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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Preparing a Pork Loin for Three Kinds Cuts

Larger pieces of meat are available in the grocery stores or through your butcher.  Many don't realize that by buying a larger piece of meat then cutting as desired they can actually save overall because some specialty cuts cost more per pound than the large piece.  For example, peameal bacon consistently costs about $5 per lb, cured and ready to use.  A pork loin, the meat the peameal bacon is made from costs $2.30 per lb or less meaning curing the bacon at home is less than half the price of store bought.  I have shown various ways to cut a pork loin on this blog with our two favourite cuts being chops and roasts but here are a few more comments and the reasoning behind it.

the pork loin
My husband is gearing up for hunt camp so I always cure a chunk of peameal bacon for the guys to enjoy there.  I bought an 11.33 lb pork loin at $2.28/lb at Sam's Club for a total of $25.83.  Now, my philosophy is if I'm going to do something like this I might as well get a few extras out of that large piece of meat.  The goal is always to get as many meals and variety as possible.  I usually start with the end in mind as well because I wanted two pieces of peameal bacon and I showed how cutting the loin chops ourselves would save about 70¢ per lb.  I gathered all of the necessary equipment as pictured.  There is organic granulated sugar in the older canning jar and Morton's Tenderquick in the other.  Not pictured is my large cutting board, knives, measuring spoons.

pork loin cut
I cut the pork loin into three distinct cuts.  A pork loin is cut from the rib section of the pig so there is directionality.  Starting at the wider end (closest to the tail end) I cut straight across to even the meat for cutting pork loin chops.  That piece of meat in front of the scale is a bit smaller than a chop.  There is a bit of the trimmings (whitish) in front of it.  I will use this meat and the trimmings for a hearty soup.  I cut eight 1 - inch thick loin chops.  There are six to the right of the trimmings for hunt camp and two to the left for a meal for ourselves.  If I were doing this loin entirely for ourselves, I would have cut four of the loins chops into 1 - inch cubes to be used later for kabobs.  I cut the remaining piece in almost half.  The smaller end piece was 2½ lb and the larger piece 3½ lb.  The weight is important because that determines the amount of cure needed for the peameal bacon.  If I were doing this pork loin just for ourselves I would have left one of the roasts as is without curing.

Aside of the cured meat the rest of the meat was packaged for freezing.  The meat for curing was prepared in zipper style freezer bags then allowed to cure for five days before rinsing and rolling in cornmeal.  The peameal bacon will keep for about a week after curing or it can be froze for longer storage.  It will be sliced for use at hunt camp and either sliced or baked whole for home use.

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