Saturday, March 14, 2020

Adventures in cheap packaged foods: generic canned pork

Four years ago I reported on some canned foods I bought in Mexico. I knew nothing about them beforehand and they turned out to taste pretty good. And I didn’t get sick or die. You can read about them here and here.

Well, I’ve decided to do similar reviews of the overstocked/off-brand/possibly expired food I got at the discount markets in Quartzsite.

First up is a can of pork, fully cooked, in its own juices, with salt. A buck for a pound and a half of meat? Worth a try.

Fork-tender chunks of meat and fat. About what I expected. The “juices” were in the bottom of the can, along with some coagulated fat. This is something you’d definitely want to heat up, but I tasted a piece to see if it was worth getting out the stove and dirtying a pan.

It tasted like…… pork. Really bland pork. That’s a good thing. It could’ve tasted bad, or like something other than pork. It could’ve been too salty. I tasted another piece. Yeah, really bland pork. So I heated some up.

Heat melted down some of the fat and spread its flavor around. (Come on, we all know we love pork for the fat.) That was better. I added a little salt. That was much better. And some pepper. Yeah, good.

Add barbecue sauce and this stuff would make a decent pulled pork sandwich, without all the hours of pit roasting. Or it could stand in as carnitas in various Mexican dishes. Or get some of the six-packs-for-a-dollar gravy mixes, some remaindered instant mashed potatoes, and a can of your favorite past-freshness-date vegetables from the same market. A proper cafeteria meal. The can suggests salads, soups, stews, casseroles, meat pies... Go for it.

6 comments:

  1. My Mom used to get pork like that. She'd drain the juices to make soup then heat the pork in BBQ sauce for sandwiches. Her neighbors raved about her BBQ sandwiches.

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  2. I can remember just placing the can of meat in boiling water to heat it up...No pan-pot to wash.....Same with chili...

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    Replies
    1. I've done that, but I didn't want to heat the whole can just for a taste test.

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