A Basic Guide to Pork Cuts and Cooking Tips






     If done correctly, pork could be one of the most gratifying meats to roast. Below are some guidelines to the 4 key pork cuts, including some helpful tips for roasting:

Pork shoulder (or spare rib)

This is a great and very affordable cut of pork that offers a lot of flavour. Just like with all other meat from the front end of the pig, pork shoulder is sweet with a nice marbling of fat. You could roast with the bone included, but it is more commonly served without the bones, rolled and then tied. It is one of the best meat cuts for making crackling, as it has a thick layer of skin and the fat beneath it.

Pork belly

This is usually cut in a big rectangular shape. Pork belly is fatty, making it very juicy when roasted. It is also a very affordable cut. To get a good crackling, dry out the skin of the pork belly.

Tenderloin

This is also referred to as pork fillet. The tenderloin is found inside the ribs of the pig along the loin's length. Terderloin as the name implies, is a lean and very tender cut, so it does not require plenty of roasting time. If overcooked, it can become dry quickly. To help this cut retain moisture, lay a layer of bacon rashers across the surface of the meat. You can also stuff it with prunes, herbs, blue cheese, or apples to keep it moist and improve the flavour.

Pork Leg

Pork leg is one of the most popular meat cuts for roasting. It is a big cut and fairly lean, excellent for feeding a bog number of people. It is great for roasting, braising, or pot-roasting, but it's not best for making crackling.

Top Tips

The trick to making perfect crackling is making sure that the skin of the pork is fully dry before cooking; score the fat and skin very well, and then start cooking at high temperature.

The piece of meat closest to the pig's front works the hardest, making it very sweet and nicely marbled with fat. The muscle will be broken down through slow cooking, resulting in very tender meat.

The perfect roast pork has moist, evenly cooked meat with crisp crackling around it. You could either leave the crackling on the meat or remove it after cooking then serve it separately.

Tips Before Cooking Pork

If the pork requires storage prior to cooking, leave it in the refrigerator on a lower shelf and unwrapped. When the skin of the pork is dry, the meat cook better.

Just before cooking, the meat must be at room temperature, not cold or frozen from the refrigerator. So several hours before cooking, remove the meat from the fridge and leave it covered in a cool but not warm place.

Don't cut through the pork, halfway down the fat is enough.

Massage some salt and olive oil into the skin of the meat and see to it that they run into the cracks on the skin.






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If you are looking for fresh, high quality bulk pork, check out Pork Cuts at McLoughlin Butchers by following the given link.


Posted on 2014-12-30, By: *

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