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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Adobo is a Spanish word for “sauce” or “marinade.” This version—a chile marinade containing a blend of ancho, pasilla negro, and guajillo chiles, as well as onion, garlic, fresh pineapple, vinegar, and lime juice—is traditionally paired with Tacos al Pastor (pork), but is also excellent with grilled or smoked chicken or beef.
What to buy: Chile negro (also called a pasilla chile or pasilla negro) is the dried version of the chilaca chile. It can be purchased at most Mexican grocers or online. Note that ancho chiles are often mislabeled as pasillas. If you cannot find chile negro, you can use ancho chiles or mulato chiles instead.
Mexican oregano (a relative of lemon verbena) can be found in Latin markets or the Latin section of your supermarket.
Game plan: If you can, prepare the marinade the day before. Coat the meat in it and refrigerate overnight. If you are pinched for time, you can marinate the meat for less time, but no less than 4 hours.
This recipe was featured as part of our No-Fail Mexican Favorites for Cinco de Mayo. See also our chimichurri sauce recipe for an argentine twist on grilled classics.