Last week I bought a hunk of pork loin for a dinner party. I bought it from Cheryl Smith at Bluescreek Farm Meats, my local butcher. I love buying meat from Cheryl and David; they always hand it over with a tip or some helpful cooking advice.
This time, Cheryl gave me an excellent health tip for buying and cooking summer pork. "When you get this home," she said, "put it in the freezer for a few hours."
Why did she recommend this? Pork is not like beef or lamb. It doesn't age well. In fact, as soon as it warms up, it begins a slow yet steady process of rotting. Not very pleasant to think about!
But you can arrest this process, and you should, after buying pork. Even the slight warming of the meat after shepherding it through the supermarket and taking it home, especially in the summer heat, is not good. When you get the meat home, advised Cheryl, put it in the freezer for a few hours. This helps get the temperature of the meat back down to a safe and healthy level.
In fact, if you are buying pork two or three days ahead of cooking it, put it in the freezer overnight, and then thaw it out in the fridge for another 24 hours before cooking.
(Image: Faith Durand)