Chef David Burke’s Favorite Animal to Cook With

The chef explains why he loves cooking with pork

If there’s one type of meat that always gets me excited to work with in the kitchen, it’s pork. While bacon always lands as number one on my list, there are so many different types of cuts of pork that I love to cook with.

Pork belly, all tender and succulent, is an absolute delicacy when braised. I like creating a blanket for it by creating a sheet of fried tempura and wrapping the pork belly in it.

There’s also the pork shank, which is the cut between the leg and the upper buttox, which is lean and tough, but when cooked properly, absolutely delicious. My recipe for a crackling pork shank is a favorite of many, including USA Today, who awarded it the best dish of the year in 1996.

Click here to see the Crackling Pork Shank Recipe

While so many people thinking of swapping in ground turkey for ground beef for a lighter meat, pork is also a great alternative. I love making pork sausage sliders over the summer and dressing them with mustard, vinegar, and chopped pickles.

The pork chop is a familiar cut to many of us, and I love it because it has the perfect amount of fat to meat ratio. Pair it with anything sweet, like apple sauce or mango chutney, and its mild flavor is amplified.


A lot of people are familiar with pork shoulder, but within that cut is a favorite of mine called the blade steak. It contains a lot of muscle that when cooked, becomes tender and delicious. I like to do a simple sauté with my blade steak and serve it with garlic, clams, chorizo, and cilantro for my own pork-inspired twist on a clam bake.