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Aug 31, 2007 07:45 PM

Pork, Glorious Pork

A couple of things, fellow chowhounds. Where in Boston/NE can I get pork with skin on (not just belly or shoulder) that delivers a lovely brown, crispy crackling when roasted?

And, while we're on the topic, can anyone tell me why the British Isles tradition of pork roast with skin (crackling) didn't make it across the pond?

Truth to tell, with most pork so lean these days, I tend towards the shoulder, which roasts up lovely and crispy and fall apart tender if done right. Much more flavorful than the more expensive roast.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Call John Dewar, in Newton, and they'll prep it for you any way you'd like.

    1. i recently made an amazing pork shoulder with skin on. skin crackled great. the recipe was from this month's issue of gourmet. the pork was from savenor's. as we debated on here, i paid a dollar more per pound than i would have at a supermarket but the meat was so good it was totally worth it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cambridgeMike

        Like at Savenor's, you'll pay top-dollar at Dewar, but also will get top quality. Sometimes I have a hard time justifying paying close to $40 for a rack of lamb at Dewar, versus $14 at Costco, but their meat is oh so good.

        1. re: cambridgeMike

          sorry, slightly o/t, but was the recipe for the garlic roasted pork shoulder?

          1. re: Scruffy The Cat

            yeah, it was the garlic roasted pork shoulder. came out great.

        2. I assume you mean fresh ham, or leg of pork. It's *very* difficult to get in the Boston area except at Christmas. Beats me why. It's always available in markets where my parents live on Long Island. The lack of it in Boston is one of the more curious food oddities of this locale. I attribute it to the relatively low representation (compared to most northern American metropolitan areas) of Central European gentiles in this area.

          It should be a standard item available in most markets. If more Bostonians knew what they were missing in the form of the fresh ham, they'd demand it. But the lack perpetuates the lack of demand.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Karl S

            You can get pork butt at Market Basket and it's very reasonable. Also, I've heard McKinnons in Davis Square will get you just about anything.

            1. re: 4chowpups

              Pork butt is shoulder, not the rear leg. A Boston butt is a shoulder cut. Roasts from the leg (ham - whether uncured (fresh) or cured) are quite different.

          2. Super 88 carries fresh skin-on picnic legs at all times. Price I saw yesterday at the Packards Corner store was, I believe, $2.99 per pound.

            2 Replies
            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              But that cut is not a fresh ham - the rear leg.

              1. re: Karl S

                I never said it was. The OP was asking about pork roasts with skin on, not specifically for fresh hams.

            2. I hate to post off-topic, but if you are a pork fan, you must try the hams from Vermont Smoke & Cure. I use their ham, bacon and italian sausage regularly. I actually had their ham as a roast for lunch today. More info at: