How to Cook Delicious Pork Chine for Maximum Flavor

Pork chine is an underutilized cut of meat from the pork shoulder that sits along the backbone. It contains incredibly tender and succulent meat when cooked properly.

Chine is not commonly found in grocery stores, but a good butcher should be able to get it for you. I highly recommend seeking out this flavorful cut of pork to enjoy its deliciousness.

Cooking pork chine does require some special handling compared to typical pork chops or roasts. Through trial and error I’ve discovered the ideal methods for preparing chine to highlight its natural richness and make the meat so tender it practically melts in your mouth.

Follow my tips below to turn inexpensive pork chine into a mouthwatering centerpiece meal that will have your guests begging for more This underrated cut delivers serious bang for your buck!

What is Pork Chine?

Pork chine is a roughly square cut of meat from the top of the shoulder, just below the loin. It sits on either side of the backbone and contains a mix of dark and light meat.

One side will be covered with a hearty fat cap. The other side reveals the spine bone that runs through the middle of the chine. It usually weighs 2-3 pounds.

The fat marbling and bone add plenty of moisture and flavor. While many braise or stuff pork chine, roasting it uncovered is my favorite way to savor its luxe texture.

Choosing the Right Chine

Not all pork chine is created equal. Here’s what to look for:

  • Thickness – 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches provides the best ratio of dark and light meat.

  • Fat cap – Pick chine with an even 1⁄4 inch layer of fat, avoid very thick or thin.

  • Weight – Target 2 to 2 1⁄2 pounds which offers multiple servings.

  • Appearance – Select chine that looks moist with a fresh pink/red color.

Pass on chine with dry, dull meat or thick, yellow fat which indicates an older pig. Paying attention ensures the best eating experience.

Prepare the Meat for Seasoning

Before seasoning your pork chine, it helps to trim excess fat and perform some shallow slits:

  • Trim fat cap – Leave just 1⁄4 inch, trim off any over 1⁄2 inch thick.
  • Score fat – Use a sharp knife to cut shallow slits in a crosshatch pattern.
  • Slit for stuffing (optional) – Make 5 perpendicular slashes across meat not reaching bone.

Scoring allows seasonings to penetrate better and juices to escape while cooking. It also provides space to stuff aromatics if desired.

Seasoning is Crucial

Pork chine benefits tremendously from a flavorful dry rub or marinade before cooking. Here are my go-to combos:

  • Basic – Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
  • Cajun – Smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, oregano
  • Italian – Rosemary, fennel, crushed pepper flakes
  • Sweet and savory – Brown sugar, cumin, coriander, cinnamon

Make sure to pat chine very dry before applying any wet marinade or rub. Use your hands to evenly coat all surfaces with the seasoning for maximum coverage.

Let marinated chine refrigerate for 4-12 hours to allow the flavors to deeply penetrate. Dry rubbed chine only needs 20-30 minutes sitting before cooking.

Roasting Uncovered for Crispy Perfection

In my experience, roasting uncovered at a high temp delivers the best results for pork chine. Basting is not necessary thanks to the fat cap.

Follow these tips for perfectly roasted chine:

  • Preheat oven – Crank oven to 400°F to quickly brown and crisp the exterior.

  • ** Roast fat side up** – This allows the rendering fat to baste the meat and get crispy crackling.

  • Use a rack – Elevate chine on a broiler pan or rack over a baking sheet to aid air flow.

  • **Cook to temp **- Roast until it reaches 145°F internally, then rest 10 minutes.

  • Check often – Rotate chine and use a meat thermometer to monitor doneness.

Roasting at a high temp delivers crispy, flavorful exterior while keeping the inside tender and juicy. Pork chine excels with this cooking method.

Estimating Cook Times

Pork chine roast times vary greatly depending on thickness. Ideally target 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches thick which takes about 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours at 400°F.

Here are estimated roasting durations:

  • 1⁄2 inch thick – 45 minutes
  • 3⁄4 inch thick – 1 hour
  • 1 inch thick – 1 hour 15 minutes
  • 1 1⁄2 inches thick – 1 hour 45 minutes

The only way to guarantee doneness is checking temperature, not relying on time. I remove chine right at 145° even if earlier than expected time.

Allow Proper Resting

Never skip letting roasted pork chine rest before slicing or you’ll lose all those delicious juices! The meat needs time to reabsorb the moisture.

After removing chine from the oven, tent it very loosely with foil and allow to rest for a minimum of 10 minutes, up to 20 minutes.

Once rested, the meat should look slightly less pink and pool fewer juices when you cut into it.

Carving and Serving

When ready to serve, carefully cut down along the backbone to portion the chine into manageable slices. Aim for 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch thick pieces.

Fork-tender pork chine makes wonderful sandwiches or can be served with sides like:

  • Mashed potatoes or roasted veggies to soak up meat juices
  • Slaw or spinach salad to balance the richness
  • Sauteed apples or stone fruit chutney provide a sweet contrast

The possibilities are endless for how to serve your succulent roasted pork chine!

Troubleshooting Pork Chine

Dry, tough meat – Cook to higher 145°F temp, brine chine before roasting.

Not browned – Pat very dry before roasting, place meat closer to broiler.

Underdone – Roast at 400°F next time, check temp sooner.

Overcooked – Roast at 350°F and use meat thermometer to monitor.

Tips for Maximum Flavor

Follow these tips when cooking pork chine for the very best results:

  • Bring chine to room temp before roasting for even cooking.
  • Season generously with spices, herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Choose chine that is 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches thick.
  • Roast uncovered at 400°F on a rack to crisp the exterior.
  • Check temperature early and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy Restaurant Quality Pork Chine at Home

Pork chine has a deeply satisfying flavor and luscious tenderness that rivals premium cuts like pork chops or rib roasts. With minimal effort, you can achieve amazing roast pork using this budget-friendly underdog cut.

Take the time to source quality thick chine, then season boldly and roast uncovered on high heat. Checking temperature precisely guarantees you end up with the juiciest, most delectable home-cooked pork your family has ever tasted. I hope you’ll give chine a try and discover this new favorite!

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What is pork chine?

The neck chine, a cut of a pig taken from between the shoulder blades, is preserved in brine. The meat is then deeply scored and much chopped parsley and other ingredients are stuffed into the cuts.

How long do you cook pork tenderloin in the oven at 350 degrees?

A good rule of thumb is to cook pork loin 25 minutes per pound at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C), so use a thermometer to know when it’s done. You’ll want to let your pork loin rest at least three minutes before serving.

How to chine a loin of pork?

Ask your butcher to either “crack the chine bone” between each rib or saw off part of the backbone (chine bone and backbone are the same thing). This makes it easier to cut the loin into portions after cooking. The result was the 7.53 pound bone-in roast you see here.

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