The new pre-trimmed cuts of pork without bone, rind or excess fat are more nutritionally desirable than traditional cuts which are often high in fat. Nevertheless, many people enjoy the cheaper, old-style chops and roasts.

Depending on the cut, pork can be roasted, boiled or stewed, stuffed and baked, stir-fried, made into sausages or roasted on a spit. The most popular cuts are the leg (as a joint or in leg steaks), the loin (usually as loin chops), the ribs (as spare ribs) and the shoulder (cut into chops or left whole for roasting).

It is generally a tender meat, so most cuts can be roasted in the oven, however, the coarser cuts may be better casseroled or slowly braised or stewed. Bone less cuts cook well in the microwave oven.

Roast Pork with Marinade

  • 1.5 kg boned half leg of pork
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 175 g honey
  • 3 tablespoons medium dry sherry
  • 6 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

Remove the rind from pork but leave as much fat on as possible. Lay the meat out flat and cut into 4 equal-sized strips. Slash diagonally 3 or 4 times. Season with pepper. To make the marinade, mix honey, sherry, soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Place the meat in the marinade, cover and put in the fridge, preferably overnight.

Place a tray filled with a few centimeters of water in the oven. Remove the meat from the marinade and place it directly onto the oven rack with the tray underneath. Roast at 190°C for 30 minutes.

Remove each piece of meat, dip in the marinade and return to the oven. Roast for a further 15 minutes, dip in the marinade and return to the oven. Repeat once more. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with honey.

Serve hot or cold.

Melt-in-the-mouth Pork Chops

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 pork chops
  • plain flour
  • hot bacon drippings
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 green capsicum, cored, seeded and sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced and seeded

Combine sugar, salt and pepper; rub mixture on to both sides of pork chops. Coat chops well with flour. Fry in hot bacon drippings in a large heavy pan until browned on both sides; remove and set aside. Add onion and capsicum; saute until just tender.

Return chops to pan, add lemon slices and water to come about a centimeter up the side of the pan. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 to 1½ hours, or until very tender, adding more water if necessary.

Serves 6.

Pork Chops with Cider Cream Sauce

  • 4 pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1½ cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1¼ cups dry cider
  • ¼ cup double cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Coat the pork chops in half the flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and fry the pork chops slowly until cooked through. Remove chops and keep warm.

Add onion to the meat cooking juices and fry gently for 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the flour and cook for 1 minute.

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cider to make a smooth sauce. Return the pan to the heat and stir for 1 minute. Over a low heat, stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Heat to just below boiling point. Pour the sauce over the pork chops, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve at once.

Serves 4.

Pork with Grapes and Grand Marnier Sauce

  • 375 g fillet of pork
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 15 g butter
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
  • 1 rasher bacon, chopped
  • 125 g black grapes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 15 g butter, extra
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Grand Marnier sauce: 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, ¼ cup cream, 1 tablespoon snipped chives, 2 teaspoons lemon juice.

Make a long, deep cut down center of pork fillet. Heat oil and butter in a frying pan, add onion, almonds and bacon and fry until almonds are golden. Remove from heat, add grapes, sour cream, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Spoon mixture into the pork fillet, secure tightly with string or skewers. Heat extra butter and oil in a frying pan and fry pork fillet over moderate heat for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Remove from pan and keep warm.

To prepare sauce, drain the excess fat from frying pan, add Grand Marnier and boil 1 minute, stirring and scraping up brown bits from pan. Stir in the cream, chives and lemon juice, simmer 1 or 2 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. Season to taste. Slice the pork and serve with a little of the sauce spooned over.

Serves 4.

Pork Chops with Apple Gravy

  • 4 pork chops
  • 30 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 large green apple

Heat butter and oil in pan, add peeled and sliced onion; cook until onion is transparent, remove from pan. Add chops, cook until brown on both sides, remove from pan.

Add flour to pan, cook 1 minute, stirring; add crumbled stock cube and apple juice, mix well, stir until sauce boils and thickens. Reduce heat, return chops and onion to pan. Peel apple, slice thickly, place one or two slices on top of each chop; cover, cook over low heat 15 to 20 mins or until chops are tender.

Serves 4.