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To start grilling season off on the right foot, USDA officials have decided to revise the names of more than 350 pork and beef cuts to make meat shopping easier. Unfortunately, this means that we have to say goodbye to the “pork butt” and the “pork chop” that we have all come to know and love, at least officially.
"The problem is consumers didn't really understand the names that were being used, and still don't," Patrick Fleming, director of retail marketing for trade group National Pork Board, told The Associated Press of consumer research findings. "The names confused consumers to the point where they'd go, `You know, the information doesn't help me know how to use it, so I'm going to stop using it.' That was a wake-up call for both the beef industry and pork industry."
After two years of research and getting the National Pork Board, Beef Checkoff Program, and Uniform Retail Meat Identification Standards (URMIS) involved, the new, simplified labels are aimed to hit supermarkets this summer. For example, the pork chop will now become the porterhouse chop, ribeye chop, or New York Chop; the pork butt will be the Boston roast; the boneless shoulder top blade steak will be flatiron steak; and a beef underblade boneless steak will now be the Denver steak. Not only will new terminology be used, but the cuts will also come in new packaging stamped with details about the cut of meat along with cooking directions.
"That old system just wasn't really doing its job to communicate to the consumer," Trevor Amen, director of market intelligence for the Beef Checkoff Program, told the Associated Press. "If you're a butcher or a meat cutter, you really know what part of the animal it comes from. But if you're a consumer, you just want to know what it is and what to do with it."
USDA officials hope that new names and packaging will ease the minds of grocery shoppers and raise sales at the meat counter for grilling season. New names for veal and lamb are also being discussed and have yet to be released.
Skyler Bouchard is a junior writer at the Daily Meal. Follow her on twitter at @skylerbouchard.
A Complete Guide to Pork Cuts
You've bought a delicious looking piece of pork, now what is that cut of pork and how do you cook it? Use this complete guide to pork cuts to tell a pork blade chop from a pork loin chop, a shoulder from a butt (tricked you, those are the same!), and how to cook different cuts of pork to their best advantage.
When buying pork, look for firm, pink flesh. Damp meat, pale meat, and soft meat all come from a factory-farmed pig. Consider seeking out pastured pork or organic pork for the best results.
Note: There are endless regional and cultural variations on how to butcher. Cuts you find may vary in name and specifics.
Pork Shoulder Is the New Steak
Nobody said you had to give up steak. But you may have been receiving nudges from well-meaning Earth lovers (or your own conscience) to cut back on your beef intake. And that's because of all the farmed meats, beef bears the burden of putting the most stress on the environment.
Pork though? Not so much. Sure, switching to a totally plant-based lifestyle would be ideal. (Ideal for the Earth? Yes. Implausible for me? Also yes.) But if you're trying to lessen your impact on the planet without swearing off meat entirely, consider this: According to a 2017 study, pork production contributes 80 percent fewer carbon emissions to the atmosphere than beef production (and offers other sustainable benefits, too).
The even better news? Pork can be just as flavorful as beef—in fact, it can clobber steak with its richness and sweetness. and lest you start protesting that nothing could replace your beloved porterhouse, allow me to assure you that pork can even deliver that knockout punch in steak form. If you're reading this, I'll assume you've tried a pork chop—which for the record, will always be my forever protein. But there is a cut of pork growing in popularity within the Test Kitchen (and among our friends at Bon Appétit) and weɽ really love for you to check out. Behold the pork shoulder steak.
Photo by Alex Lau, Prop Styling by Amy Wilson, Food Styling by Rebecca Jurkevich
You probably won't find pork shoulder steaks packaged and ready to go at your local market. What you will find is pork shoulder roast and/or Boston butt (which, counterintuitively, is actually a specific section of the shoulder). Yes, the same cut that many cooks turn to for barbecue and braises is the one senior food editor Anna Stockwell turns to whenever a hankering for tasty steak takes over her dinner plans. All you need to do to transform these two roasts into steaks is a sharp knife.
Anna suggests looking for a boneless shoulder roast since it'll be easier to cut into the 3/4-inch-thick steaks she recommends. If you have access to a great butcher, she says to "ask for boneless Boston butt and let them cut the roast down into steaks for you." If not, never fear: Just stick the whole roast in the freezer for 15–20 minutes to firm it up and make cutting it into steaks easier.
For an even more tender pork steak experience, James Peisker (co-founder of one of our favorite online butchers, Porter Road) suggests looking for a coppa roast (aka pork collar). Also part of the shoulder, this roast sits just above the Boston butt on the hog and includes a section of the loin muscle (which becomes the pork chop further down the hog's back)—and, yes, this is also the cut that Italians have cured for centuries to make coppa salami. You can buy one at Snake River Farms—another great online source for sustainable meat—but do note that this is from a Kurobuta pig (a breed that's essentially the Wagyu of the pork world) so it might be a little pricier than the standard pork you'll likely find at your local market—although it's priced far below what you might pay for similarly pedigreed cut of beef.
The revelation is waiting.
Photo by Joseph De Leo, Food Styling by Erika Joyce
No matter which cut you find—butt or shoulder roast or coppa or collar—you'll also want to cut the steaks across the grain into thin slices after cooking, just as you might slice a skirt steak before piling it into tacos. The savory richness of a grilled pork steak means it's flat-out delicious just with salt and pepper, but you could also follow Anna's lead and coat the pork steaks in a barbacoa-inspired spice rub and serve it with a fresh-corn-and-pumpkin-seed salsa mounded over the top. But hold on, there's also the option of pan-searing the steaks and dousing them with a vinegary pineapple-soy glaze. Or eating the steaks coated in crispy breadcrumbs a la country-fried steak. Or, frankly, any way the steak lover in you desires.
Ingredients you will need
Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable version at the end of this post.
MEAT – It’s important to note that pork tenderloin and pork loin are two different cuts of meat. Be sure to use pork tenderloin for this air fryer recipe! Pork tenderloin is a longer boneless cut of meat, whereas a pork loin is a thicker, more flat cut of meat.
MARINADE – This quick and easy pork marinade is made up of lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper, garlic, and parsley.
Chop, chop: New meat-naming system aims to help cooks
The pork loin top loin chop is out. Porterhouse chop is in. Forget beef shoulder top blade steak, boneless. Just look for flatiron steak. Both are part of a new naming system for beef and pork cuts aimed at making it easier for consumers to understand what they're buying and how to cook it.
With the new names come new labels for meat. They'll now identify the species (at this point just beef or pork), whether it's from the chuck, rib, loin or round, the retail cut name and provide cooking instructions.
"They might be on to something," said Bruce Mattel, a dean at the Culinary Institute of America, which trains chefs in Hyde Park, N.Y. He oversees their meat identification curriculum. Cut names can confuse people and change depending where you are in the country, Mattel said. "They're trying to help the customer identify cuts with a familiar cooking method," he said. If they see the word Porterhouse, they would think "I might be able to put this on the grill, or fry it in a pan."
Most names consumers know and love won't be changing, but after two years of research it became apparent that Americans needed more clarity when they perused the meat case, said Trevor Amen, director of market intelligence for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in Denver.
The old, hard-to-understand labels were based on lists created in the 1970s. They were very anatomical, describing cuts based on their location in the animal, Amen said. That information remains on the new labels, but it's second after the new cut name. For example what was once called boneless beef loin top sirloin cubes for kabobs is now simply kabobs.
The primal cuts of a beef carcass. (Photo: National Cattlemen's Beef Association)
Probably the most jarring change for shoppers will be new names for what were once various types of pork chops. Chop is simply the pork word for steak and all chops come from the loin muscle, which runs from a hog's shoulder to the hip. The top of the muscle is more tender than the bottom.
Now those chops will get names reminiscent of the cuts used to describe steaks that consumers are already familiar with. What used to be top loin pork chops will now be New York chops. A pork loin rib chop will now be a ribeye chop. There's even a bone-in pork loin chop called a T-Bone chop.
New names for pork cuts. (Photo: National Pork Board)
The new pork names go with a shift in how pork is cooked, said Traci Rodemeyer, director of pork information with the National Pork Board in Des Moines. Because trichinosis is no longer a problem in U.S. hogs, in 2011 the Department of Agriculture changed the recommended cooking temperature for pork from 160 degrees to 145. Once pork could be pink, a pork chop could be cooked just like a steak.
"Porterhouse steak and a Porterhouse chop are very similar in how they cook. Ribeye is a high-quality beef cut, so Ribeye will mean that for pork consumers as well. The top loin is now the New York chop," Rodemeyer said.
The system is voluntary, but was approved by the Department of Agriculture and the Industry-Wide Cooperative Meat Identification Standards Committee. Amen said supermarkets should be rolling it out this summer, just in time for grilling season. The new names were created by NCBA on behalf of the Beef Checkoff and the National Pork Board after 18 months of consumer research.
Although the pork producers "love their friends in the beef world" they want to remind grillers that while beef prices are at an all-time high because of the drought and resulting spikes in feed costs, pork is now inexpensive "and will be through summer," Rodemeyer said.
What We Were Looking For
We set out to find the best hot dogs, whether beef- or pork-based for this test we skipped turkey- and chicken-based dogs, whose flavor and fattiness put them in a different category altogether. We chose to test bun-length dogs where available, but many of the brands we sampled offer the same dog in multiple sizes (classic, jumbo, and so on) in case you want more or less room for toppings. We also only sampled hot dogs that can easily be purchased in most U.S. supermarkets—no artisanal varieties or butcher specials.
A bit of hot dog history, in case you're interested: In Germany, all-pork sausages of this nature are referred to as frankfurters. A combination of beef and pork is referred to as a wiener. In America, we've kind of reversed it: In general, all-beef dogs are called franks or frankfurters, while Oscar Mayer is really the only major brand using the word wiener, specifically in reference to its classic dog, a combination of pork, turkey, and chicken. Any product advertising itself as a frank, frankfurter, wiener, or hot dog was fair game for our purposes.
43 Easy Pork Recipes to Make for Dinner Tonight
Ready to mix up your dinner routine? If chicken is the lean meat you usually turn to, allow me to suggest shaking things up with pork. Already making pork chops a regular in your dinner lineup? We’ve got some fresh inspiration you’re going to love.
No matter the cut you start with, be it juicy chops, lean tenderloins, loin roast, or a hearty pork shoulder, pork recipes are a reliable dinner staple to keep in your meal plan. Pork is easy to prepare, won’t break your budget, and, best of all, endlessly adaptable. From slow cooker pork dinners to easy-as-can-be pork chops, these 43 recipes have all the dinner inspiration you need.
I have so many wunderbar memories in the kitchen with my Oma, and have had MANY of her most popular and traditional recipes, like these cakes here!
Oma's meats are ALWAYS the highlight at every family dinner and leftovers are hard to find when she serves her famous rouladen!
I started cooking these meat dishes with Oma when I was quite young (that's probably why I'm so good at it now!) I find myself making her rouladen and slow cooker roast beef often!
I've even made some of Oma's meat recipes for my friends and they were BEYOND impressed! The flavors and overall deliciousness of my Oma's genius recipes are surely recognized by many.
We've made so many meats it's hard to keep track. good thing Oma always takes pictures along the way for memories :) Here's my sister, Alana, with Oma's rouladen recipe!
As you can tell by the look on her face, she was pretty eager to get these on the table and dig right in!
I know there are so many lecker meats to choose from on this page, that's why I've listed some of my absolute favorites right here:
Believe me. you haven't had the best pork if you haven't had Oma's! Or her chicken. her beef. or her sausage recipes! She really does make the best of the best. Just follow her steps, get her hints and tricks along the way, and you'll be a pro like Oma in no time flat! Or should I say. in no time 'Flatladen'.
Cooking with Oma is always special to me, learning her tips and tricks around the kitchen and learning meat recipes that were passed down from her Mutti. This means a lot to me to know that these cherished recipes can be passed down from generation to generation, and now to the world!
Learn a little bit about me, Lydia, and my kitchen adventures with Oma!
The short loin muscles don't get much exercise, so steaks and roasts cut from that area of the cow are tender and juicy, with a mild beefy flavor. Filet mignon, favored for its almost buttery texture, lacks strong flavor and for that reason traditionally gets served in steakhouses accompanied by a rich sauce such as bearnaise.
Roasts and steaks from the short loin need little in the way of preparation. These are quick-cooking cuts that need high heat and just a little flavor boost from some salt and pepper or perhaps a simple pan sauce.
The ultimate guide to pork cuts
Do you know your pork belly from your pork shoulder? What’s the difference between a rib chop and a loin chop? And what about the underrated cheek or liver? Knowing what pork cuts to choose can be super-confusing, so we’ve put together a guide with all the info you’ll need.
When buying pork, remember to always buy free-range or organic whenever possible. This means the animal has led a happy and healthy life, often born and reared outdoors in small numbers where it can forage and exercise as nature intended, rather than being kept in confinement. If you’re looking to trade up, look for higher-welfare certifications, such as RSPCA Approved or Certified Humane as a minimum. Pork is a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals, but just make sure you choose leaner cuts on most occasions, reserving the fattier pieces for weekend treats.
The meat from the hard-working shoulder is a super-versatile cut. It can either be minced or diced for cooking slowly in stews, or kept on the bone and slow-roasted until tender and falling apart. The fillet from the top of the shoulder is just tender enough to be cut into steaks for grilling or barbecuing. As one of the most forgiving parts of the pig, it’s a great choice for a simple but impressive dinner party showstopper. The best way to cook a shoulder is slow and low – simply wrap it in a double layer of tin foil (to lock in the moisture) and pop it in the oven at 150ºC/300ºF/gas 2. Cook for 4 to 5 hours, or until you get melt-in-your-mouth, beautifully tender meat. If you’re cooking for a crowd, get on with your sides while it’s ticking away in the oven. Try this southern-style pork & slaw.
Pork loin is a classic roasting joint, delicious as part of a traditional Sunday roast with apple sauce. The loin can either be cooked in one piece with the bone, or deboned, stuffed and rolled up to make a fantastically juicy roast, like this pork loin with a great herby stuffing or pear roasted pork loin joint. You can keep the skin on and crisp it up to get lovely crackling, or remove the skin and marinate the whole loin. For best results, be sure to rest the meat before carving. Chops that are cut from the loin are ideal for pan-roasting and grilling. If the fillet is left inside the pig when the chops are cut, you’ll get T-bone loin chops.
The fillet or tenderloin is a long thin muscle, found on the inside of the ribcage and is a part of the loin cut. It can be cooked whole, cut into small round medallions and pan-fried, or cut into 1cm slices and bashed into thin escalopes. Pork fillet is the leanest of all cuts, so it’s the healthiest choice. Marinate or tenderise the fillet, then cook it quickly at a high temperature until slightly blushing pink in the middle for extra-juicy results. Cooking it for too long will dry the meat out – and always remember to rest the fillet after cooking to seal in the moisture.
4. RIB CHOP
Chops from the ribs are often grilled or barbecued, like this achiote recado pork. When a few chops are kept together in one piece they make a brilliant rib roast. Rib chops work particularly well with sage and apple as well as many spices – marinate your chops for extra flavour or try a dry rub. They are best cooked in a pan, on a grill or on the barbecue – use a high heat and turn the meat regularly so it builds up a beautiful gnarly crust and the fat renders down for juicy, succulent results.
5. CHUMP CHOP
A really meaty chop, cut from the rump of the pig, it can be bought either on or off the bone. Chump is a cheap cut with delicious flavour and texture. It’s versatile and easy to cook, either fried, grilled or barbecued. Serve with a tangy chutney or dressing to cut through the fattiness of the chop.
A leg is usually roasted whole, but it can also be boned and cut into smaller roasting joints, or thinly sliced to make steaks called escalopes. Pork legs are low in fat and can be quite dry when slow-roasted. Many are cured to make ham. Cooking the meat on the bone will help to keep it moist and produce lovely juices that you can use for gravy, like in this delicious roast pork leg recipe. Pork escalopes should be flash-fried or grilled quickly to prevent them from drying out. Try marinating or bashing the meat out with a rolling pin to tenderise it – Jamie’s chargrilled pork escalopes are well worth a try.
A fatty, but incredibly tender cut of meat, the belly is delicious when slow-roasted. It’s also used to make streaky bacon. Pork belly is very high in fat, which makes it a delicious and versatile cut. It can be cooked slowly at a low temperature for soft meat that melts in the mouth, or it can be sliced and crisped up in a hot pan. It can also be roasted or stewed, but make sure you skim away some of the fat. As a robust cut, it works well paired with aromatic flavours and Asian spices. Try Jamie’s hot & smoky vindaloo with pork belly.
The cheek is a fatty, full-flavoured muscle with a great gelatinous texture, ideal for mincing or slow-cooking. Pork cheek is such an underrated cut and is really cheap to buy. Chop and cook it slowly in a stew or ragù, or keep whole and braise in a rich and sticky sauce.
Pig’s liver is quite strong in flavour compared to lamb, calf and chicken livers, and is often used to make coarse country patés with plenty of garlic, black pepper and herbs. Italians use pig’s liver to add rich flavour to the base of stuffings or ragùs. Cook them quickly in a hot pan or gently braise them for a soft texture.
Pork skin can be trimmed away from the flesh, salted and roasted to make crunchy pork scratchings, often served as a pub nibble. For fuss-free crackling, cook the skin separately from the meat. Doing it this way means you won’t need to worry about interrupting the meat while it’s cooking. Score the crackling to help distribute the heat – you can get your butcher to do this for you. You can also cut it up into long strips so they curl up as they cook. Cook the crackling on a flat baking tray in a very hot oven or under a hot grill with plenty of sea salt.
For more handy tips and tricks, check out this useful guide to roasting meat.