The Food Lab Redux: 7 Pork Dishes for the Holidays

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Prime rib and turkey may be the most popular table-toppers in the holiday season, but pork will always have a special place close to my heart. And that place is a little bit down and to the right, where my stomach is.

There are many pork roasts worthy of the holiday table. You could go with a Crown Roast, the porky equivalent of a prime rib, with a magnificent crown of exposed rib bones and a juicy ring of white meat, easy to carve into thick slabs at the table. Or if slow-cooked pork is your preference, a juicy Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with fall-apart tender meat and crisp crackling might be your bag.

Engineers who don't mind putting a bit of effort into their roast may consider making a All-Belly Porchetta, the Italian dish of cured, rolled pork belly roasted until crisp. If you really want to go all modern, you should try and tackle the Deep-Fried, Sous-Vide, 36-Hour, All-Belly Porchetta, which is one of the most delicious things I've ever produced or consumed.

Sometimes, you may be in the mood to look your dinner in the eye. If that's you, then check out our technique for Whole Roasted Suckling Pig.

And if you're a traditionalist and want to stick to ham, well here's a guide to everything you need to know on the subject.

Jump straight to the recipes over on the right, or check out all the dishes in the slideshow above.