Pork fares best in the freezer if packaged with freezer-friendly materials like waxed paper, aluminum foil, or heavy-duty plastic bags.
Wrap any meat tightly so that air does not escape and freeze at 0°F. Generally, fresh cuts of pork can last up to six months, while ground pork can last up to three.
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Pork is easiest to thaw when placed in the refrigerator in its original wrapping. Small roasts will take three to five hours per pound, while larger roasts can take up to seven hours per pound. Thawing ground pork depends entirely on the thickness of its packaging.
It is safe to cook frozen or partially-frozen pork, but its cooking time may take 50 percent longer. Frozen pork should not be cooked in a slow cooker.
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Sealed pork products can typically last in the fridge for two to four days, with ground pork having a slightly shorter shelf life at one to three. Ham or other smoked pork products like bacon can be stored for up to a week, though this only applies to products that aren’t vacuum sealed or prepared with preservatives. The latter can obviously last a lot longer.
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This tasty carnitas recipe consist of slow cooking pork shoulder with household spices. Carnitas may seem like a complex Mexican dish to pull off, but really it only takes a little patience to perfect. Just toss a few ingredients into a pot and slow-cook the pork in its own flavorful broth. In a couple of hours, the broth reduces and the pork fries in the fatty juices left behind, resulting in crispy yet tender meat perfect for stuffing into tacos or burritos, or serving atop tostadas. While you wait, throw together your Margarita.
Special equipment: You’ll need cheesecloth and butcher’s twine for this recipe.
Game plan: Serve the carnitas with homemade guacamole and salsa.
This dish was featured as part of our photo gallery of No-Fail Mexican Favorites for Cinco de Mayo.