What Is Pork Tomahawk? (According To Experts)

Are you tired of the same old pork chops? Looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy this classic meat?

Look no further than the pork tomahawk! This gourmet version of a regular pork chop is sure to impress with its thick, juicy, and flavorful cut.

With a bone still attached that resembles a handle, the tomahawk pork chop is not only delicious but also visually stunning.

In this article, we’ll explore what exactly makes a pork tomahawk so special and how to cook it to perfection.

So grab your apron and get ready to elevate your pork chop game!

What Is Pork Tomahawk?

A pork tomahawk is a bone-in pork chop that is cut from the ribs of the animal, also known as a bone-in ribeye. What sets it apart from a regular pork chop is the long exposed bone that resembles a handle, giving it its unique tomahawk shape.

This cut of meat is known for its tenderness and flavor, making it a popular choice among food enthusiasts and chefs alike. It’s also a specialty cut, so not every butcher will carry it. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they have it available or can cut it for you.

The History And Origin Of Pork Tomahawk

The history and origin of the pork tomahawk can be traced back to the early 2000s, when it was first introduced as a new cut of meat. However, the idea of a bone-in pork chop is not a new one. In fact, bone-in pork chops have been around for centuries, with various cuts and preparations being popular in different regions around the world.

The tomahawk shape of the pork chop is a relatively recent innovation, and is said to have been inspired by the bone-in ribeye steak. The long exposed bone gives the chop a unique look and makes it stand out on the plate. The name “tomahawk” is also fitting, as it resembles a Native American tomahawk with a long handle.

While the pork tomahawk may be a newer cut of meat, it has quickly gained popularity among food enthusiasts and chefs alike due to its tenderness and flavor. It’s also a versatile cut that can be prepared in a variety of ways, from grilling to pan-searing.

How To Choose The Best Pork Tomahawk

When choosing the best pork tomahawk, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, look for quality meat. Ideally, you want to choose pork that is all-natural, without any added hormones or antibiotics. This will ensure that the meat is flavorful and tender.

You should also consider the size of the chop. The weight of a pork tomahawk can vary, but it’s typically around 1-2 pounds per chop. If you’re feeding a larger group, you may want to opt for a larger chop or multiple smaller chops.

Another factor to consider is the amount of backfat on the chop. Backfat is the layer of fat on the outside of the meat that helps keep it moist and flavorful during cooking. Look for chops with a good amount of backfat, but not too much as it can be overwhelming.

Finally, consider the source of the pork. Ideally, you want to choose pork from a reputable farm or supplier that raises their animals ethically and sustainably. This will ensure that you’re getting high-quality meat that is good for both you and the environment.

When all these factors are considered, you can be sure that you’ve chosen the best pork tomahawk for your next meal.

Preparing And Cooking Pork Tomahawk

Preparing and cooking a pork tomahawk requires some attention to detail to achieve the best results. There are different ways to prepare and cook this cut of meat, but here are some popular methods:

1. Seasoning and Marinating: Before cooking, it’s recommended to season the pork tomahawk generously with your favorite seasoning mix. Rub the seasoning into both sides of the meat, working it into the meat so that the flavors can permeate throughout the roast. After seasoning, double wrap the pork in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24-48 hours to allow the seasonings to work their magic. You can also marinate the pork in your favorite marinade for added flavor.

2. Baking in the Oven: To bake the pork tomahawk in the oven, preheat it to 450 degrees F. Unwrap the pork and place it in a baking dish with onion, carrots, garlic, and celery with a cup of water before adding pork. Roast the pork at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F for 1.5 to 2 hours depending upon the weight of the roast and your desired temperature. Roast the pork to an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees F using a probe thermometer so that it doesn’t overcook. If you like a crispy brown exterior on the pork, turn up the heat to broil for 10-15 minutes or until you’ve achieved your desired results.

3. Grilling: To grill a pork tomahawk, prepare a grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire. While the grill heats up, season both sides of the pork with your favorite seasoning mix and set aside for 30 minutes or refrigerate uncovered up to 24 hours in advance. When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, heat a cast iron skillet over direct heat for 5 minutes. When hot, add oil and swirl to coat. Place chops in skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes until they’re deeply browned (rotate skillet as needed for even heating) before flipping. When second side is golden brown (about 4-5 more minutes), pour glaze over chops, and then carefully tilt skillet and use a spoon to coat meat. Remove skillet from heat after a couple of minutes when internal temperature of pork is 145°F and glaze is bubbly.

4. Air Frying: Another way to cook pork tomahawk is in an air fryer. However, if the bone on the chop is long, it won’t fit in the air fryer. You can ask your butcher to cut off the long bone so that it can be cooked this way. Cook them for 10 minutes – 5 on each side – at 375 degrees F. In the last few minutes, check them with a meat thermometer to make sure internal temp reaches 135-140 degrees F.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to let the pork rest for a few minutes before slicing so that juices can be reabsorbed into fibers of meat. Use drippings in baking dish as a natural au jus or make your own sauce or gravy to serve alongside your deliciously cooked pork tomahawk.

Flavorful Seasoning And Sauce Pairings For Pork Tomahawk

When it comes to seasoning and sauce pairings for pork tomahawk, the options are endless. Here are a few ideas to elevate your pork game:

1. Honey Garlic BBQ Rub: This fragrant and savory blend is perfect for showcasing two of barbecue’s most beloved flavors – honey and garlic. Add black pepper, paprika, and thyme to the mix, and you’ve got a winning combination.

2. Herb Compound Butter: A simple seasoning of kosher salt and pepper is a great way to prepare the pork, but why stop there? Finish it off with a dollop of herb compound butter to add a finishing touch of flavor.

3. Coffee Rub: For a sweet and robust flavor, try rubbing your pork tomahawk with a coffee rub. Pan sear it in butter and fresh herbs for a great meal in under 35 minutes.

4. Honey and Soy Glaze: This glaze amplifies the savoriness of the dish and caramelizes as it cooks to become ultra delicious. Simply season the chops with salt and pepper, brush on the glaze, and bake or grill to perfection.

5. Caramelized Onion Sauce: For a rich and savory sauce, try caramelizing onions in butter until they’re soft and sweet. Add some chicken broth, Dijon mustard, and thyme, then simmer until the sauce is thickened. Drizzle over your cooked pork tomahawk for a burst of flavor.

No matter which seasoning or sauce pairing you choose, be sure to let the natural flavor of the pork tomahawk shine through. With its juicy tenderness and unique shape, this cut of meat is sure to impress at your next dinner party or family gathering.

Serving And Presentation Tips For Pork Tomahawk

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a pork tomahawk, you’ll want to make sure you serve and present it in a way that does justice to its unique shape and flavor. Here are some tips for serving and presenting pork tomahawk:

1. Let it rest: Before serving, it’s important to let the pork tomahawk rest for 10-12 minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful chop.

2. Cut and arrange: Once the pork has rested, carefully cut the meat off the bone and slice it into pieces. Arrange the slices back around the bone on a serving platter for an impressive presentation.

3. Drizzle with pan butter: To add even more flavor, drizzle a little bit of the herb pan butter on top of the sliced pork. This will give it a rich and savory taste that complements the natural flavors of the meat.

4. Garnish with herbs: For an extra touch of elegance, garnish the platter with fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme. This will not only add color to your dish but also enhance its aroma.

5. Pair with sides: Pork tomahawk is a hearty dish that pairs well with a variety of sides such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a simple green salad. Choose sides that complement the flavors of the pork without overpowering them.

By following these tips, you can create an impressive and delicious meal that will leave your guests in awe. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or just want to indulge in a gourmet meal, pork tomahawk is sure to satisfy your taste buds.