AWM and our producers understand that environment and climate are crucial to breeding premium pork products. We take pride in the high farming standards and sustainable practices of our producers.
American ribs come from the belly of the hog and are known for their delicious, meaty pork flavour. These ribs are the least meaty variety of ribs, but full of flavour.
Ribs rubbed with a mixture of herbs and spices are called dry ribs. Such rubs can be applied just before barbecuing. Ribs basted with sauces during the barbecuing process are called wet ribs. For best results, brush ribs generously during the last 30 minutes of cooking to prevent burning.
Pork belly comes from a hog’s ‘belly’ or underside after the loin and spareribs have been removed. This boneless cut may be served fresh, which means it is not cured or smoked. Fresh belly is succulent and richly flavourful and is often served in small portions. Pork belly is at its best and is most tender when prepared using a slow cooking method, such as braising. Pork belly also is a popular menu item among restaurant chefs who appreciate its versatility, flavour and texture.
The collar butt (or neck), produces delicious meat, which should be slow cooked wherever possible to allow intramuscular fat to melt – keeping the meat moist and tender. Pork shoulder cuts are diverse and can be roasted, used for steaks, diced or minced.
Forequarter roast is taken from the pork shoulder, which is the top portion of the front leg of the hog. The upper part of the shoulder, often called the blade pork roast, comes from the area near the loin and contains the shoulder blade bone. This is a well-marbled cut and is versatile enough to be pot-roasted whole, cut up for stews or cooked over moist smoke in a smoker to transform it into classic pulled pork barbecue. Whether it is roasted, braised or barbecued, blade roast becomes meltingly tender and deliciously flavourful. The forequarter roast is available bone-in or boneless.
Hock and shank are flavourful, inexpensive cuts that originate in the front leg of the hog, known as the arm picnic shoulder. The hock is the lower, meaty portion of the front leg. Hock contains two round shank bones that are exposed on both ends and is often sold with the skin still attached. Thanks to its abundance of connective tissue, hock and shank provide a rich, smoky flavour that is ideal for enhancing soups, stews and rustic vegetables. Long, slow cooking methods will yield tender results. Hocks are best enjoyed when the meat becomes so tender that it nearly falls away from the bone. Simply chop the meat and add to the dish near the end of cooking time to enhance taste.
A traditional bone-in roast, this cut is usually covered in a thick layer of fat and skin, which should be scored before roasting. This cut is not as fatty as you might think and benefits from brining.
Often referred to as the pork equivalent of prime rib or rack of lamb, this mild, fairly lean roast consists of a single muscle with a protective fat cap. It may be cut with anywhere from five to eight ribs. Because the bones (and nearby fat) are still attached, it is often a better option than the center-cut loin roast, which is cut from the same muscle but is minus the bones and fat.
The pork fillet (or tenderloin) comes from the full pork loin. As the name indicates, the tenderloin is one of the most tender cuts of pork. Pork fillet has a mild flavour, so it’s best when prepared with an added spice rub, marinade, stuffing or flavourful sauce. When sliced crosswise the resulting medallions also may be sautéed.
The loin roast comes from the area of the pig between the shoulder and the beginning of the leg. It is sold either bone-in or deboned and can be rolled and tied with string. Loin roasts with a bone tend to be juicier and more flavourful, but the bone can make carving a bit tricky. Loin roasts are delicious when brined or rubbed with a spice mixture and barbecued over indirect heat. Pork loin roasts should not be braised or stewed as they have a tendency to lose tenderness and fall apart when cooked using moist heat.