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Pork Loin in Soup

How long does it take for pork loin to become fork tender in a soup or stew? I know that shoulder is the go to cut for such a purpose. However I find that purchasing a half shoulder is typically overkill for my purpose.

asked by NealB over 4 years ago
4 answers 7098 views
A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 4 years ago

The problem with that idea is there's very little connective tissue in loin meat. No connective tissue = no collagen = no gelatin. It's contrary to the whole concept of braising / stewing. Plus there's relatively little fat and fat = flavor.

Your grocer will gladly sell you smaller cuts from the same part of the pig. Look for blade steaks or ask the guy behind the counter for assistance. Smaller cuts will come at a price however. The economical approach is to think of all the other ways to use a pork butt and make good use of your freezer (and your grinder if you have one).

A7132580 ab6d 4637 9b1a ed4f3f514400  scplogoblog
added over 4 years ago

I would stuff my freezer with nothing but pork butt! However, shoulder steak is a cut from the same part and is very inexpensive, it's a great sub.

31cf169d f83a 458c 9946 a9a0311207c3  cumberland pass atv trip july 20 2013 019
added over 4 years ago

I have used leftover cooked pork tenderloin, shredded, in soups and stews. Added it to the other ingredients about 15 minutes before I expected the dish to be done and it was just fine.

Bac35f8c 0352 46fe 95e3 57de4b652617  p1291120
added over 4 years ago

Pork tenderloin (hence the "tender" in tenderloin) is lovely and tender all by itself when quickly cooked (oven or stove), so as Chef Ono indicates, it isn't a tough cut that requires braising or other lengthy, slow, cooking to become tender. Left over could easily be added (shredded or cubed) to a soup or similar preparation.

Because the tenderloin is a naturally tender cut (whether pork or beef or any other animal), it also tends to be an expensive cut that can stand on its own very nicely (or with a nice sauce over it). Other, tougher and less expensive cuts can serve very well in a soup or stew or any other long, slow, cooking preparation.

Having said all that, if pork tenderloin is what you have and what you want to use, I would treat it the same as a boneless chicken breast both for size of cuts (I'd probably cube it) and length of cooking. It will cook remarkably quickly, and like a boneless chicken breast it won't have alot of flavor to add to the soup -- rather, prolonged cooking could suck the flavor out of the meat leaving you only with the texture to chew on. A half inch cube would probably be cooked in 5 to 10 minutes -- and you can always pull one out and cut it if you want to double check.

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