Today was pork day! We started by boning some centercut pork loins. My teaching assistant Savannah explained the basic cutting to the class and we tied part of the boneless loin with a standard slip knot and the other section using a continuous knot. Jason, the meatroom manager, took my Honda Civic and picked up a half hog from a local distributor...don't ask!
The local pork was very nice but was lacking a thick fat back. It did have good marbling and I found it unique that it had the marbling without a heavy fat. It made me wonder which cross breed was used. It was a white pig and weighed about 210 lbs. It was fed a primarily grain diet and cut like a typical market style hog.
Many of our chefs need fat back for barding or using in recipes but these new breeds that are leaner present very little outerfat. Most of the commercial swine herds are now much leaner but the fact that I am often seeing some decent marbling. Like some beef crossbreeds, the pork producers have the genetic resources to create leaner exterior fat but now grow them with marbling as well. I'll do some research to find out what specific breed was used.
On another note I think we will start a classic Jambon de Paris, which is a classic boiled ham with the skin on. Many chefs are trying to create dry cured hams which require the right humidity, temps etc. but this is a wet cured ham and will be relatively easy to do. I think a simpler ham is a good starting point for those just getting into curing their own products.
I'll post a photo and recipe if it comes out ok.