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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A long soak in a citrus-, garlic-, cilantro-, and oregano-infused marinade gives this Puerto Rican pork dish from Sofrito restaurant in New York a mellow herby flavor. Cooking it slowly wrapped in banana leaves ensures a juicy, moist roast. Serve it up with some rice, black beans, and sweet plantains.
What to buy: Banana leaves are often kept in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.
If you can’t find sour oranges (also known as bitter oranges), use a mixture of half lemon juice and half grapefruit juice.
Game plan: Be sure to start making this a day before you want to serve it, as it needs 12 to 24 hours to marinate.