Pork is the most widely consumed and versatile protein in the world; it’s easy to cook, adaptable to just about any recipe, and very tender and juicy. Learn the best basic cooking tips for those familiar primal pork cuts like pork chops and pork loin, to how to master new-to-you pork cuts like pork belly or a pork rib roast. Whether you’re cooking for one or a holiday dinner for twelve, there are pork cuts for every occasion.
This diagram shows the primal (wholesale) cuts of the hog. This helps to explain the origin of retail cuts described below.
PORK CUTS GUIDE
FROM THE HIND LEG
A prime hindquarter cut that provides lean meat and is used either fresh or cured. The boned and rolled leg makes a premium roasting joint full of meaty flavors. Diced Leg and thin stir fry strips (Julienne) are excellent for stews and casseroles and leaner than diced shoulder meat. Leg Steaks or Escalopes are suitable for frying or grilling.
Joe's features John Morrell E-Z-Cut hams. E-Z-Cut hams that are dry-cured, with no water added. They are prepared the old-fashioned way; slowly cooked and hardwood smoked for twice as long as most hams. You can count on E-Z-Cut hams to be more tender, flavorful, premium-quality hams. E-Z-Cut hams are not only lean but also full of old-fashioned flavor that turns any meal into a celebration.
E-Z-Cut includes boneless hams and bone-in hams that are available in a variety of sizes. For over 40 years, E-Z-Cut has received the Good Housekeeping Award for quality.
Cured Ham is leg meat that has been dry- or wet-cured. Because the leg muscle is a well-exercised part of the hog, ham is surprisingly low in fat.
FROM THE FOREQUARTER (SHOULDER)
The upper part of the shoulder, known as the Boston Butt, comes from the area near the loin and contains the shoulder blade bone. Pork Shoulder meat is fattier than pork leg meat and produces very tender and succulent roasting joints. It is a well-marbled cut that can be pot-roasted whole, cut up for stews, or cooked over moist smoke in a smoker to transform it into classic pulled pork barbecue.
It is available at Joe's either bone-in (averaging six to nine pounds) or boneless (averaging four to seven pounds). Slowly roasted for hours it becomes meltingly tender. The whole bone-in shoulder is too big for most households, but boned and rolled Pork Shoulder joints with a layer of scored skin for the crackling are easy to prepare and carve. It goes great as barbecue pulled pork - just add the sauce!
FROM THE LOIN
Pork loin is cut from the top side of the backbone framework of the pig. Several different cuts come from the whole pork loin, and you can save money by cutting this large piece yourself. It’s a long cylindrical, boneless piece of meat that is larger on one end and smaller on the other. Imagine cutting the whole loin into thirds. The center third of the loin may be cut into steaks or boneless chops. The large end is sold as a pork sirloin roast. The smaller end is sold as country-style ribs. The whole loin averages around 20 pounds, and can be upwards of 30 inches in length.
Crown Roast is an attractive special-occasion entreé created using a pork rib roast/rack of pork that is tied into a circle, ribs up. Joe's expert butchers will trim the tough meat away from the end of each rib so that the bone is exposed, a technique called "Frenching", which makes for a classic presentation.
Back Ribs originates from the blade and center section of the pork loin, which is known for the "finger meat" between the bones. Back ribs also are referred to as "baby" back ribs because they are smaller than spareribs. A rack typically weighs between 1 ½ and 1 ¾ pounds.
Sausage is defined as ground meat mixed with fat, salt, and other seasonings, preservatives, and sometimes fillers. Virtually any type of meat can be used in sausage, but the most common sausage is pork or pork blends. Joe’s features Blue Seal Kielbasa, our most popular and sought after Kielbasa. Only the highest quality cuts of beef and pork are combined with a special blend of garlic, spices, and natural hardwood smoking process to produce this unique and flavorful kielbasa.
Joe’s features Bianco Italian Sausage from the family-owned and operated Bianco & Sons. The third-generation owned company has been perfecting the Bianco family recipes since opening its butcher shop in Revere, MA in 1960. Only using quality cuts of meat and premium ingredients, they continue to craft their signature sausage for the best sausages possible.
Contact Joe's Meat Shoppe
Joe's Meat Shoppe is here to help you with all of your select meat cuts. Contact us today for special orders of pork.