© Denzil Green
The Loin of Pork is a primal cut area.
It is the area of the pig that starts right after the pork shoulder. In this area, working backwards, is some of the blade section at the front (aka the “blade loin”), the rib section, the actual loin itself in the middle (aka “centre loin”, in which is found the tenderloin) and at the end, the sirloin. All in all, it constitutes about 1/5th the weight of the carcass.
Cuts from this area are not usually smoked or cured, except for when making back bacon.
The actual loin area itself — the centre loin — is tender, with not much fat.
The most popular cut from this area is the pork chop, which can be cut from anywhere in it. Some of choicest ones are from the actual loin itself after the front blade and back sirloin sections are removed; these are called “centre cut” pork chops, referring to this area being in the middle after the front and back are removed. The pork chops, depending on how exactly they were cut, can be bone-in or boneless.
The top-grade chop, though, is actually called just “loin chop.” It will contain some of the tenderloin. Roasts are also cut from this centre-loin area.
Chops from the Blade end of the loin will be called Blade Chops, or sometimes Rib End Chops.
From the sirloin portion is cut a Sirloin Roast, or Sirloin Chops.
Don’t over cook cuts from the loin. Meat from this area doesn’t have enough fat or cartilage to stand up to prolonged cooking. Meat from this area will go from moist to dry in the blink of an eye, if you’re not watching it.
Cook a Pork Loin roast at 350 F / 180 C / Gas mark 4 to 5.
For medium well-done, cook the roast 30 minutes per pound (450g) plus 30 minutes “for the pot”;
For well-done, cook the roast 35 minutes per pound (450g) plus 35 minutes “for the pot.”
The roast is done when the internal temperature hits 160 F / 71 C.