Get Some Pork on Your Fork by Julie Meek
For almost two decades, Australian Pork have been producing some amusing advertisements all about getting more pork on your fork and I love them. If you can’t remember these little gems, do a quick web search and you will be quickly reminded of their cleverness.
Pork is worthy of such attention as it takes the gold medal for being the most widely eaten meat in the world and if you are not already, there are so many reasons why you should get on board with this meat too.
Ticks ALL The Nutrition Boxes
- First-up, lean pork is a great source of the essential nutrient protein and vitamins including thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, B6, B12 and essential minerals, selenium and zinc.
- Pork is a complete and quality protein source. Protein is made up of many different amino acids and pork contains all the essential amino acids that cannot be manufactured by the body and are essential for life. Protein is vital for the repair and regeneration of cells and one of the front-runners for fighting viral infections. It is required to create, maintain and renew our body cells.
- Pork can help you manage your body weight because protein helps regulate appetite and prolongs the feeling of being full. This means that you don’t feel the need to pounce on anything that isn’t nailed down every five minutes. Joy.
- In pleasantly surprising news, pork fillets have less than half the fat of beef fillets and chicken, but this delicious meat is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, an influencer in cognitive decline and heart health.
- Pork is a good source of iron too and as iron carries oxygen around the bloodstream, this is rather vital for us all.
There doesn’t seem to be much that pork can’t do. The many cuts of pork available can be substituted into most recipes that you would ordinarily use chicken, beef or lamb and adds a ton of flavour to any dish.
The elephant in the room (or several other four-legged friends)
The conversation around red meat, processed meat and cancer (particularly bowel cancer) has been heating up over the past few years. Is regularly consuming meat a problem for our health and well-being or not?
Let’s get a few things straight. There are two different types of meats associated with cancer risk – processed meats and fresh red meats. When referring to red meat and cancer risk, we are referring to beef, pork, veal, lamb, mutton, venison and goat.
Experts from the International Association for Research on Cancer have reviewed current evidence available and concluded that there was ‘limited’ evidence to suggest that fresh red meat consumption caused bowel cancer.
On the other hand, processed meat refers to meat that has been altered through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. Processed meat such as bacon, ham and others may be cured with the addition of preservatives such as salt, nitrite or smoke and/or other additives such as phosphate, glutamate or ascorbic acid. Scientific evidence does suggest a link between excess consumption of processed meats and bowel cancer risk, based on the nitrate content of the meat.
Lastly, it is important to be careful when cooking your meat, as charring and burning meat on the BBQ can produce harmful chemicals, which may increase the risk of cancer.
Great news on that front at Dirty Clean Food! Our pork, both fresh and unprocessed is free of harmful nitrates.
The green, green grass of home
Just like humans, how animals are raised and whether they are grass fed or grain fed directly impacts the nutritional quality of that food.
The precious pigs at Dirty Clean Food are pasture raised. Feeding animals all that delicious pasture in comparison to grain fed animals, results in the following benefits:
- Lower levels of total fat (including saturated fat) and as a result fewer calories
- Healthier levels of omega 3 fatty acids (the ones your heart loves)
- Healthier ratios of omega 6 (the balance of these with omega 3 is important to your heart health)
- Rich in carotenoid’s including lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene (those antioxidants that mop up those damaging free radicals in your body)
- Higher levels of Vitamin E (handy helper for our immunity and heart health)
- Higher levels of the fatty acid Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Pork in my household turns up in many forms – roast pork, pork steaks with apple and cabbage, bolognaise sauce, meatballs, sausages, pulled pork in the slow cooker and many other regular dishes.
Two of our pork faves are San Choy Bau and Pork Sausage Pasta – both simple, quick, easy and most of all tasty. These recipes are ideal when time is short, but expectations are high!
So, the question is, how will you get some pork on YOUR fork?
San Choy Bau (Serves 4)
500g pork mince
6 spring onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 small piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 stick celery, sliced thinly
1 medium red capsicum, diced
100g mushrooms, diced
1 tsp cornflour
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon chilli sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 cup bean shoots
Large ice-berg lettuce leaves, washed
Spray a large fry pan with cooking oil and cook pork on medium high heat using a wooden spoon to break up the pork. Remove and set aside.
Place all vegetables into the frypan and stir-fry until softened. Return the pork to the pan and mix well.
Mix all the sauces and cornflour together in a small bowl and add to the pork mixture with the bean shoots.
Use the lettuce leaves as cups and place pork mixture inside each cup with some steamed rice.
Quick Pork Sausage Pasta (Serves 4)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 375g jar of your favourite tomato-based pasta sauce
1 x 440g can diced tomatoes
500g pork sausage
500g packet of spaghetti or other pasta
Remove the casing from the sausages, divide each sausage into three and roll the sausage meat into meatballs. Fill a medium saucepan with water, bring to the boil and cook pasta according to the directions on the packet.
In a large frypan, sauté the onion and garlic with a little olive oil until translucent and then add the pork meatballs. Stir-fry until browned.
Turn the heat to low and add the pasta sauce and diced tomatoes. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
Spoon sauce over cooked and drained pasta and sprinkle with a little fresh parmesan cheese. Serve with your favourite salad or steamed green vegetable.