Do you ever wonder why different cuts of meat from the same animal taste much different than others? This isn’t just a coincidence! There are plenty of different factors that go into the taste of a particular meat beyond just what type of animal it comes from. Every animal has a specific cut that’s considered to be the holy grail of meat cuts, and the same can be said for pigs. Pork shanks are some of the most beloved treats besides bacon, but what exactly makes them so popular? We tell you all you need to know about pork shanks below!
Where Do Pork Shanks Come From?
There are plenty of things that make pork shanks special when compared to other cuts of pork, and one of these things is where the meat comes from. It isn’t always the same place on every animal, after all! In the case of the pig, pork shanks come from their front forearms. As you should expect from leg meat, the cut is pretty tough. This toughness is a big part of the reason why it’s so highly valued! However, this isn’t the only factor that leads to the delicious cut of meat that pork shanks are.
A Pig’s Environment
Believe it or not, the environment in which the pig is raised in can play a big role in the flavor you get from the meat. A lot of pigs are raised in barnyard environments, and while these help to get product out quicker, it affects the quality of meat as a result. These pigs don’t have as strong of legs, which means that the flavor is impacted. Pigs that are free-range, however, don’t have this issue. Being able to move around helps make their legs stronger, which makes the flavor much greater than your average cut of pork. There’s a lot more that goes into flavor than meets the eye!
Pork Shanks vs. Ham Hocks
Another popular type of pork cut that often gets confused with pork shanks is ham hocks. They both come from a similar part of the animal in the leg area, but the difference between them is exactly where they come from. Ham hocks come from the area of a pig’s leg near its ankle, so there isn’t as much meat there. Pork shanks, on the other hand, come from the area of the leg closer to a pig’s hips and shoulders.
Pork Shanks At Bricco
Bricco has the best Italian options that you could possibly ask for, and that doesn’t just include pasta! Our Italian-based meat options bring the best of every meat’s flavor, including our pork shanks! All of this is perfectly complemented by our vast selection of wine and cocktails. For the most complete and fulfilling dining experience that the North End has to offer, click here to make a reservation with us!