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Meet the Pig: Pork Cuts & Uses

3rd March 2023 tagged butchers cut charts, cuts of pork

meet the pig - guide to cuts

After introducing you to the cow in our last blog post – ‘Meet the Cow; Beef Cuts and Uses’, which you can view here – we thought it only fair to take a trip down to the market to introduce you to the pig as well.

Pork is a wonderful alternative to beef when you’re cooking a beautiful Sunday roast. However, most cuts of pork need to cook slowly to ensure that it’s perfectly tender. Let’s take Hock for example. Wouldn’t you love for it to just pull apart? Well, that would take around 8 hours in the slow cooker. WHAT?! I hear you say! But bear with, because it’s the succulence and burst of flavour you get from a forkfull of ham hock is so worth it. Of course, that’s only an example of what you could do with pork – so let’s Meet the Pig: Pork Cuts & Uses.

Popular Cuts

Boston Shoulder (Pork Shoulder)


Sometimes called the ‘Boston Butt’ or ‘Boston Shoulder’ the pork shoulder is a large and tough cut that’s very versatile. Use it for pulled pork, roast with crackling or for stewing.
Pork shoulder benefits from low, moist heat turns the meat so tender and succulent, it just falls away from the bone and practically melts in the mouth. You’re looking at about 2-4 hours for roasting or 6-8 hours for slow cooking for pulled pork.

Pork Belly

Pork belly is the whole slab cut from the fleshy underside of a pig. Streaky pork bacon is cut from this slab. British back bacon is a combination of both pork belly and pork loin in one cut, the rounded lean bit on a rasher (slice) of back bacon is the pork loin and the fatty streaky bit attached to it is the pork belly.

Pork belly needs a combination of slow, gentle heat to tenderise the meat, plus a shorter blast at a higher heat to crisp up the skin.


Pork Hock

A pork hock is also known as ham hock, pig knuckle, or pork knuckle. It’s the joint at the bottom of the shank of the pig between the tibia/fibula and the ankle where the foot was attached to the hog’s leg but it’s not part of the ham.

There’s a few different ways to cook the hock – here’s our preferred way:

Be generous with lard or olive oil and rub that pork ham hock well. After that, season it well with salt and pepper. Optionally you can add some ground paprika and garlic powder. Place it in a deep sheet pan or roasting pan and bake for at least 2 hours on 180C.


Our Original Boerewors is made from beef and pork – a delicious mix of Grass Fed Beef and top quality pork with a delicate balance of herbs and spices.

Prefer other meats? See our blog Meet the ChickenMeet the Cow or Meet the Lamb to explore cuts and how best to cook them.

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