Pig Break Down
Pork is divided into large sections called primal cuts, These primal’s are then broken down further into individual retail cuts, which is what you find at the store.
The most tender cuts of pork are from the rib and loin. Most desirable cuts of meat come from higher up on the animal. By contrast, the shank and shoulder muscles give us the toughest cuts with the proper cooking, those tougher cuts can be luscious and tender.
The Pork Butt
also called the Boston butt, comes from the upper shoulder of the hog. Pork butt is a moderately tough cut of pork with a good deal of connective tissue, Consisting of parts of the neck, shoulder blade and upper arm. Above the Boston butt is a section of fat called the clear plate or fatback, which can be used for making lard.
Also called the Picnic Shoulder is frequently cured or smoked. Pork shoulder is also used for making ground pork or sausage meat. Bred to have extra long loins so they can have up to 17 ribs, unlike beef and lamb which have 13. Tenderloin is taken from the rear of the pork loin, and baby-back ribs come from the upper ribcage area of the loin.
Back Leg Of The Hog
Is where we get fresh, smoked or cured hams. Hams that are cured, smoked and then air-dried. Fresh hams are usually roasted, but they can be cut into ham steaks as well. ham hock, which is used extensively in southern U.S. cuisine, is taken from the joint at the shank end of the ham where it joins the foot
Also called the Pork Side is where we get pancetta and bacon.
Are often Taken from the belly side of the ribs where they join the breastbone
Is mostly used in making sausages, although it can also be cured and made into bacon.
High in collagen, pork feet are excellent sources of gelatin and are frequently added to soups and stews. Long, slow simmering breaks down the tough connective tissues in the pork foot and tenderizes the meat. Pork feet can also be cured, smoked or even pickled.