Anyone who grew up in NYC probably remembers the breaded veal chops that you could order in diners and deli-style restaurants around the city. They were always relatively thick-cut shoulder chops, dredged in crumbs and pan fried. Each chop was cooked through and the meat was tender and rich. Every bite was varied due to all of the different muscles running through the chop. They were one of my favorite menu items and once I entered the world of fine dining they seemed to disappear. Loin chops were always on the menu at high end restaurants.
Pork Shoulder Chop
After we moved back to NYC we re-visited the shoulder chop. Instead of focusing on veal we branched out into lamb, pork, and beef. These were equally rewarding to cook and eat. Controlled temperature cooking methods like slow roasting, sous vide, and the CVAP made it easy to deal with the larger cuts of meat and break down the tough connective tissues into something moist and gelatinous. Shoulder chops are usually less expensive than loin chops, which is interesting, because when treated well they are both more tender and more flavorful.
As always, the potential is in how you look at an ingredient. Alex spent some time early in his career in David Burke's kitchen at the Park Avenue Cafe. It was there that he saw and cooked the now famous swordfish chop. A cut fashioned from the collar (shoulder) of the fish.