What kind of pork should I get?
This Christmas I am departing from our traditional roast beef or goose (economic times are hard folks)- I want pork - beautiful, delicious, juicy succulent pork! What cut of pork should I get to roast? Boneless or boned is fine. Delicious is the only criteria. By the way, all of the pork tenderloins at the supermarket seem to be pre-brined and I have read on Chowhound that that is not a good thing.It needs to be generally supermarket available. There will only be four people eating it but leftovers are desired.
Thanks in advance
re: Karl S
Fresh Ham is definitely one of my favorite roasts....but I could easily say the same for a Boston Butt or Picnic Shoulder. A cut less traditional for the holiday roast is Pork Belly....After watching a recent episode of the F word on BBC I plan on making this very soon.
re: Karl S
I also like fresh ham roast. For Americans, anyway, I suggest that you not even call it ham, though, because the taste will clash with some people's expectations (they expect a cured taste). It's basically a pork roast, and very delicious. Relative to the more usual shoulder roast, it's less full of fat pockets and therefore easier to carve straight away for dinner. You will probably have to special-order it, and you might do best to order a butt or shank portion rather than a whole ham.
Of course, if the crowd has ample fat tolerance, a shoulder/butt roast can be amazing. And they're cheaper.
Tenderloin, which you mention, is very lean and requires a different and more careful approach. Its flavors would come mostly from spicing and sauces, because there is so little fat.
In the US, beef is dearer than pork. By a significant margin. Of the most common roasting flesh meats, I would say they'd typically rank from high to low:
1. Lamb (premium cuts) & Veal (premium cuts)
2. Beef (premium cuts) & artisinal country hams/cured meats
3. Goose (often only available frozen, except around the Jewish High Holidays and Chanukkah/Xmas)
4. Duck (ditto)
5. Rabbit (often only available frozen, except in Italian markets); tougher cuts of lamb & veal.
Then there's often a significant gap to the next level....
6. Pork (premium cuts)
7. Beef (tougher cuts)
8. Pork (tougher cuts)
It has already been said but I would go with a ham. It is a traditional holiday meal. It is festive and looks very nice on the carving board. It is inexpensive, easy to cook and guarantees plenty of leftovers.
A crown roast of pork looks very nice but will cost as much as that goose.
You could go with 2-3 tenderloins. They would taste great and be tender. I don't have any trouble finding tenderloins that are not prebrined at my grocery store so I am not sure what to tell you there.
I think a turkey is fine for Christmas dinner. I would make a spread just like I did at Thanksgiving. Most people only have turkey once a year. Christmas is a month from Thanksgiving...plenty of time so people don't go,"but we just had turkey".