So you've just bought that perfect boneless pork loin and now that you have it home -- what do you do with it? There are many, many different ways to cut your pork loin into various cut. We can not cover them all in this segment but we do plan additional cutting ideas.
Based on our previous blog we have either bought the whole boneless loin, the loin half or the rib half. Pictured below is the whole boneless pork loin.
Let's just talk about each half separately. Starting with the rib half pictured on the left half of the picture. As you can see in the picture below, I have already made a cut separating the rib half from the loin half and another cut separating the blade end (sometimes called the rib end).
You can identify this half by observing the darker colored muscle that is part of the blade end as you can see in the picture above. The sirloin end will not have this darker muscle. Your decision as to which half to buy should be based on what you are planning to do with the meat along with the quality aspects discussed in our previous blog
Let's now take a look at that blade end. And again, it is sometimes referred to as the rib end. A good rule of thumb is to measure approximately 5 - 6 inches from the end and make your cut there for this blade end roast. This should be about a 3 pound or slightly less piece of meat. Really, you can make your cut wherever you want to. Just remember that if you change the size of this blade end, you will have an effect on other cuts of the loin. An example of this would be if you decided to make it a little bigger than you will have less pork chops coming from the center cut section.
And now we turn this slightly so we get a good view of that dark muscle we mentioned earlier. For now, we are not going to worry about why one muscle is darker than the other. Just remember that this means you are dealing with the rib end of the pork loin. The end closest to the shoulder.
Now we can just leave this nice little 2 - 3 pound blade end as it is and it would make as excellent roast for the slow cooker or for an oven roast. But for today we are going to make boneless country style ribs.
You will want to make a horizontal cut all the way thru as you see in the next two photos. You want to try and end up with two equal pieces so try to make your cut straight across at the half way point on the side.
OK, now you should have two pieces approximately the same. Some may want to leave these two pieces just as they are as they could be cooked as is but I like to make a few more cuts and make them into individual pieces of boneless country style ribs.
I like them approximately 1 1/4 inch to 1 1/2 inch thick. You should start at the larger end and make your cut as you see in picture above. These make excellent boneless ribs and should be cooked accordingly. Be sure to package these the way you will need when cooking them later.
OK, so let's move on to the center rib section as you see in the picture below.
You can leave this as a whole piece and it would make a great roast. This will typically be 6 - 7 inches long depending on the size of the blade end that you cut. But instead of a roast we want some nice thick cut boneless pork chops. I like mine a minimum of 1 1/4 inch but you can cut yours as thick or thin as you desire. I also like a few slightly less than 1/2 inch as these make great chops for sandwiches. Picture below shows me cutting the center rib into some nice thick chops.
So out of the rib half of this boneless pork loin we now have some nice boneless pork chops and some nice country style ribs.
Now lets start to cut the loin half. As you see in our next picture the loin half consists of the center loin and the sirloin end.
Now we can treat this center loin section the same as the center rib section. We can leave it as one piece for a roast or even cut in half to make two nice smaller roasts or cut it into chops just like we did with the center rib section. I don't think you need anymore pictures concerning this.
So, let's move to the sirloin end and take a look at what we can do with it. It will make some very nice boneless pork sirloin chops. You can cook these the same as boneless center rib or loin chops. Because of their location on the animal they will not be as tender as the chops but they will still be very delicious. They usually have less marbling than the center chops so they may not be as moist. You can also leave this as a nice boneless roast and cook accordingly or you can cut it into the chops. Note the pictures below as we cut the sirloin end into chops.
As I was looking at these chops, I noticed that the first two that I cut were nicer than the last three. The main difference you will see is the fact that the three chops had more connective tissue located within the meat. This connective tissue (gristle) is a little difficult to chew if not cooked properly. So I thought I would separate these three chops.
Knowing that if cooked with a little moisture this connective tissue would become more tender. So I proceeded to cut these three chops up into bite size chunks and will use these for a delicious pork stew.
The picture below shows all the cuts we made today. Remember we noted when we first started that there are many different ways to cut your pork loin. An example would be that we did not make any roasts this time. Maybe next time. Be sure to package the way you want and refrigerate or freeze as soon as you can.
Country Style Ribs / Center Cut Pork Chops / Sirloin Chops / Pork Stew