Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Pork Cuts
The hind leg of the pork carcass is a big piece of meat, taking in the muscles of the powerful rump all the way down to the trotter.
It yields a lot of cuts, such as:
Leg: cut from the top muscles of the hind leg, this lean and tasty joint is boned, rolled and tied, ready to be slowly roasted until
the meat’s tender and the crackling's crispy
Leg steaks: thick, flavoursome and lean, cut from the top of the leg with just a thin layer of superficial fat
Escalopes: tasty leg cuts with a robust, open grain have been trimmed of superficial fat then bashed flat, making them super-quick to cook
Gammon: boned and rolled pork leg is lightly cured with natural ingredients, ready to be boiled, glazed and baked to make a traditional ham.
Can be smoked or unsmoked
Ham: a smoked or unsmoked gammon joint that’s been cured and cooked
Running from the back of the shoulder to the front of the leg and stretching down from the spine to the ribs,
the loin contains many traditional favourite cuts including:
Tenderloin: also known as pork fillet, this long muscle runs along the side of the pork carcass below the spine and delivers meat
that’s exquisitely tender and delicately flavoured
Pork loin: the collection of muscles that run down from the spine are tender, lean and topped with a layer of sweetly melting fat.
Can be cooked with or without the bone
Back bacon: combining the tender eye meat of the loin with the streaky, marbled belly. Can be smoked or unsmoked
Loin steaks: Lean loin eye meat combines with layers of juicy fat to deliver a quick-cooking cut that has all the distinctive texture and flavour of pork
Loin chops: Internal marbling and a layer of top fat make sure these chops stay succulent and infused with flavour from the bone
Plenty of indulgent cuts celebrate the flavour-packed fat-to-meat balance found in pork belly. These include:
Pork belly: tender and sweetly juicy, mingled layers of fat and muscle respond well to slow cooking that lets the fat render and the crackling crisp up.
Can be cooked on the bone or boneless
Belly slices: well-flavoured meat, soft fat the renders down on cooking and a generous layer of crackling make this a versatile cut
with all you can ask for from pork
Streaky bacon: when sizzled in a pan, the layers of fat interspersed with meat lend themselves to ultimate crispiness. Can be smoked or unsmoked
Lardons: a combination of streaky and back bacon chopped and ready to add bags of meaty-salty flavours to all sorts of dishes
Sausage meat: the fattiness of belly pork fragranced with spices makes fine-ground sausage meat that has substance as well as taste
Set below the loin on the side of the pork carcass, the rib is the source of some much-loved cuts, including:
Spare ribs: cutting through a whole collection of muscles from the shoulder to the belly gives pork ribs an excellent open texture
that’s perfect for soaking up marinades
Rib eye steak: the depth of flavour you’d expect from a roast pork joint comes with the quick-cooking convenience of a steak
The pig’s hefty and hardworking shoulder is made up of complex layers of muscle overlaying one another. It yields:
Shoulder: with the bone removed and a separate layer of fat and skin added this joint is an easy roaster that’ll reward a slow cook
with juicy meat and crispy crackling
Diced pork: a combination of shoulder and leg meat, trimmed and meticulously cut into even pieces for zero prep and even cooking
Mince: the perfect balance of meat and fat ensures a mince that’s versatile, succulent and full of flavour
Sausages: At least 85% of pork mince is blended with organic herbs, spices and seasonings to deliver traditional flavour and texture
The pork carcass offers lots of head-to-hoof eating possibilities, including:
Trotters: thrifty, versatile and meatier than you might think – an excellent source of gelatin
Cheeks: little pads of meat lightly marbled with fat reward the slowest of cooks with the tenderest and most tasty results
Liver: velvety smooth in texture and with a delicate, fragranced flavour – perfect for super-speedy pan frying
Heart: a well-flavoured, meaty cut with a good amount of bite that makes an excellent alternative to steak in stir-fries
Kidney: distinctive flavour and smooth grain make these excellent when flash-fried, or add them to stews and casseroles for a texture contrast
FREQUENTLY ASKED PORK QUESTIONS:
At Coombe Farm Organic we would be hard pushed to pick the best cuts of pork, because they are all simply delicious. Our pork comes from our organic pigs, who are reared in accordance to strict high welfare organic standards, they live happy lives, being able to forage and exercise as nature intended. All pork cuts are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals, with some cuts being higher in fat than others. Cuts of pork include, shoulder, lion, fillet, rib chop, chump chop, leg, belly, cheek, liver and crackling.
Pork is divided into large sections called primal cuts; these primal cuts are then broken down into individual retail cuts. The five primal cuts are the ham, lion, boston butt, picnic and belly with spareribs.
Organic tenderloin or pork fillet is one of the most tender cuts of pork available and is the prize cut from the pork carcass. As lean as can be, it's delicately flavoured and – as the name suggests – very, very tender. Situated high along the side of the pig, running parallel to the spine, the tenderloin is otherwise known as the pork fillet. It's a muscle that hasn't worked very hard during the animal's life which gives it a buttery soft texture – the same as you'd expect from beef fillet. Our skilled butchers at Coombe Farm Organic have trimmed the long tenderloin muscle leaving you the decision of cooking it whole or sliced into medallions.