Fri | Sep 30, 2022

Pork - the healthy cut

Published:Tuesday | August 22, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Honey lime chipotle-glazed ribs.
Smoked garlic basil pork chops.
Crunchy baked pork chops.
Pan-seared garlic pork chops.
Spice-crusted grilled pork tenderloin.
Thyme-smoked ribs.

Chicken has, for a long time, been globally considered to be among the healthier meats due to its lower fat, calorie and cholesterol content.

Persons looking to hop on to the latest healthy trend, are quick to substitute other meats for the chicken options of breast and thigh. Modern research has found, however, that pork ­ generally thought to be fatty and unhealthy ­ has seven cuts that are actually lower in fat and cholesterol than chicken thighs.

Tina Hamilton, brand manager of Copperwood Pork, Jamaica’s leading supplier of pork and pork products, said this is encouraging information for the local pork industry, and should help to change the narrative surrounding pork.

“We are finding that so many health fanatics are looking to pork to get their protein. For those who still choose not to eat pork, we want to ensure that they have the correct information to help them make that choice. Our pig breeds, processing and distribution operations are on par with world standards. This makes pork in Jamaica a healthier, cleaner and leaner meat than previously considered. This is why we encourage everyone to #KNOWYOURPORK,” Hamilton said.

The seven cuts of pork that are as lean or leaner than chicken thighs are: sirloin pork chop; boneless loin chop; ground pork; bone-in centre pork chop; bone-in rib pork chop; pork tenderloin and the bone less top loin pork roast/New York pork roast.

Here are some delicious way to enjoy pork the healthy way.

Smoked Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Serving: 2 4
Salt and pepper
4 smoked Copperwood pork chops
4 slices white bread torn into 1 inch pieces
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup plus 6 tbs all ­ purpose flour
3 large Chippenham egg whites
3 tbs Dijon mustard
Lemon wedges


1. Heat oven to 350deg. Pulse bread in food processor then transfer crumbs to rimmed baking sheet.
2. Add oil, onion, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and toss.
3. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes. Let cool and transfer to large bowl.
4. Add Parmesan, parsley, thyme then stir.
5. Place 1/4 cup flour in shallow dish. In a second dish, whisk egg whites and mustard together. Add remaining flour and whisk until almost smooth.
6. Increase oven temperature to 425deg, spray wire rack with vegetable oil spray and set in rimmed baking sheet.
7. Add additional pepper if desired. Dredge 1 pork chop in flour, shake off excess. Coat with egg white mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop. Transfer to prepared wire rack. Repeat for remaining chops.
8. Bake for 17 to 25 minutes, until chops register 145deg on inside. Let rest on rack for five minutes before serving with lemon wedges.


Smoked Garlic-Basil Pork Chops

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Serving: 4
4 smoked Copperwood pork loin chops
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup fresh basil
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs coarse salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground


1. Add garlic, basil, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper to make thin wet rub.
2. Generously spread rub on both sides of pork chops and let sit for 10 minutes.
3. Prepare medium-high fire to grill;
4. Grill chops over direct heat, turning once, 5 minutes per side
5. Remove from grill and serve with favourite sides.
Spice Crusted Grilled pork Tenderloin

Prep: 15 min
Cook: 25 min
Serving: 4 6
1 1lb fresh Copperwood Pork tenderloin
1 tbs mustard seeds, cracked
1 tsp coriander seeds, cracked
1 tsp black peppercorns, cracked
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbs cornmeal
1/2 cup starch
1 large Chippenham Egg white

1. Place spices in a zip-lock bag, and gently pound with a skillet or rolling pin.
2. If using a charcoal grill, light coals and when they are covered with grey ash, spread over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place and heat, covered, with lid vent open for 5 mins. Scrape and oil cooking grate.
3. Combine mustard and coriander seeds, peppercorns, sugar, salt and cornmeal on rimmed baking sheet. Place cornstarch in large bowl. Beat egg white in second bowl.
4. Coat tenderloin lightly with cornstarch, dip in egg white, and transfer to rimmed baking sheet to coat and spice mixture.
5. Spray tenderloin lightly with cooking spray and grill on hot side of grill, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 6 to 8 mins. Slide pork to cooler side of grill and continue to cook, covered, for another 6 to 12 minutes.
6. Transfer pork to carving board, tent with foil, and let rest for five minutes. Slice and serve.

Cajun spiced ribs with rum BBQ and Molasses sauce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Serve: 12
3 full racks Copperwood Pork spare ribs
For the Cajun Rub
2 tbs paprika
1/2 tbsp salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbs onion powder
1 tbs freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs dried oregano
2 tbs fresh thyme
2 tbs cayenne pepper

For the BBQ Sauce
2 cups BBQ sauce
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup sugar
Salt to taste


1. Mix all the BBQ sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside
2. Remove excess fat and tough outer membrane from the ribs. Score bone side lightly in a cross-hatch pattern with a knife for extra flavour from the seasonings.
3. Combine all the Cajun rub ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
4. Pack the rub generously on both sides of the ribs and marinate for at least 2 hours.
5. Bring the ribs to room temperature before cooking. Preheat oven to 350degF.
6. Cover the ribs with foil and bake for 21/2 to three hours hrs or until the meat is tender and the internal temperature registers 150degF.
7. Heat the rum BBQ sauce just until it thickens. Pour over ribs and serve with sides of your choice.


Thyme Smoked Ribs

Prep: 20 m
Cook: 10 m
Serves: 12
2-3 racks of smoked Copperwood Pork ribs
1 large bushel of fresh thyme
30-35 coal briquettes

Dry rub
1 1/2 tbs sugar
2 tbs salt
1 tbs onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs thyme leaves
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp black pepper

1 tbs butter
1 large shallot minced
4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 1/2 cups Pinot Grigio

For the rubs
1. Rub seasonings all over the pork ribs. Place the bunch of thyme to soak in the water. Meanwhile, prepare the hot coals for grill in a circle then place thyme in the centre.
2. Place the ribs on the grill top with more fresh thyme and cover with the vents half open.
3. Cook for 10 mins, turning the ribs intermittently.
4. Remove the ribs form the grill and allow to rest.

For the Sauce
1. Melt butter in a saucepan and saute the chopped shallots. Add sugar, salt and thyme and saute.
2. Add the Pinot Grigio and allow the sauce to reduce. Slice the ribs, sauce them and serve.

Pan Seared Garlic Pork Chops

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Serves: 2
2 bone-in fresh Copperwood Pork chops
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 tbs vegetable oil
8 sprigs sage


1. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium high. Season pork chops all over with salt and pepper.
2. Cook chops until bottom side is golden brown, about one minute. Turn and cook on other side about one minute. Repeat, turning every minute, until chops are deep golden brown for eight to 10 mins.
3. Remove pan from heat and add sage and, garlic, and butter, smashed garlic into butter.
4. Tilt pan and spoon butter and drippings over pork chops. Transfer pork chops to a cutting board and let rest at least five minutes.
5. Cut away bone and slice pork about 1/4 inch thick. Serve with any juices from the cutting board spooned over top.
Smoked Honey Lime Chipotle Glazed Ribs
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Serves: 10
4 racks Copperwood Pork smoked ribs
3 tbs ground chili powder
3 tbs coarse salt
2 tbs cumin seeds

For the Glaze
1 cup clear honey
6 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tbs hot chilli flakes
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. In a small bowl, mix together chilli powder, coarse salt and cumin seeds. Rub mixture over the ribs.
2. Line two large baking pans with foil. Set a wire rack in each and lightly coat with oil cooking spray. Place ribs, meat side up, in a single layer on the racks.
3. Bake until ribs are lightly browned on top, eight to 10 minutes. Turn each meat rack over and switch pan positions. Continue baking until ribs are browned, another eight to 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk well.
5. Remove ribs from oven and brush generously with glaze. Return to oven and continue baking, basting occasionally, until glaze is browned and bubbling, approximately six to 10 minutes.
6. Turn ribs over and brush generously with more glaze. Bake, basting occasionally until glaze is browned.
7. Transfer ribs to a wooden cutting board and let rest for five minutes. Cut between ribs to serve.