The lean part of pork should be pale pink, moist and slightly marbled with fat. There should be a good outer layer of firm, white fat, with a thin, elastic skin. If the joint is to be roasted, get the butcher to score the rind.
Pork must be thoroughly cooked. Underdone pork can be dangerous. All joints of pork are suitable for roasting; leg and fore end of loin are usually boned stuffed and rolled beforehand.
To obtain good crackling on a pork roast the skin must be deeply scored and penetrate the skin. Rub the skin with vegetable oil and coarse salt, as this will produce crisp crackling. Once cooked, remove the crackling to make carving easier.
Suitable joints for boiling include salted leg, salted belly and salted hand, all of which are bought already salted.
Grilling and Frying
Chops of all types can be grilled or fried. If a chop has a thick strip of fat around the edge, cut the fat with scissors 3/4 – 1 inches apart to avoid it curling whilst cooking.
Bacon, Gammon and Ham
Bacon and gammon should be soaked in cold water overnight to remove excess salt, they can then be boiled. Suitable joints are gammon cut, collar and ribs, back and forehock, all of which should be cooked on a slow simmer at 20 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes in a large covered pan.
To roast a bacon joint, simmer for half the cooking time then wrap in foil and cook in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F (170 degrees C) gas mark 4. Half an hour before cooking is complete, remove foil and peel off the skin. Score the fat into a diamond shape, brush with honey or brown sugar to glaze and roast at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) gas mark 7 for the final 30 minutes.