Moist and tender, with charred bits too, these Honey Garlic Baked Pork Bites are delicious and easy to prepare. Despite the long cooking time, this main is perfect for a family dinner anytime. Sweet and garlicky, with an optional kick of spice and heat. Yum!
Pork. I love pork. Isn’t it just the prettiest word? It’s short and simple; easy to say and spell, and for me, it conjures up memories of good food. Pork has always been a staple in my childhood home. So, it’s no surprise that I would choose a pork dish over the most expensive steak. Do you know which pork dish I would choose? Yes, Honey Garlic Baked Pork Bites, without doubt or hesitation!
Lord Byron’s Kitchen is loaded with pork recipe. Again, because it’s my favourite and I love to cook with it! Even though Honey Garlic Pork Bites might just be my favourite, it’s followed closely by Baked Pork Belly and these Barbecue Pork Riblets. Oh, I can’t forget this Sweet Jalapeno Pork!
Today, I made this recipe all over again in order to clarify the baking instructions. I think it’s sometimes easy for us home cooks to take certain things for granted. Especially when cooking for ourselves or our family. You know, we add something there – a pinch of that – or whatever. We pay little attention to baking times, because we just eat it when it’s ready.
But, there are some of us home cooks who need very clear instructions to make a complete dish. There are many comments on this post, which tell how the home cook struggled to make this dish work.
So, I have baked the pork once more, and have updated the photos. I even threw in some photos of the uncooked pork, and what the pork will look like in the middle of the baking process.
PREPARING THE PORK BEFORE COOKING
Pork cooks quickly, and some might argue that three hours is too long, but you need to trust me. You will need some patience and some time to get this dish right. Also, pay close attention to the size of the pork when you are cutting it into pieces.
Don’t cut the pork too small, and whatever you do, do not trim away all of the fat! Trim the fat cap if it’s still on the piece of pork you buy. But, don’t trim away every little bit. You need some fat to make this dish work.
Also, do not be tempted to use a leaner cut of pork. A lean cut of pork, like pork loin, will cook way too fast and dry out way too quickly. Be sure to use four pounds of pork shoulder picnic roast for this recipe. You will not regret it!
Once complete, you’ll be left with a pan of tender, moist, sweet, and garlicky pork. And, don’t forget about that touch of heat with those dried red chili flakes. Those are completely optional, by the way, if you’re not a fan of a bit of heat.
SERVING WITHOUT THE GREASE
When you serve Honey Garlic Baked Pork Bites, use a slotted spoon. This will help to drain the liquid from the meat when plating. There will be quite a bit of grease in the pan, and I would not recommend consuming that.
This dish will not have a sauce that you can pour over your side dishes. And, it’s not needed. The pork is not dry at all and remember, you didn’t add any sauces. What you see in that pan is grease and water from the pork. The only liquid you added, was honey.
I have inserted pictures here just to show you what you can expect during the execution of this dish. This first picture will show you how large the pork pieces and the onion slices actually are. Try to keep the pork close to one and a half to two inches in size while cutting.
These next two photos show how the pork looks after baking for one hour covered with aluminum foil. Do you see how much liquid is in the pan? Do not drain this liquid. Your pork will dry out and the garlic you add in the next step, will burn and ruin your dish.
I do trust that my updated photos and updated cooking instructions will result in a better understanding of how to prepare this dish. When it comes to writing this blog and posting my favourite recipes, I enjoy it fully and I want you to be able to recreate these amazing dishes at home with the same results.
So there you have it; pork! There’s that word again. Of all the animal products that can be consumed, pork is by far my favourite. It’s always tender and moist. And, even the cheapest cuts can be prepared in such a way that a gourmet meal is the result. That’s the case with this Honey Garlic Baked Pork Bites recipe.
Notice the charred bits on the pork? Even those bits are still moist and tender. The fact that they are baked in a honey and garlic sauce, and the fact that I don’t trim the fat when cutting the pork, certainly helps! This is an easy, toss-everything-together-at once type of recipe; my favourite!!
Honey Garlic Baked Pork Bites
- 4 pounds pork shoulder, fat cap removed, cut into 1.5 – 2” pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
- parsley, chopped for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large oven-safe baking dish, gently toss the pork with salt, pepper, onion, and olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.
- In the meantime, stir together the honey, dried red chili flakes, and garlic. Set aside.
- Remove the pan from the oven and add the honey and garlic mixture. Stir into the pork bites. (There will be a lot of water in the pan – do not drain!) Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.
- Remove dish from oven, stir, and bake for 30 minutes. Then, repeat this step once more.
- Lastly, remove the dish from the oven again, add the sesame seeds, stir, and return to the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and allow to cool for five minutes. Sprinkle with chopped, fresh parsley and sesame seeds. Serve.