The Perfect Pasture-Raised Pork Chop


I am so glad you could join us once again as we continue to work through all the possibilities for the different cuts of meat you could expect from you custom bulk order of pork.

Before we move into the details of today’s primal area, the loin I want to talk about a few different methods of cooking meat.  We will be looking at roasting, grilling, pan-searing, braising, sautéing and stir-frying. 

Click to download your free MEAT COOKING ESSENTIALS booklet.  It will help you cook all your pasture-raised meats to perfection.


It is kind of funny that when we are describing something we usually start at the front and work our way back.  But for this series we actually started at the back and are working our way forward.

Last week we started at the hind area of a hog.  Here we found out that this is where we get the hams or ham steaks.  We also spent some time learning how to cook our old-fashioned brine or dry cured ham. 

We now come to the loin area.  As you can see in the drawing above his is the area between the shoulder and back leg.  It consists of the area around the backbone and is just above the side/belly where we find the bacons. It is by far the leanest, most tender part of the animal. 

Both rib and loin chops are taken from here.  Or if you prefer roasts, the meat from this area can be turned into loin and tenderloin roasts.  Just remember that you can’t have both chops and roasts from this area unless you are ordering a whole animal.  If you are ordering a whole animal, we can cut chops from one side, while leaving the other side for roasts.   

When cutting the loin primal area, we recommend cutting rib chops and center-cut chops or center-cut rib roasts and center-cut loin roasts or tenderloin roast.  


Pork Roast

Pork Roast

The rib chops tend to have a relatively higher fat content than center-cut loin chops.  This makes them more flavorful and not as likely to dry out during cooking.  The best way to cook these cuts is by grilling, pan-searing or braising.

Center-cut rib roast is the pork equivalent to prime rib or rack of lamb.  The best cooking methods are either roasting or grill roasting. 


 Center-cut chops are much leaner than the rib chops.  The benefit of this is that they cook much quicker, but you also face the challenge of keeping them moist.  They are good flavor, but contain far less fat.  To cook these, it is best to pan-sear or grill them.

The center-cut loin roast is juicy and tender when roasted or grill roasted.  The tenderloin is a lean, delicate, boneless roast or thick steak that cooks very quickly.  It does not contain much fat at all.  Because of this it should never be overcooked. 


Pork Tenderloin Medallions

Pork Tenderloin Medallions

Have you ever noticed when you have a bone-in center-cut pork chop there is a small piece of meat on one side of the bone and a larger one on the other side.  The smaller piece is the tenderloin. On our drawing it would be found at the top of the loin area, but inside the body cavity. 

The tenderloin is a lean, delicate, boneless roast that cooks very quickly.  It does not contain much fat at all.  There is very little marbling on a tenderloin.  Because of this it should never be overcooked.  Overcooking this piece of meat will ruin its delicate texture.  It is best cooked by roasting, pan-searing or stir-frying. 

4 Fabulous Pastured Pork Recipes

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Do you need to get supper on the table quickly?  Here is a perfect pan-seared pork chop recipe that turns out juicy and tender every time.

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Perfect Pan-seared Pastured Pork Chops
Do you need to get supper on the table quickly? Here is a perfect pan-seared pork chop recipe that turns out juicy and tender every time.
  • 2 Pastured Pork RIb Chops
  • 3 Fresh Garlic, 1 chopped & 2 peeled, but left whole
  • 2 tsps Thyme, dried
  • 2 tsps Black Pepper, ground
  • 1 Tbsp Sea Salt
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, Lard or a mix of each
  • 1 cup Bone Broth
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Cream
Combine the garlic, thyme, black pepper and salt into the melted butter or lard.Put the whole cloves and bone broth into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until garlic is soft and bone broth is reduced by half (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat.Meanwhile, pat chops dry. Heat skillet. Add remaining butter or lard to pan. Add pastured chops; sear 2 - 3 minutes or until browned. Turn and brown other side. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook until chops reach an internal temperatures of 160F. Transfer to platter and allow meat to rest, covered while you prepare the pan sauce.Using a fork, mash the softened garlic into the reduced bone broth. Return skillet to heat. Pour in the garlic reduction and bring to a simmer, gently scraping up the browed bits from the pan. Simmer until the liquid is reduce by one third. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, simmering one more minute. Now whisk in the mustard and cream. Pour over chops and serve.

Next week we will delve into the side/belly primal area.