Ask the Butcher - 6 of your questions answered!

You asked, we listened. Here are Maria's answers on some common (and not so common) porky questions!

1. Do some cuts of pork go by the same name?

Yes they do! Pork scotch is the same thing as pork ribeye and pork tenderloin is the same thing as pork eye fillet. Regardless of the name, they are all delicious!

2. How do I make the perfect pork crackling?

First things first, lie your pork belly on a chopping board and with a sharp knife make slits all over the skin (1cm between them) then spread rock salt over the skin.

Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat your oven to 200 degrees, and as the oven is heating scrape off the excess salt and cook until you can see the crackling is golden and crispy!

3. What’s the best cut of pork to cook on the barbeque?

Oooh, that’s a tough one - they’re all great, pork is so versatile. My favourites would have to be pork ribeye, pork belly and also pork shoulder on the barbeque.

Can I cook pork medium rare?

Definitely! It’s a red meat despite the lighter colour so it’s safe to eat medium rare. If you have a meat thermometer, make sure the internal temperature of the meat is 71 degrees - even though it may have an hint of pink it’s not undercooked, just juicy, tender and perfect!

4. Do I need to cook ham on-the-bone? (e.g. a Christmas ham)

No, the ham is usually pre-cooked. However, most people like to put some extra glaze on and pop it back in the oven to give it that extra colour for presentation.

5. Where can I find guanciale (pork cheek) in New Zealand?

Guanciale is quite difficult to find in New Zealand, but you may be able to buy it in some specialty butcher shops – it’s delicious so if you can find it you won’t regret buying some! Cook it like bacon and toss it in a carbonara, it will impress your guests for sure!

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