Are you looking for a new source of protein to add to your diet?
Have you ever considered pork neck bones?
While they may not be the most popular cut of pork, they are surprisingly nutritious and can add a rich flavor to your meals.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the nutritional benefits of pork neck bones and explore how they can be incorporated into your diet.
So, let’s dive in and discover if pork neck is a healthy choice for you!
Is Pork Neck Healthy?
Pork neck bones are a high-protein, high-mineral-content food that can provide a range of health benefits. According to the USDA, each cooked neckbone provides 85.5 calories and is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Selenium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12.
While pork neck bones do contain 1.2 grams of saturated fat and 32 milligrams of cholesterol per piece, they are also a good source of protein and do not contain any carbs, fiber, or sugar. In fact, it has been found that pork neck contains more protein than steak.
A 140-gram serving of cooked pork neck bones contains 11 grams of fat, 36 grams of protein, and 0 grams of carbohydrate. It also contains essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, calcium, and potassium.
What Are Pork Neck Bones?
Pork neck bones are a cut of meat that comes from the neck of a pig or hog. They are often inexpensive and have a small amount of meat on them. When simmered, the meat becomes tender and juicy, making it a popular ingredient in soul food dishes such as collard greens and spaghetti sauce. Pork neck bones can also be used to make bone broth, stocks, soups, and gravy.
Pork neck bones are a good source of protein and essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, calcium, and potassium. They also contain minerals such as selenium, phosphorus, and zinc which are important for maintaining good health. However, it should be noted that pork neck bones do contain saturated fat and cholesterol, so they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Nutritional Benefits Of Pork Neck Bones
Pork neck bones are a nutrient-dense food that can provide numerous health benefits. One of the most significant benefits is their high protein content. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, as well as for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. A 140-gram serving of cooked pork neck bones contains 36 grams of protein, making it an excellent source of this vital nutrient.
In addition to protein, pork neck bones are also rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. These minerals are essential for a wide range of bodily functions, including bone health, muscle function, and nerve transmission.
Pork neck bones are also a good source of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and B12. These vitamins play a crucial role in energy production and metabolism.
Another benefit of pork neck bones is their low-calorie content. Each cooked neckbone provides only 85.5 calories after the bone is removed. This makes them an excellent option for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
While pork neck bones do contain some saturated fat and cholesterol, they can still be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. It’s important to note that not all fats are created equal, and some types of saturated fat may be better for you than others.
How To Prepare Pork Neck Bones
Preparing pork neck bones is easy and can be done in a variety of ways. Here are some steps to prepare pork neck bones for a delicious and healthy meal:
1. Clean the pork neck bones thoroughly by rinsing them under cold water and patting them dry with paper towels.
2. Season the neck bones with your preferred seasoning blend. You can use a combination of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and sage to create a flavorful rub.
3. Heat up a large pot on medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil or bacon fat. Sear the neck bones on both sides until they are browned and crispy.
4. Add chopped onions to the pot and sauté them until they are soft and translucent.
5. Pour in chicken broth or water to deglaze the pot, scraping up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot.
6. Adjust the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for 1-2 hours until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.
7. You can also cook pork neck bones in a slow cooker by drizzling them with oil and apple cider vinegar, seasoning with your preferred blend of spices, and adding chopped onions and water or chicken broth. Cook on high for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
8. Another option is to roast pork neck bones in a roasting pan with chopped onions, garlic, water, and vinegar. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes.
9. To thicken up your stew or gravy, you can create a cornstarch slurry by dissolving cornstarch in a drop of water and adding it to your simmering pot.
With these simple steps, you can prepare delicious and healthy pork neck bone dishes that are full of flavor and nutrients.
Recipe Ideas For Pork Neck Bones
Pork neck bones are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. Here are some recipe ideas to try out:
1. Pork Neck Bone Spaghetti Sauce: This is a classic recipe that is simple and delicious. Saute the pork neck bones in a skillet, add your favorite vegetables and tomato sauce, and simmer for a few hours. Serve over spaghetti for a hearty and flavorful meal.
2. Pork Neck Bone Soup: Pork neck bones can be used to make a rich and flavorful soup. Simply simmer the bones with vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery, along with some herbs and spices, for a few hours until the meat falls off the bone. Serve with crusty bread for a comforting and satisfying meal.
3. Braised Pork Neck Bones: This recipe involves browning the pork neck bones in a pan, then braising them in a flavorful broth with vegetables like onions, garlic, and carrots. The result is tender and juicy meat that is perfect for serving over rice or mashed potatoes.
4. Slow Cooker Pork Neck Bone Stew: This recipe involves using a slow cooker to cook the pork neck bones with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions, along with some herbs and spices. The result is a hearty and comforting stew that is perfect for cold winter nights.
5. Grilled Pork Neck Bones: Pork neck bones can also be grilled for a smoky and flavorful dish. Simply marinate the bones in your favorite marinade for a few hours, then grill them until they are cooked through and crispy on the outside.
With these recipe ideas, you can enjoy the health benefits of pork neck bones while also enjoying delicious and satisfying meals.
Considerations And Precautions When Eating Pork Neck Bones
When consuming pork neck bones, it is important to take certain considerations and precautions to ensure your safety and health.
Firstly, it is important to note that pork neck bones have a small amount of meat on them, but when simmered for a few hours, they add rich flavor to broths and sauces. However, it is crucial to cook them thoroughly before consuming to avoid the risk of foodborne illness. This is because undercooked pork neck bones can carry Trichinella spiralis, a type of parasitic roundworm that can cause trichinosis, an infection that causes food poisoning symptoms like diarrhea, stomach cramps, muscle pain, and fever.
To reduce the risk of infection, it is recommended to wash the neck bones thoroughly and then dry them before cooking. It is also advised to brown the neck bones well before braising as this locks in the flavor and ensures caramelization. Additionally, make sure to use a heavy lid when braising or lay parchment paper over the top of the pot and then top with your lid to prevent the liquid from evaporating during cooking.
It is also important to be mindful of the fat content in pork neck bones. While they are a good source of protein and essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, they do contain saturated fat and cholesterol. Therefore, it is recommended to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Finally, if you are feeding pork neck bones to your dogs, it is crucial to ensure that they are soft enough to be consumed entirely without splintering or cracking. This can lead to choking, intestinal blockages, or damage to the esophagus or intestines. It is recommended to consult with your veterinarian before feeding your dog any type of bone.