- Food and Cooking»
- Culinary Arts & Cooking Techniques
Pork neck. Use this cut for the best BBQ pork chops you've ever had!
as good as it gets pork neck
Heavenly grilled pork neck!
The problem with today's pork is that it is far too lean. I guess reduced fat consumption has its advantages, but man, the price we pay for this healthier eating through dry and tasteless pork chops seems pretty steep!
I believe that if you're going to eat something, don't dilute what makes it great, in the effort to make it healthier. Enjoy it as it should be enjoyed, and just eat it less often. Fettuccini Alfredo needs heavy cream and butter, chicken without a crisped and browned skin is second rate, and pork needs fat!
Healthy eating can be lovely, and using seasonal and local vegetables and local seafood makes simple healthy eating a delight. But when it comes time to eat some pork, get the good stuff.
Thankfully, even the most ardent mad scientists in their weird pig defattening laboratories has not been able to completely destroy the taste and fat content of the glorious pig neck, (sometimes sold as pork jowl). This is the best cut of pork that you've probably never seen for sale. I don't know whether it's the name or the fat content that scares purveyors away from selling this cut, but you should visit a good local butcher, and have that person reserve this fantastic cut of meat for you.
Living in Thailand has been an eye opening experience. Thai's value flavor far more than tenderness, and cuts like the pork neck, or the beef brisket are about the tastiest cuts, and therefore the most expensive. They're practically giving away the dry and tasteless pork loin and pork tenderloin here!
The pork neck is a well muscled and very flavorful cut of meat, with a lot more fat than the pork shoulder, and yet still a lot less fat than the pork belly. The pork neck is wonderful used in many preparations, and at the restaurant we use it for grilling, braising, and even slow smoky BBQ.
Grilled pork chops can so easily dry out, but try cutting off good thick pork chops from a pork neck roast, and you'll be amazed at the juiciness and flavor of what comes off the grill.
Use pork neck instead of other cuts of pork for all your favorite recipes, and see what a difference it will make. Roasts will be tender and basted by the fat within the neck, and in my opinion, pork neck makes for the very best smoky pulled pork BBQ possible. The other great thing about the cut is that because it is so rarely sold whole, you can usually get it for a great price.
If you're going to eat pork, do it right. The fat on the neck is throughout the cut, meaning that no matter how you prepare it, that fat will baste and flavor the meat deliciously. You don't have to eat the fat, but the meat beside it will be heavenly.