orange juice, 4 tablespoons lime juice, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 2 teaspoons dried thyme and 1 tablespoon honey in a plastic zipper bag. Add pork to bag and marinate in your refrigerator for as little as 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
Spicy Latin American Rub
Combine 4 tablespoons cumin, 4 tablespoons chili powder, 2 tablespoons ground coriander, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons ground black pepper in a jar. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, shake and apply rub to pork.
Choose your side
Picking the perfect complement to your cut of Good Nature® pork is an important part of planning the perfect meal – and it's easy to do if you're willing to take our advice. Take pork tenderloin for example. If you're roasting your tenderloin, you can't go wrong with a baked potato rubbed with olive oil and salted, or sautéed asparagus with garlic.
For pulled pork, try serving up cheesy potatoes, baked beans, potato wedges, slaw and pasta salad. These sides also work well with other types of barbecued pork, but you might also consider trying cornbread muffins, grilled veggies (like corn on the cob) or preparing scalloped potatoes in the oven.
If you prefer traditional pork chops, sticking with traditional side dishes is always a good call. Our favorites? Fresh applesauce, mac and cheese, creamed corn or baked sweet potatoes. For boneless loin chops, most any bagged side salad is a safe bet, but we suggest also trying a side of mixed rice pilaf.
If it's a roast you're fixing, side dishes like broccoli and cheese, green bean casserole and a tossed garden salad are all classic options. For pork loin roasts, try a side of steamed or mashed red potatoes and carrots. And shoulder roasts are great with soft dinner rolls and barbecue sauce on the side.
Of course, you could always take a complete meal recommendation from us by browsing our recipe database.
Make it a party with pork
If you're planning a get-together this winter season – whether it be big or small, family or friends – we've got some mouthwatering appetizer ideas that are sure to please your guests.
Finger foods are always a big hit. For something deliciously different from the hot wings and spicy meatballs everyone else serves up, try this recipe for Teriyaki Pork Lettuce Wraps. This Asian-inspired dish features tender strips of marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in lettuce and rice noodles that provides a satisfying crunch.
Sliders are always popular, but these Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin BLT Sliders with Dijon Remoulade put a tasty spin on the traditional ground beef mini burgers. Can you really go wrong with carved boneless pork loin topped with Good Nature™ pork center-cut bacon? We don't think so, either.
Speaking of bacon, we've got the perfect idea for surf-and-turf snack food – it's Barbecue Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Basil Stuffing. Cold cocktail shrimp are a staple at many parties, but this recipe takes it to the next level with stuffed baked shrimp wrapped in the good stuff. Simply delicious.
The perfect time for a pork roast
There's no better time of year than fall and winter to fill your house with the mouth-watering aroma of a Good Nature® pork roast. Oven roasting is a no-fuss way to create elegant meals, and there are a number of great cuts of pork that deliver exceptional results. But which ones are right for your oven?
If you've already read our Savvy Spending tips, then you know that crown roast and rack of pork are both great alternatives to pricey beef rib roasts. But these cuts of pork also cook up great in the oven:
- Loin roast
- Fresh pork leg
- Back ribs
Preparation is universally easy for these cuts as well. Just make sure to rub your roast with a blend of herbs, salt, pepper and garlic before cooking. Also, add ½ to 2 cups of liquid – such as broth, water, juice, wine or beer – to your roasting pan to preserve tenderness while oven roasting.
Here's an additional tip: Regardless of which cut you pick, the drippings from your roasted pork can be used to create flavorful stocks, sauces and gravies that can really complement your meal.
Pork Cuts Chart
Which part of the pig?
Ever wonder where your favorite cuts of Good Nature® pork come from? Whether it's the loin, leg, shoulder or side, every great cut of pork has a distinct source. Consult our handy chart, and discover a little more about the many different cuts of pork available at the market.
- Featured Recipes
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Eat healthy with pork
It may come as a surprise, but pork like Good Nature® pork is one of the most nutrient-dense proteins in the meat case. Seven of the most common pork cuts contain, on average, 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat than they did 20 years ago. In fact, pork tenderloin meets USDA guidelines for "extra lean," making it just as lean as a skinless chicken breast (based on similar serving sizes).
Pork tenderloin meets the requirements of the American Heart Association (AHA). It's loaded with nutrients and is a great source for thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorous, niacin, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. Yet it only accounts for 6% of the calories (120) in a 2,000-calorie diet, per a 3-ounce serving size.
It doesn't end there, either. There are six additional cuts that fall between skinless chicken breast and skinless chicken thigh in terms of saturated and total fat content. These six lean cuts include boneless top loin chops (5.17 g total fat, 1.77 g sat. fat), 96% lean ground pork (5.27 g total fat, 1.77 g sat. fat), boneless top loin roast (5.34 g total fat, 1.64 g sat. fat), bone-in center loin chop (6.2 g total fat, 1.83 g sat. fat), bone-in rib chops (7.10 g total fat, 2.17 g sat. fat) and bone-in pork sirloin roast (8.02 g total fat, 2.44 g sat. fat).