Pork Leg   -   [Fresh Ham]
Pork Leg The back leg of a pig, this cut is the lower part of the ham section but is not the whole section. There'a a lot of meat between this cut and the aft end of the loin but it has relatively complex bones so is usually boned and sold as "boneless leg".

The largest use for this cut is production of cured hams. Fresh hams are rare in major supermarkets due to size, but can be found in various ethnic markets. The photo specimen was obtained from a market serving communities from the Black Sea area, Mexico and Central America.

The photo specimen was 11-1/2 inches across the face, 7 inches high, 10-1/2 inches long and weighed 13-1/2 pounds. Of this 7-1/2 pounds were clear recoverable meat. It was cut across to "short shank" length but the end piece was left attached by skin on one side. The photo shows the full length. This is a very big cut, but fortunately my local market also sells 1-1/2 inch thick slabs cut from the leg.

More on Cuts of Pork.



Yield:   How you use one of these is between you and your recipe, but I surgically dismantled the photo specimen for analysis (and because that's what I usually do with these things), a process that takes about 2-1/2 hours. Complete breakdown:


Starting Weight
Meat, clear fat free
Meat, hock for stewing
    Total Meat
Bits & pieces for stock
Bones for stock
Fat to render into lard
    Lard
Skin, well scraped
13-1/2 #
6-1/2 #
1 #
7-1/2 #
1 #
1-1/3 #
2-5/8 #
1-3/8 #
7/8 #
100%
48%
7%
56%
7%
10%
19%
10%
6%
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