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Mar 8, 2008 02:11 PM

Pork "dark meat" - what cut??

So, you know in a pork loin roast there's two parts: 1/ the big lump that is "white meat" with no fat and 2/ "dark meat" that is the smaller lump and the little nub attached to the white meat. The dark meat usually has a couple streaks of fat in it.

Can you buy a cut of JUST that dark meat bit? does it have a name? are there other bits with a similiar dark meat/fatty texture?

anyone else have a clue what I am talking about?

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  1. I believe that's just the tenderloin, isn't it?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Dmnkly

      is it? the tenderloin always seems to be 'white meat' like to me but obviously I'm kinda clueless

      1. re: orangewasabi

        I'm sometimes a little fuzzy on how the pieces of the puzzle all fit together (I'd really like to watch the whole beast being broken down into the individual cuts sometime), but I'm 98% sure that's the tenderloin. If you cut that pork loin roast into chops, you have yourself pork T-bones, don't you? In which case, yeah, on one side you have the loin and on the other side you have the tenderloin. And when it comes to large-scale commercial pork, the tenderloin usually has a nice red color as opposed to the practically white loin. Not that the tenderloin is a terribly flavorful cut.

        In any case, if you're into darker pork (right on!), you might want to try avoiding the supermarket and hunting down some heritage pigs. I think you'll find the whole critter then has that intensity of flavor you're looking for.

        1. re: Dmnkly

          Pork T-bone..????? That would be a center cut (bone-in) pork chop.

          1. re: Uncle Bob

            Yes, that wasn't clear... I meant the pork equivalent of a T-bone :-) I was trying to illustrate that it's the same basic structure -- T-shaped bone with the loin on one side and the tenderloin on the other.

            1. re: Dmnkly

              Yeah, I really need to see a whole animal broken down too, but I did totally get your pork t-bone picture and yeah, that totally makes sense -- maybe that's why the loin roast falls into those two parts, the separation is where the bone was? I am having a hard time processing that the dark bit is tenderloin though, just because pork tenderloin is so blah and that dark bit is more flavouful, moist and fatty Yay! The logic makes sense though.

              Heritage pigs . . . here I come.

        2. re: orangewasabi

          To me the loin is the really lean white one, and the skinny tenderloin is the "dark" meat.

      2. I also favor the "dark meat". One of the best ways to get it is with country style ribs.

        In fact country ribs w/ sauerkraut and potatoes slow cooked in the crockpot is tomorrows dinner.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hank1

          is country style a cut? what makes country style vs your regular pork or babyback ribs?

        2. Maybe check out a Boston Butt...Pork shoulder....If I am following you it sounds as if your pork loin roast came from the blade (front of hog) end of the loin where it connects to the shoulder...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Uncle Bob

            boneless roast, you got it right.

            I'll check out the boston butt, thanks. i gotta find some more of this fatty stuff.

          2. Are you talking about a bone-in roast or a "bonless" roast.?? Sorry if I assumed boneless. If you are talkling about bone in...then the larger portion is loin, the smaller portion the tender loin...Your local grocery carries pork tenderloins. Look for thiem or just ask

            1. I know exactly what you're talking about. I buy a large pork loin at Costco and I get that dark and white meat just like you do. The dark is definitely better but I've never seen it sold by itself. I'm guessing that the dark part is much worse for us, but don't know for sure.