According to Hamilton butcher Jamie Waldron, you shouldn’t give up the grill just because the weather is cooler. To prove it, he’s got three simple ideas to help you get the best out of Ontario pork no matter what the season.
While one is strictly to braise your Ontario pork, the others require some time on the grill to see your meal through the finish line. Don’t worry, you’ll be back indoors enjoying the “meats” of your labour in no time.
Idea #1: Try something new
Underappreciated cuts have a lot to offer, with minimal effort and budget-friendly costs. Take the humble hock for example. All too often we just see smoked hocks, and that’s too bad. When braised in chicken stock and white wine these become succulent cuts perfect for so many dishes.
Idea #2: Give great flavour a head start
If you can think about dinner about 12 hours in advance, brine your pork chops to really amp up the taste. You can get creative with herbs and seasonings or simply stick to a basic salt and water mixture. Either way, you’ll thank me once you’ve tasted the flavourful and juicy cuts.
Idea #3: Pick the right ribs
Skip the back ribs and give side ribs a try. With a perfect ratio of lean meat to fat, side ribs are full of flavour that really shines with just a little bit of help. I like to slow roast them under aluminum foil before finishing them off on the grill. Offered a choice between back ribs and side ribs, I’ll take an extraordinary eating experience any day.
At the end of the day, butchers really want to see you take the plunge and try a new cut; something you’ve either been curious about or one that’s totally new and maybe a little scary for you. The ideas above surely aren’t meat gospel – consider them a starting point for your next Ontario pork adventure.
To learn more about how to get the most from your pork, watch for our new video series. You can find more great tips, techniques and terrific recipes at ontariopork.ca/recipe