KNOW YOUR PORK CUTS – PORK 101

We have a range of delicious local pork products at our Food Lover’s Market butcheries. From pork belly, to loin chops, bacon, leg roasts or texan steaks…we’ve got you when you’ve got that pork craving. Pork can be used from nose-to-tail to prepare a variety of dishes.

Do you know the differences between the different pork cuts? Let’s take a closer look, and see which is your favourite:

Pork Rib:

Everyone’s favourite – spare ribs! Pork ribs are a sure favorite amongst pork eaters, as lamb ribs are often more fatty with less flavour.  This is also known as the short rib.

When buying the pork ribs raw, the trick to get it as juicy and tender as your fave steakhouse, is to boil it first, let it marinate for a few hours, then let it roast or grill. It is great for entertaining as you can do a lot of the preparation before hand, and just leave the final touches of flames flicking or aroma wafting out the oven for once your guests arrive. For a bit less fuss, we have done the work for you by providing you with precooked and marinated pork ribs that you can pop in the oven to grill, roast, or enjoyed on a good South African braai! 

You also get Pork Rib Chops which are best cooked on a high heat and turned regularly either in a pan, one a grill or on the braai.

Pork Loin

A classic roasting cut – that traditional roast you enjoy on a Sunday with apple sauce. The loin can be cooked with the bone, or deboned, stuffed, and rolled up to make an incredible juicy roast.

Did you know bacon is cut from the pork loin? This is known as back bacon. 

Pork Leg:

Pork leg is a low-fat cut and can become dry when slow roasted. It is the best cut to use for the ever-so-trendy and tasty pulled pork. This Caribbean inspired slow cook style pork makes the perfect meal by just adding a fresh bread roll, some coleslaw, and a lick of mustard.

Pork leg is the another common cut to find on the Sunday roast table, cut into slices and enjoy with gravy, apple, or cranberry sauce.

Pork Belly Roast:

Pork belly is a delicious cut, that needs to be slow-cooked at a low temperature to tenderize the meat to get a ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ dish. It is a fattier piece of meat, so best saved for weekends and special occasions when you can indulge! You can also slive it and crisp it in a hot pan.

It is also the cut that we get that beloved “crackling” or “pork scratchings” from. Scoring the skin will achieve the best crackling. This cut works beautifully with Asian flavours such as soy and honey – which also helps to give it that crispy, tasty skin.

It’s also used to make streaky bacon.

Pork Shoulder:

Pork shoulder cuts can be roasted, diced, or minced. When diced, it is usually used in stews, however, if it is kept on the bone then you can enjoy a slow-cooked roast.

You can also find shoulder bacon in stores.

Pork Shanks:

Pork shanks are the lower part of the leg (most often the front leg, known as the foreshank)  and can be broiled or roasted, but the best way to cook it, is in a slow cooker to lock in the moisture for a really tender piece of meat. You can then roast it a bit afterward to allow the marinade to get crisp. It is a cost-effective cut of meat. 

Pork Neck:

The pork neck needs to be slow-cooked because of the intramuscular fat content. By slow-cooking the pork neck, this fat melts and creates a soft, tender delicious pieced of meat.

Pork Boerie:

Who doesn’t love a pork sausage? Or a good boerie? Marry these two to get the ultimate juicy pork boerewors. Boerewors should always be at least 90% meat, while the rest is made up of tasty spices, herbs such as coriander, vinegar, and salt. Open flame or in the frying pan are both great for wors. Remember try not to tear the casing to keep all the juice inside, and allow the meat to steam in itself.

Pork Texan Steak:

Pork steaks are great for braai-ing on the open flame or cooking on a stovetop griddle. Pork is a good source of protein and by cooking it on an open heat source, most of the fat is able to cook and drain off. Any off the shelf marinade and some coal will make this a meal to remember.

Pork mince is an uncommon but absolutely delicious option too. Did you know traditionally Italians would cook bolognese with half pork, half beef mince to get the dish a richer flavour?

For some more inspiration, try out some of our delicious pork recipes or take a look at our Proudly SA pork supplier, SA Pork who have some smoking good knowledge on pork and great recipes. 

Pork Recipes

We’ve got a range of succulent pork recipes. From the perfect pork roast, to crispy pork belly, or interetsing crumbed pork chops with a Summer salsa. Whatever you are craving, we’ve got some inspiration for you.

Click here to enjoy some of our top pork recipes.

Pork 360

Have you seen the mark “Pork 360” on our pork products? This is a farm assured mark of South African Pork.

This means that the Pork360 prescribed standards are adhered to. The production standards address, among others, the following:

*  Food Safety
*  Traceability
*  Animal Welfare
*  Biosecurity
*  Environmental Stewardship

The programme ensures that the consumer will have enough healthy and tasty pork to fill their plates for many meals to come. Through Pork 360, everyone in the value chain is assured of safe, fresh, and affordable South African pork.

If you want to learn more, visit their website.

Thanks to Freddy Hirsch for some great tips and tricks on how to cook different pork cuts.

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