Pork is a delicious alternative to beef. From pork chops and pork tenderloin to bacon and ham, pork offers a wide range of flavours and textures. It is one of the most versatile meats available. Similar to beef, the number of cuts available can be confusing, with customers not always sure which cut of meat comes from where, or which is the best.
Be sure you know which cut of pork will work for your recipe. In this post, we break down the main pork cuts and products available, to give you a better idea next time you’re checking out a menu.
Pork loin is in the strip of meat which runs from pig's shoulder to it's hip. It is fairly lean and tender. A firm favourite for a roast with apple sauce.
Tenderloin This is the most tender cuts of pork and comes from the entire loin , which runs from the hip to the shoulder of the pig. it’s always sold whole, averaging about one pound. It takes on added flavours from marinades, rubs, and spices with ease. Best quickly cooked over fairly high heat.
Pork chops all come from the loin, which is the strip of meat that runs from the pig's shoulder to hip. Pork chops are unprocessed and leaner than other cuts. It can be bone-in or boneless. They are one of the easiest cuts of pork to prepare, which makes them one of the most popular. They can be grilled, baked or pan fry.
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Pork steak cuts from the loin . It is also called pork loin chops and they’re a juicy cut of meats. Great for pan-fry, grill or broil loin steaks and serve them up for a quick meal.
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Pork Rack of Ribs
This cut is from the pig's ribs and filled with flavourful fat. Pork rack of ribs are a set of ribs served together (5 or more ). It is tender and meaty, well suited to grilling, as well as marinating and popping on the barbecue.
Cut from the top of the pig's front leg, this pork contains a lot of tender marbling as well as the shoulder blade. An expensive cut of meat that is full of flavour. It can be roasted or barbecued to achieve its full flavourful potential.
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Pork Mince is usually made from pork shoulder. It is a great low fat alternative to mince beef. The meat is easy to grill or pan fry and the pork can be shaped into patties, meatballs, or mixed into recipes to make numerous other dishes. It's the most versatile source of pork.
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Sausage is made by seasoning ground pork from various areas of the pig which is stuffed into a casing. The casing can be natural pig intestines or made with synthetic materials. Sausage may be fresh, smoked or cured.
Pork belly comes from the animal's underside. It's a boneless cut and is uncured, un-smoked and un-sliced bacon. Pork belly is most flavourful when roasted.
One of the most popular forms of pork, bacon comes from the pork belly or from the less fatty back cuts that is then cured and smoked. This cut is high in fat and sold in packaged slices. Bacon is a staple side dish of breakfast and brunch, and can be pan-fried, baked or broiled to crispy perfection.
A Ham hock, Gammon hock or Pork knuckle is the joint where a pig's foot connects to its leg. Great for slow cooking. It requires a lengthy cooking process by stewing or braising because the meat is so tough. But once it's tenderised, it has a rich flavour that is commonly used in soul food and Asian cuisine.