September 2015 Country Kitchen
Pork is the most commonly consumed meat in the world. While chops, loins, ribs, butts, sausage, bacon and ham may be what come immediately to mind when we think about pork, it has many other culinary applications. Cured meats like pepperoni and salami, pork rinds, pork belly and even pig feet are in high demand all over the globe.
The South is no exception when it comes to pork’s popularity. We love our pork, and we’ve developed tried and true methods of preparing it. Pork is celebrated at barbecue cook-offs, sausage festivals, tailgate parties and, of course, the dinner table with family and friends who gather to enjoy crispy pork chops or a juicy tenderloin.
Cooks from every part of Alabama submit their favorite pork recipes each year for the Alabama Pork Producers’ Pork Cooking Contest, and this year’s contest yielded some delicious dishes.
Winner Gail Oden of Attalla raised prize-winning purebred hogs with her husband and four children for more than 20 years, and she knows firsthand how meticulous pork producers are about the health of their animals and the quality of their products.
“They say pork is ‘the other white meat,’ and that is really true,” Oden said. “The way they are raised now, they are as clean and healthy as any other meat. Pork producers are very particular about how they raise their pigs.”
Oden also loves cooking with pork and says her winning recipe is just one of many favorites she’s perfected throughout the years. She loves that it is affordable and easy to cook.