All About Pork Roasts
There are a number of different pork roasts that come from the pig. They all are a little different in marbling, texture, and size. Knowing which one you're working with is essential to transform the pork into an epic meal. I'll walk you through the different pork roasts we offer here at Lazuli Farms.
Generally speaking, the pork cuts from the upper part of the animal (shoulder, loin) are leaner than those from bottom.
Each shoulder is generally split into 2 or 3 roasts at the butcher resulting in 2 to 3 pound boneless roasts.
The shoulder is generally a tougher cut given the muscling of the animal. But don't let the deter you! When cooked low & slow, the shoulder turns out tender and fall apart.
Best way to cook: braising in the oven, slow cooker, or on the barbecue or smoker. For all ways, make sure it's low & slow for the most tender roast.
The pork loin comes from the back and are lean & tender. These roasts are usually 2 to 3 lbs and are boneless.The loin roast is a great roast for a slicing roast.
Best way to cook: the loin is best cooked in the oven low & slow, making sure not to overcook it. Lean cuts will get tough if overcooked. Grab your meat thermometer to help you out there.
I recommend to leave the fat cap on the roast while cooking. It can help to add flavour & moisture while the roast cooks. Trim the fat off after it's cooked.
The tenderloin comes from right beside the loin. It is THE tenderest and leanest cut from the pig. It is a long and slender roast. There is only two tenderloin roast from each animal ... so they are one of the most prized cuts!
Best way to cook: a tenderloin can be roasted, grilled, or broiled. It is especially important not to overcook the tenderloin as they are so lean.
The ham comes from the "ham" or the top of the hind leg of the pig. The boneless hams is cured and smoked. Hams are a great slicing roast.
Best way to cook: hams are partially cooked from the smoking process but require further cooking. Try braising in the oven or cook in a slow cooker.
Pork Shanks (or Hocks)
The pork shank (or hock) comes from the shin of the pig. You can get these either smoked or unsmoked.
Best way to cook: Smoked pork shanks are great added to baked beans or soups (try split pea). Or braise the shanks in the oven.