It’s ignorant of me, but only recently I learned that in 2011 USDA: United States Department of Agriculture has officially lowered the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160F degrees to 145F degrees and adding a 3-minute rest time. 145F is about 62C degrees.
That is medium rare!
And I love medium rare.
(New guideline does not apply to ground pork.)
I’ve always thought the pork had to be cooked thoroughly. That’s what my mom taught me. Even though I have been kind of eating pork while pink at good Yakiniku (grill-your-own-meat type) or shabu shabu restaurants recently, I was feeling a little guilty or risky. But US agency officially allows medium rare!
And I read all the restaurant chefs are praising the new guideline. They knew pork is good at medium rare, but they couldn’t do it in the restaurants. Some say it should be even lower.
I didn’t know all this.
This amazement kicked me up to try grilling a pork steak.
When it comes to fresh meat, who can I trust but Fresh Meat Ganaha?
It’s in Nago, on R58. Fresh Meat Ganaha is operated by Ganaha Farm where they raise their pigs.
It’s Wednesday. It’s best. Because Ganaha butchers their pork weakly on Wednesday. It’s when the meat is the freshest.
They also sell cheap meat for Yakiniku. I don’t buy them. When I come here, I mean to come for serious meat. I always ask them to cut my slices so that they will bring a fresh big chunk from the back.
I got a 3cm thick cut of pork loin. (1 inch is about 2.5cm)
I’m not a professional. I put together information from the web and lay out a cooking plan that makes the most sense to me.
Here’s what I did.
- Bring the meat to room temperature.
- Pour in olive oil with garlic, red pepper without seeds, and rosemary in a pan. Put it on very low heat for about 10 minutes. Take out the oil and throw away the ingredients.
- Salt, pepper, and the seasoned oil on meat.
- Put dry pan on high heat. Put in the meat when the pan starts smoking.
- 1 minute each side and repeat 3 times. 6 minutes total. In between, just a little, maybe 30 seconds, on the fat side of the meat too.
- I checked the internal temperature and it was about 58C degrees. It felt perfect because resting will push it up for 5C degrees. Take it out of the pan, onto tin foil. Put on just a little bit of butter on it. Wrap it and rest.
- I think I left it in the wrap for about 10 minutes while I was cooking vegetables.
- There was a juice left on tin foil. I added a little bit of the seasoned olive oil, a bit of soy sauce, a bit of citrus juice, and wasabi. Mix it for the sauce.
And here’s what I got.
It was hard to tell, because the color is paler than beef, but it looked medium. I didn’t check the internal temperature after resting. But I got nice caramelization outside, and glazy juice inside. It looked good to me.
It was delicious!!!
It was juicy, flavorful, and very gentle. The fat tasted so sweet. Okinawa pork is so good. I think pork is the best meat in Okinawa.
Personally, I would prefer more rare. I don’t know if it was medium or medium rare. It tasted closer to medium rare to me. But the texture and color are different from beef and I couldn’t tell.
If I am alive tomorrow, I will try it again more aggressively. Go more rare. GMR!
Maybe I didn’t need tin foil. Or maybe less grill time and more time in tin foil. I don’t know. I’ve never grilled a 3cm thick meat before. I will try and see.
It was a great fun!