KNOW YOUR MEAT CUTS - PORK LOIN?
What is Pork Loin?
Hogs are bred to have extra-long loins so they can have up to 17 ribs, unlike beef and lamb which have 13. The entire pork loin can be roasted or it can be cut into individual chops or cutlets.
Cuts from the pork loin are the leanest and most tender pork cuts. Be careful to avoid overcooking any cut of pork from the loin (they usually have the word "loin" in their name, i.e., tenderloin, loin chop, etc.). The three sections of the pork loin are:
Blade end is closest to the shoulder and tends to be fatty.
Sirloin end is closest to the rump and tends to be bony.
Centre portion is, obviously, in the middle and is the leanest most tender, section of pork.
Pork Loin Roasts
Pork Top Loin Roasts are created by the butcher by tying two top loins together with the fat sides out.
Pork Loin Chops
Several different cuts can be called pork chops. All are great grilled, broiled, or pan-fried. Note that thicker cut pork chops with the bone still attached cook up the juiciest and most flavourful. In descending order of tenderness specific pork chops cuts are:
Pork loin chops (pork loin end chops, loin pork chops, pork centre loin chops). You can identify these by the T-shaped bone on one side of them.
Pork rib chops (pork rib cut chops, rib pork chops, pork chop end cut)
Pork sirloin chops
Pork top loin chops (pork strip chops) are sometimes sold boneless and called pork loin fillets, which can be cooked just like a chop.
Frenched Pork Ribs
Frenched pork rib chop is taken from the rib section of the pork loin. The Frenching is leaving the rib bone on each chop for a great plate presentation and added flavour. Frenching is a technique where the rib bone is exposed and all meat is removed from the bone.