If your family is ready to try something new for dinner, whip up some pork rolls. The term "pork rolls" can mean something quite different in different areas. Some people refer to a breaded meatball-like pork dish as pork rolls, while others use the term for egg-roll-style wrapped pork. In some areas, the term refers to a sandwich of roast or barbecued pork, while New Jersey residents may use it to refer to a specific type of commercially packaged processed pork that originated in that state. Whichever style your family prefers, there are a variety of seasonings and cooking techniques you can use to make your pork rolls come out right.
Frying vs. Baking
To treat your family to the best-tasting pork rolls, frying is the method to choose. Use olive oil to pan fry meatball-style pork rolls for the best flavor. Egg-roll styles are most flavorful when fried in sesame, toasted sesame or peanut oil. Baking your pork rolls is healthier than frying and requires less clean up, since you won't have oil spattered all over the kitchen, but the flavor won't be the same and the breading or wrapper won't be as crisp. To bake the rolls, space them evenly on a cookie sheet and drizzle with a light amount of the appropriate oil. Bake them at 325 to 375, depending on thickness, until they are cooked through.
Grilling and Roasting
Grilling your pork roasts for sandwich-style pork rolls will give you the best flavor, but it is also time-consuming and requires decent weather unless you have an indoor grill. If you want to make roast pork roll sandwiches without the extra time, effort and equipment, roast the pork in a covered pan in the oven with whole cloves of peeled garlic and about 1/2 inch of barbecue sauce at the bottom. You can ignore the roast until it is done cooking, other than basting once or twice with the barbecue sauce. This leaves you more time to spend with the family or to work on other projects.
Use leftover grilled or roasted pork as the filling for meatball or egg-roll pork rolls the next day. Since the filling will already be cooked, all you have to do is add a bit of seasoning, such as a ranch seasoning mix, oregano or ginger, to alter the taste, and either veggies for the egg rolls, or egg to hold the meatball-style rolls together and help the breading stick. This gives you two meals out of one. All you have to do for the second is a quick bake in the oven to cook the breading of the meatballs or the wrap of the egg-roll style pork rolls, without worrying about cooking the pork all the way through again.
Most pork rolls use ground or minced pork, which must reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit for safe cooking, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you are cooking a pork roast for sandwich-style pork rolls, cook it to at least 145 at its center. These cooking temperatures will kill any disease-causing organisms in the meat.
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Anne Hirsh has been writing and editing for over 10 years. She has hands-on experience in cooking, visual arts and theater as well as writing experience covering wellness and animal-related topics. She also has extensive research experience in marketing, small business, Web development and SEO. Hirsh has a bachelor's degree in technical theater and English and post-baccalaureate training in writing and computer software.
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