The pork brisket is basically the same cut of meat as is found in a beef brisket. The bottom half of the picnic ham and the boned bottom half of the full shoulder of the pig are considered the pork brisket. Created by removing the upper picnic ham from the shoulder of the hog, the pork brisket is what is left of the lower shoulder and the pectoral area of the hog, without the hock. Many butchers will oblige if asked to leave the skin on this cut of meat, which results in a crispy outside on the meat once it is roasted.
The pork cut takes advantage of the flavor-filled fatty areas of the lower hog shoulder once the picnic ham has been removed. The pork brisket can be rolled up with salt, pepper and herbs and tied to create a delicious cut of meat. The fatty, marbled meat breaks down while cooking to result in a juicy piece of meat that goes well with side dishes and also makes a good base for gravy due to all of the fat in the cut of pork.
Pork brisket is a cut of pork that lends itself to barbecuing or to roasting due, in part, to all of the fat present that tends to keep the meat juicy and prevents drying out as it cooks. This cut of pork is also well-suited for the oven as it tends to remain juicy when cooking unlike more lean cuts of pork that can become very dry when finished. Skin left on the pork brisket can be browned into a deliciously crisp wrap that adds even more flavor to the brisket. For the best results, the brisket should be cooked over low to medium heat for a long period to break down the connective tissues within the meat.
Once cooked, the brisket should be allowed to rest for several minutes. This will allow all of the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and will provide additional flavor and moisture in all portions of the pork. Drippings from the roasted brisket can be used to create a flavorful gravy that can be served with the pork and side dishes that are being served. Some recipes include adding a barbecue sauce or a glaze to the brisket as it cooks, however, traditional cooking styles call for cooking the brisket similarly to a ham for best results.