Few things are more frustrating than spending your hard-earned money on a pork roast or rack of ribs, only to have it come out of the oven or off the grill dry and overcooked. Though there isn't much you can do about meat that has turned into a charcoal briquette, there is something you can do to save overcooked pork that's dry but not horribly burned.
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Place the meat on a cutting board and examine it to determine the direction of the grain. All meats consist of fibers running in one predominant direction; the direction of these fibers forms a subtle but distinctive striped pattern known as the grain.
Slice your meat as thinly as possible, cutting across the grain. Cutting against the grain, reports the May 2007 issue of "Cook's Illustrated," cuts the fibers into small pieces, which makes the meat easier for your teeth to break down, giving the meat a more tender texture.
Place a wide skillet over medium-high heat and add some sauce. Once the sauce just begins to bubble, add the pork and toss. Sauces add moisture, which gives your pork the appearance of juiciness, while heating the sauce and then adding the pork helps prevent driving off what little moisture remains in the pork flesh. BBQ sauce works well for overcooked ribs, while acidic sauces such as bottled marinades are good for herb-crusted pork roast.
Transfer your pork to an air-tight plastic container and refrigerated it overnight. While optional, this step is worth doing because as meat cools, it firms up and traps moisture inside it, which is why stews always taste better the next day. If you don't like to eat sauced pork cold, heat it gently in the microwave, using 70 percent power and stirring every 30 seconds until the meat steams.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- "Cooks Illustrated"; Cutting Flank Steak Against the Grain; May 2007
- "I'm Just Here for the Food"; Alton Brown; 2002
- Fine Cooking: Memphis Style Barbecue Sauce