Minced Pork has many usages just like Minced Beef. The combination of the two, by the way, makes a perfect Italian Meat Ball. On its own, Minced Pork (also called Ground Pork) can stand alone in a Meat Ball side of thing. But I will say the Magic words: It is all about the Jazz. Therefore Jazzing up Minced Meat to form a bowl or many makes it have some Groove.
The perfect taste partners for Pork are Sage, and Apple. Garlic and Onion are nice as well but make sure you cook them first, chopped finely, before you insert them in your Meat Ball Mixture. No one want to say that a meal was fine with a bit of raw garlic taste stuck within their palate. However one can tell you that Pork Patties/Burgers created with those four ingredients above are yummy just as well. Served upon a smooth Mash of Potatoes, Sautéed buttery Leeks, and a velvety Cider and Onion gravy... = Comfort food.
Apples make a nice matching flavour with Pork.
To go back to the Italian theme, a Ragu made with Pork Mince works well poured over Pasta. It needs a very gentle browning along with chopped Shallots and minced Garlic. Then it is just about building up the flavours. This takes TLC. As a rule of thumb usually White Meat goes hand in hand with White Wine and Red Meat with Red Wine. However trust the French to throw a dice in there and say what about the 'Coq au Vin': White Meat and Red Wine works... So add a glass of Red Wine, or even Rosé, to start your Ragu. A Table Spoon of white wine Vinegar or red one will not go amiss and stir. Reduce then add your chopped Fresh Tomatoes. Then I will suggest the addition of sliced Roast Sweet Peppers and a sliced Dried Chilli of your choice. Let it simmer before putting in chopped Sage, Oregano and Marjoram. If you make a lovely dinner for more than two persons I will suggest the use of chopped canned Tomatoes.
For the Pork Ragu I love to serve it with Rigatoni Pasta by preference. But with Pork Mince we can take an entirely different road like the traveller Marco Polo going to Asia and back. The legend which is still contested is about did Marco bring the recipe for Pasta/Noodles to Italy in the thirteenth century or not. However an Etruscan tomb was found from 4 BC showing a dish similar to pasta. The mystery rest but what is certain is that most of us enjoy Pasta or Noodles. This brings me to the use of fried Minced Pork in Asian Cuisine.
Minced Pork and Flavours like Dark Soya Sauce, Lemongrass, Hoisin Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Chilli, Five Spice do work but not altogether, it is the same as always less is more. However I will say just as well Taste and Try and be adventurous... The Indiana Jones of your kitchen... But Minced Pork and Spices do Sing together very very well, sometimes, just work it out by testing.
Chinese Style fried Pork Mince is not only enjoyable to eat but it is easy to do and prepare. Your amunition here is the Wok. Start by a little Oil (A neutral one like Rapeseed Oil or Vegetable Oil), a couple of Table Spoon. When the Wok is getting hot then add the Pork Mince Meat in order to brown it. When the Mince is still soft make sure you insert your spices within it. Five Spice and a pinch of White Pepper or Szechuan Pepper can be used as well. Minced Garlic comes next along with Grated Ginger. Stir with your Spatula to give your Pork an even flavour throughout.
Ginger provides some warmth to the dish.
An optional ingredient at that point is Chilli either sliced, chopped, deseeded, or in the form of a paste made with Chilli seeds. It gives this dish a punch which you need to be conscious about and if you have Guests, warn them first whenever you are using Chilli in your Meal. I used to be, not allergic to Chilli as per say, but found its taste too fiery for my palate. However my palate developed little by little to the point where I am accustomed to the Chilli Heat. Growing them and using them in my kitchen taught me on the spot the level of heat I could tolerate.
Cayenne Pepper and Peruvian Lemon Drop Chillies from the Garden.
Of course I rather use my fresh crop of the year but you have plenty of ways where you can include that hot spot into the dish and still make it Sweet. Sweet Chilli sauce is one of them, but adding Brown Sugar can balance everything as well a little to soothe the heat. One of my discovery of thepast three to four years was a Chilli paste called Lazy Chilli. It does pack a Punch so beware but it is ever so good.
Same as Chillis Galore... Punchy whenever you need it.
Start upon boiling the noodles on the sides if they are the dry ones, which does not take long or if they are fresh even less in the Wok. I would say in the meantime, add Shaoxing Wine and Dark Soya Sauce to your Minced Pork. Chopped Spring Onions will not go amiss but add to the flavours. Put the Pak Choi to steam and cook within the Wok while the Shaoxing Wine sauce is reducing. Then within minutes you are ready to serve a lovely bowl of Chinese Style Fried Minced Pork.
Now, above, this is a stir fry which you can do with Minced Pork instead of lean shredded Pork, and swap the soya bean sprouts with noodles and the broccoli for Pak Choi. Freedom is almost in a bowl that feed you well.
Staying within the Asiatic realm of flavours, using Basmati Rice instead of Noodles, you can do your Pork Mince almost the same way. You can use a salty Tang within the Rice by adding a little Light Soya Sauce, and a drizzle Rice Wine for further flavour. But also in the Wok with the Pork, add Green Beans cut in halves, a handful of Peas and Bamboo Shoots. For the presentation you can go either way: one single bowl for the fried Pork Mince and the Rice joined together or present them in two seperate bowls: Pork and Rice. For finishing touches I will go for chopped Coriander, half of a Lime for every bowl, and a part boiled Quail Egg cut lengthway for each bowl. The dish looks like a Kedgeree that went its own way.
Quail Eggs are quaint and fairly hard to deal with because they are small however being part boiled with a runny yolk they do enhance a plate.
There is a fancy Terrine you can do with Minced Pork which looks like a Gala Pie. However it is done with hard boiled Quail Eggs, Pea aubergines in the centre while the Pork Mince is mixed with Shitake Mushrooms and Spring Onions. Crushed Black Peppercorn Pepper gives the Pie a bit of a kick. It is like the French says a 'Paté en Croute' because it is served within a short crust Pastry. It is a centre piece Meal which deserve the oval dish with the Dragons, the blue and white China porcelain. You can decorate the Pie Meat Loaf with shredded Chinese Cabbage, Bean Sprouts, and Black Sesame Seeds for Taste as well as contrast and Sesame Oil and a drizzle of Rice Wine Vinegar.
Black Roasted Sesame Seeds. It gives a nutty flavour to a dish.
Let us not forget the use of Mince Pork Meat in Patés and Terrines. One of my favourite Pork Terrine is a Pistachio and Dried Apricot one from a recipe of James Martin. I did it for a Charity event once at Spectrum in Watford and I can tell you that none was left but also the Salmon Terrine one I did from a recipe of Mary Berry. Both went down a treat.
The wrapping of the Pork Terrine. It is not only a show stopper. It is delightful.
The matter of fact is that Pork Mince has been crucial to many Patés and Terrines throughout history. The famous Paté des Ardennes uses it as an ingredient. I must confess that during the Festive season I do turn to Terrines and Patés to eat because once it is done, you have plenty to eat for a few days with Cheese crackers and to be able to watch those Christmas movies without thinking of Dinner. Trick of the trade when you are exhausted after having planned Christmas Eve and Christmas day, a Terrine can get you through Boxing day and more...
The ever so nice and useful Boxing Day Pork Terrine wrapped in Bacon with Gherkins all throughout in the middle.