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NEWS: New Pork Cut & Beef Cut Names

Bone-in loin chops will now be called
porterhouse. Photo courtesy National Pork


If you’ve ever wondered why a cut of meat called pork butt is actually the shoulder of the pig, the National Pork Board has decided to help you out—sort of—by changing the name. The cut will be renamed Boston roast.

Why not simply call it pork shoulder? The answer, dear reader, is marketing. Which sounds better in the meat case and on a restaurant menu: Boston roast or pork shoulder? And while there’s nothing wrong with the familiar bone-in loin chops, doesn’t porterhouse sound better?

If it sounds better you can sell more, and at higher prices, too. The renamed Chilean sea bass was originally called the Patagonaian toothfish and orange roughy was the slimehead. How appetizing are those?

The National Pork Board, the industry trade organization, has announced a new set of names for some favorite cuts of pork. The new names are phasing in at retailers nationwide and should be in full force this summer.

The new names were chosen to reflect the names of cuts of meat that shoppers are already familiar with, in the beef case and on restaurant menus—and have built-in appeal (as with porterhouse and rib-eye pork cuts). Home cooks will hopefully have an easier time selecting and preparing pork.

The new pork names to look for:

  • Boston roast (previous name: pork butt)
  • Pork porterhouse chop (previous name: loin chop)
  • Pork rib-eye chop (previous name: rib chop)
  • Pork rib-eye chop, bone-in (previous name: rib chop center)
  • Pork New York chop (previous name: top loin chop)
    Some beef cuts will have new names as well. Examples:

  • Denver steak (previous name: under blade boneless steak)
  • Flatiron steak (previous name: boneless shoulder top blade steak)
  • Coulette (previous name: top sirloin), the French term for the cut
    We don’t get coulette at all; it’s far more oblique than top sirloin. As with any committee project, some of the recommendations work, and some are no better than the original that has been replaced.

    But don’t worry about mass confusion in the meat case: Package labels will feature the old and new names.

    The new system, which standardizes common red meat cuts, was advocated by the National Pork Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The two associationa collaborated to conduct in-depth research over an 18-month period, to develop solutions to help today’s shopper find specific cuts of fresh meat easily.


    Called the Uniform Retail Meat Identification Standards (URMIS), it aims to simplify meat cuts by adopting descriptions of cuts people are already familiar on restaurant menus, which come up with better names to sell the products.

  • Few people would buy a “diaphragm cut,” but bistro steak or hanger steak sounds interesting (the cut is also called butcher’s tenderloin).
  • Bavette sounds better than flap steak.
  • Sirloin steak sounds tastier than butt steak.
  • London broil has more appeal than flank steak.
    Here are two pork recipes that incorporate the new names:


    Grilled rib chops with spicy barbecue sauce. Photo courtesy National Pork Board.

  • Grilled Pork Porterhouse With Chipotle Cilantro Butter recipe.
  • Grilled Pork Ribeye With Easy Spicy BBQ Sauce and Chive Mashed Potatoes recipe.
    Find more delicious pork recipes at the National Pork Board’s recipe site,


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