I don't eat pork for religious reasons, but a lot of recipes use them. What kind of meat is a suitable substitute for pig products? More specifically:

  • Ground pork
  • Ham slices
  • Pork chops
  • Lard: Do other fatty products like butter replace it?

I'm not looking for an exact replication, but more on approximations of what meat tastes similar. As I have no idea what pig meat and fat is supposed to taste like, I have no idea how recipes that use them are supposed to taste.

An answer that explains what flavors pig products bring to a recipe would also be helpful.

  • Can you narrow down the context in which the pork is being used that you want to substitute? Otherwise, I would have to ask: there are a myriad recipes relying on huge variety of ingredients; why not simply select one that features lamb, chicken, vegetables, or some other item that does fit within your dietary restrictions? – SAJ14SAJ Mar 23 '13 at 10:27
  • The biggest category I can think of is things that use bacon or ham (or a ham bone) just for flavor, like soups, stews, braised vegetables - is that what you're going for? Or are you trying to make things where pork is the main part of the dish? – Cascabel Mar 23 '13 at 11:23
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    I agree that this needs to indicate the context of the substitution. In addition, we already have a number of questions about "pig" substitutions, such as Bacon substitution and Non Pork Bacon Alternatives and bacon is obviously going to be the most popular substitution. There's no single substitute for "pig products" any more than there is a substitute for "cow products" or "root vegetables", so please be specific otherwise this will probably get closed. – Aaronut Mar 23 '13 at 13:41
  • Thanks, edited for clarity. It's more that I'd like to try some Western recipes that use pigs without knowing how pork tastes like. It's more of a general "Does pig taste like chicken?" kind of question. – Muz Mar 25 '13 at 5:48

First, consider substituting the recipe altogether as replacing the main meat and expecting similar results is just unreasonable.

That said, here are some broad suggestions:

  • Pork Tenderloin: Veal tenderloin.
  • Pork Chops: Veal chops, or even Chicken breast.
  • General non-cured pork meats: Veal.
  • Pork Sasauges: Beef sausages of the same spice mix. (you'll need synthetic casing)
  • Cooked Ham: Cooked turkey or Beef/Veal Mortadella.
  • Smoked Ham: Smoked turkey.
  • Bacon: see this. There is also turkey bacon with similar to bacon taste.
  • Prosciutti, has no substitute. This one is all about pig fat flavor.
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  • Thanks. I'm not looking for an exact flavor, just an approximation for certain ingredients. – Muz Mar 25 '13 at 5:43

a good bacon substitute in recipes is smoked potatoes. it is also fairly easy to jerry rig a smoker with a metal pan, wood chips and plastic wrap :)

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  • Can you explain why smoked potatoes are a good substitute? – Jay Mar 23 '13 at 22:19
  • Can you explain how you smoke the potatoes (a bit better)? – BaffledCook Mar 24 '13 at 19:06

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