Pork casseroles don’t get as much attention as beef and chicken casseroles, but it makes a great protein for hearty casseroles. With the right cuts, then it is relatively lean for the diet conscious. Also, ground pork works just as well in any casserole calling for ground beef.
The Best Pork For Casserole Recipes
For pork recipes, use the leaner cuts. These include:
Boneless loin chops
Shoulder loin (aka Pork Butt)
Ground can be fairly lean or sometimes very fatty. Either way, most recipes using ground require browning the meat first. Also, some recipes use shredded meat and this can be relatively lean as well. Just make sure the excess fats are drained off.
Tips On Using Pork In Casseroles
Prepping pork for casseroles is similar to beef, because usually browning the meat is required first and foremost.
Sear the meat on high heat and get a light brown color. This is the same as caramelizing sugars in ingredients like starches, but in meat it is known as the “Maillard Reaction”. Essentially, browning the meat changes the amino acids and creates that deep umami quality that adds so much to the flavor.
Season the meat, but be sure not to over season it. The casserole typically includes seasoning as well so you don’t want to over salt the dish.
Even if you use slow cooked shredded pork, then you can still add a quick light sear to it before using it in the casserole. This adds tons more flavor!
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