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Solera's grilled pork collar with mashed sweet potatoes is one of many tempting Mile High iterations of the cut. Photograph by Sarah Boyum

Trendspotting: Pork Collar

This tasty cut of pork is popping up on menus all over town—but just what to call it is up for debate.

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Is pork neck (aka collar) poised to become the next pork belly? Perhaps: This well-marbled, affordable cut from pigs’ upper shoulders is venturing off charcuterie boards—where it’s long been showcased as coppa—and onto restaurant plates in Denver and beyond. Beast & Bottle’s executive chef and co-owner, Paul C. Reilly, uses the cut to make head cheese and serves it as a rotating entrée. Goose Sorensen, who has had grilled pork collar on Solera’s menu for more than two years, brought it to Thunderbird Imperial Lounge’s lineup in the form of kebabs. And Elise Wiggins plans to use the flavorful meat to add richness to the ragu at her forthcoming Stapleton restaurant, Cattivella.

But selling pork “neck” to sometimes-squeamish customers has created a naming dilemma that may keep this cut from achieving the ubiquity of belly, its fatty cousin. “Collar is by far easier to sell [than neck], and it’s actually what our supplier calls it,” says Troy Guard, who serves the cut at Mister Tuna. Reilly uses a variety of labels, including collar, coppa steak, and shoulder medallions. And Alex Seidel, chef-owner of Fruition Restaurant and Mercantile Dining & Provision, calls it collar or pork neck when he serves it at events.

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“I’m always taken aback by the titles collar and neck,” says Kate Kavanaugh of Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe. “Mostly because pigs, not unlike football players or MMA fighters, don’t really have necks as we consider them.” She says boneless Boston butt is a more accurate industry moniker, and you’ll find that and coppa roast at Western Daughters. Naming debate aside, chefs and purveyors agree that this flavorful extension of the loin is a muscle full of fat and collagen—and that means “delicious,” no matter what you call it.


Pork collar is a shoulder cut, which means it’s full of fat and flavor. Mmmm, pork collar.


Where To Find It

Beast & Bottle
Look for:
collar, coppa steak, shoulder medallions, head cheese, coppa
719 E. 17th Ave., 303-623-3223, beastandbottle.com

Blackbelly Market
Look for:
coppa, coppa roast
1606 Conestoga St., Boulder, 720-479-8296, blackbelly.com

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Butcher’s Bistro
Look for:
coppa
2233 Larimer St., 303-296-2750, thebutchersbistro.com

Clyde
Look for:
pork collar
112 E. Eighth Ave., 303-861-4112, milehighclyde.com

Luca
Look for:
coppa
711 Grant St., 303-832-6600, lucadenver.com

Mister Tuna
Look for:
pork collar
3033 Brighton Blvd., 303-831-8862, mistertuna.com

Old Major
Look for:
coppa
3316 Tejon St., 720-420-0622, oldmajordenver.com

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Osteria Marco
Look for:
coppa
1453 Larimer St., 303-534-5855, osteriamarco.com

Solera
Look for:
pork collar
5410 E. Colfax Ave., 303-388-8429, solerarestaurant.com

Thunderbird Imperial Lounge
Look for:
pork collar
3759 Lipan St., 720-255-2485, thethunderbird.us

Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe
Look for:
coppa roast, boneless Boston butt
The Source, 3350 Brighton Blvd.; 3326 Tejon St.; 303-477-6328, westerndaughters.com

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