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Pork: The perfect partner for easy entertaining

Family Features | 7/5/2013, midnight
Entertaining is as easy as it is delicious when you choose pork as your party protein.

Hosting planned or impromptu gatherings with friends and family can be a daunting task. From choosing a menu to preparing everything in time, planning a soiree can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Entertaining is as easy as it is delicious when you choose pork as your party protein.

With its ability to pair with a variety of ingredients, vast cut selection and numerous preparation methods, there’s a perfect pork dish for every celebration. Whether you’re in the mood for grilling, roasting or slow cooking, something savory, sweet or spicy - pork is a versatile and budget-friendly option that allows you to spend less time planning and more time partying.

Choosing pork for the menu is simpler than ever with the release of new pork cut names and labels designed to reflect the names of familiar cuts of steak. These new labels, which will feature familiar names such as Ribeye and New York pork chop, will help ease confusion at the meat case and provide cooking directions to help ensure the pork at your gathering is as juicy, tender and flavorful as possible.

From tailgating to cocktail parties, a batch of bacon-infused Double Pork Party Sliders will always please a crowd and can be served as a finger-licking appetizer or mouth-watering main dish. These simple sandwiches can be whipped up in a matter of minutes using only one skillet, making prep and clean up a breeze.

For the most succulent sliders, make sure to cook pork chops like your favorite steak to an internal temperature between 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare and 160 degrees Fahrenheit for medium, followed by a 3-minute rest. Be sure to use a digital cooking thermometer to ensure an accurate final temperature.

Discover and share more pork recipes and tips for easy entertaining by visiting PorkBeInspired.com/porksocial.

Double Pork Party Sliders

Prep time: 5 minutes, cook time: 4 minutes, yield: 8 appetizer sandwiches or 4 entrée sandwiches

  • 4 New York pork chops, 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 8 cocktail buns or 4 burger buns
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons steak sauce

Slice burger buns in half horizontally. If desired, toast or warm through. Spread cut sides of buns with butter.

In large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for 1 minute or until enough bacon fat to coat bottom of pan, stirring occasionally. Push bacon to side of skillet and add chops. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Cook chops for 3 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked between 145°F (medium rare) to 160 degrees F (medium), turning once halfway through. Remove chops and bacon, draining bacon on paper towels and rest chops at least 3 minutes.

For cocktail buns, cut each chop in half for 8 pieces. Place chops in buns. Top chops with steak sauce and bacon strips.

Serving suggestion: For gatherings, use smaller, cocktail-size buns available in the grocer’s bakery. Offer coarse-grain mustard and halved dill pickles for sandwiches.