The loin is one of the leaner cuts on a pig which often leaves it lacking flavor. Not so with these. We’ve got a supply of loins from heritage breed hogs that will knock your socks off. The pork comes from hogs that are raised impeccably. The pigs are not confined, have access to the outdoors, and never receive antibiotics or hormones.
Red Wattles are an old breed of pig that was raised for flavor, not fashion. A century or two ago you’d have found Red Wattle pork on tables in New Orleans where they were a popular pig, sporting meat that could pair well with the region’s full-flavored cooking. The flavor is rich, herbaceous, even a little sweet. It packs more flavor than I’ve ever had in a pork rib. The crowning glory of Red Wattle pork, however, is its fat. It marbles the meat and wraps the chop in a soft, opaque band. When cooked it melts within the meat and softens its edge to a luscious, lip-smacking bite. This is melt-in-your mouth fat, the kind of succulent experience you expect in great steaks and some cured meats. It’s never a sensation I’d experienced in a pork loin until I met this one. It comes as a bone-in five-rib rack (illustrated), which can be cooked whole or separated to grill each piece.
Berkshire is the heritage breed of pork you'll see most often on restaurant menus. Now it's available for home cooks, too. Berkshire pork has a classic pork flavor turned up about six notches. It's got a juicy mouthfeel thanks to a healthy amount of intramuscular fat. It comes as a boneless loin ready to roast in a coat of cracked fennel seeds or stuffed with branches of fresh rosemary.
Loins ship frozen. They may thaw and be cold, not hard, when they arrive.