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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My family can never get enough of this dish, with its sweet, salty, bitter, spicy flavors. If you like lots of greens, you can add a second bunch of kale, but you’ll need
to stir it three or four times as it cooks. Serve over soba or other Asian noodles and top with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.
If you like this dish, we recommend our ramen broth recipe with pork, mushrooms, and ginger.
Courtesy of Weldon Owen; photo by Eva Kolenko