Ground pork is sautéed with ginger, water chestnuts and scallions and seasoned with Szechuan seasoning, lime and maple syrup. Serve with rice or noodles for a 15-minute weeknight dinner.
When I was at the Big Harvest Pot Luck last fall Barry Estabrook spoke about his upcoming book “Pig Tales, an Omnivores Quest for Sustainable Meat.” He was a great speaker, and all of us were rapt for his 40 minute synopsis of the book. I went into the talk afraid that I would never want to eat bacon again. After the first fifteen minutes and slide after slide of horrific living conditions for these animals (which he assured us were actually much better than most facilities he toured), I was ready to say goodbye to pork.
Thankfully though the Tale came around to a conclusion similar to the one Michael Pollan takes you to in the final chapters of the Omnivores Dilemma. To dumb it down considerably that is, as long as you source your food in a responsible way, you can feel fine about continuing to be an omnivore. Specifically for pork that means looking for pastured heritage pork, free of hormones and antibiotics.
His book is coming out in a few months, and I‘ll let you come to your own conclusions about buying pork from factory farms and if you want to eat bacon or pork in general after reading it. I look forward to reading it myself, but even after just getting the 40 minute version of the book I have a feeling I know what I’ll do. I am going to keep buying and eating pork but I am definitely going to continue to seek out pasture raised heritage pork and pork from farms where they practice sustainable farming and treat the animals well.
Luckily here in Vermont, there are farmers raising beef, pork and poultry in ways I totally support, and I can easily buy directly from them. In December I picked up a box of mixed cuts of pork (and a box of beef too) for our freezer from a farm nearby.
We got some one pound packages of ground pork in the box and I made this super fast dinner with it. Ginger, scallions, water chestnuts and some seasonings and thats pretty much it… Boom! 15minutes! I put on a pot of brown rice to cook, and this was ready in about a third of the time that it took to make the rice. For a faster accompaniment make rice noodles, whole wheat couscous or quinoa.
Ground pork sauteed with minced ginger, scallions, maple syrup and lime with Szechuan seasoning.
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped, whites and green parts divided
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger root
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoon Szechuan seasoning or 5-spice powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 8-ounce can chopped sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, preferably dark
- Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet or wok over high heat. Add scallion whites and ginger, and stir fry until fragrant, 30 to 90 seconds. Add pork, and cook, crumbling with a spatula until the pork is completely cooked through and crumbled, 4 to 5 minutes. If fatty, drain pork mixture by scraping into a fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl and let fat run off. Return to the skillet. Dust Szechuan seasoning (or 5 spice) and salt over the pork and stir to coat. Add water chestnuts, lime juice, maple and scallion greens and stir to combine. Cook, stirring until steaming hot and mixed together, 1 to 2 minutes.
2 g Added Sugars, 105 mg Cholesterol