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Any good ideas for Boston Butt?

emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 09:57 AM

There are extremely cheap right now at one of my local groceries, and I'd promised myself I'd cook a couple of things this weekend that we could eat on during the coming week. I'm really not that familiar with Boston Butt. Is it worth cooking, or is it just mainly fat?

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  1. JungMann RE: emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 10:55 AM

    It's just another name for pork shoulder. I cook them very frequently because they are quite cheap and versatile. You could marinate and end up with a fragrant and garlicky pernil. (I use a mojo of cilantro, garlic, wine, vinegar, orange juice, serranos, oregano, salt and pepper) The fat will melt away during the long cooking and keep your meat moist and tender. Epicurious' cider-braised shoulder is pretty delicious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... but more frequently I just rub the shoulder with a combo of spices and herbs, soak the skin with vinegar and bake until I have tender meat and crisp crackling.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JungMann
      bkhuna RE: JungMann Sep 14, 2007 07:27 PM

      Actually, the boston butt is the posterior aspect of the pork shoulder. The anterior part of the shoulder is called the picnic. A whole shoulder is comprised of the butt and the picnic.

    2. chowser RE: emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 11:11 AM

      It's mainly fat but that's what makes it taste so good.;-) Chinese pork stew is really good (add hard boiled eggs to it--they're really good in it).


      I use it for crockpot barbecue, too. This is a good carolina style one:


      1. d
        davebough RE: emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 11:17 AM

        I loved to smoke Boston Butts for pulled pork, but you can cook them in the oven without the smoke or add liquid smoke to the mop. fill the fridge for bar-b-que pork sandwiches.

        1. a
          Alan408 RE: emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 11:36 AM

          Mock Porchetta.

          Porchetta is a roast pig, by cutting, seasoning, wrapping (tying), and roasting a Boston Butt one can get a "mock" porchetta. The result is a tasty, moist, crispy (in places) pork roast.

          The recipe is googleable, I use Zuni's version.

          1. m
            martin1026 RE: emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 11:45 AM

            Best cut of pork there is-as others have mentioned, porchetta (or any sort of roast pork dish), pulled pork, stew (dice it up and make a chili verde). If you are feeling more adventurous, its easy to cure and make into tasso. I make my own sausage, and this is the cut to use.

            1. w
              WNYamateur RE: emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 12:08 PM

              I'm slow-roasting one this weekend in the smoker (no smoking wood, just charcoal). I'll top it first with onions sauteed with fresh sage and fennel seed, like Michael Chiarello's "Forever Roasted Pork" (great cooked indoors, too):


              1. Raedia RE: emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 01:51 PM

                My boyfriend's mum made us this Spanish Braised Pork Stew with olives and tomatoes last night - she used country-style ribs, but Boston Butt would work just as well. The recipe calls for potatoes, but she serves it over rice or couscous. It's in our top ten favorites!


                1. o
                  Oh Robin RE: emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 04:21 PM

                  Carnitas in the crockpot. Butt, one onion and a little water on low all day. Shred into large chunks and brown in a little lard. Enjoy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Oh Robin
                    rcburli RE: Oh Robin Nov 9, 2007 07:39 AM

                    I've seen recipes that include liquid in the slow cooker and some that do not.
                    Any general rule on this?

                  2. j
                    jlwnc RE: emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 07:30 PM

                    I have to recommend the recipe in Weber's Art of the Grill. It is the closest thing to NC 'cue that I have seen. I do find them a bit fatty which make for work before serving, but that recipe is quite tasty. I will try to post it later.

                    1. k
                      Kelli2006 RE: emmccarty Sep 14, 2007 08:58 PM

                      This is my preferred piece of pork to roast with sauerkraut. Serve with potato dumpling or spaetzle, braised red cabbage and beer.

                      1. mels RE: emmccarty Nov 9, 2007 10:02 AM

                        I really love making pork vindaloo with it. Bittman has a great recipe for it in The Best Recipes in the World cookbook. I don't own a smoker so I do a faux smoked pork with it too. Take equal parts salt and liquid smoke, rub it all over, then wrap the meat tightly in foil and park it in the fridge overnight. The next day, keep the pork wrapped and put it on a roasting rack. Bake it for 6-8 hours at 300.

                        1. ATATUM324 RE: emmccarty Sep 16, 2008 09:06 AM

                          mmmm...Boston Butt....It is part of the pork shoulder, and the bone in it (though what what you are buying is mostly meat) is part of the shoulder balde. I'm not sure where you are from, but down here in Alabama boston butts are all about BBQ! They are so easy to fix, and with the price, you can't beat it. Let me share my recipe: I take a butt roughly 3-5 lbs, and I use "Bad Byron's Butt Rub" (http://www.buttrub.com but I'm sure there are other good ones out there) and generously rub it on the out side, remember there is a lot of meat you are seasoning and are only coating the outside. Then I put the meat on a hot CHARCOAL grill to give it a smokey and fired taste (you can use a skillet if you prefer). Make sure you turn the meat on all 4 sides until browned and "looks" down. Then take the meat and 'gift-wrap' it in aluminun foil. Set in a dish and bake @ 275 degrees for 4-5 hours. When the meat is done and you unwrap the foil, juices will flow everywhere!!! The meat will pull apart at the touch! Just add BBQ sauce and maybe a bun...and you'll be VERY surprised!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ATATUM324
                            1stmakearoux RE: ATATUM324 Sep 16, 2008 01:40 PM

                            At noon today I put two Boston Butts in my Big Green Egg. I use lump charcoal and either hickory or pecan wood chunks. One of the Butts was rubbed with a chile rub (recipe from Cooks Illustrated) and the other without for my non-spicy-eating friend. Boy, does it smell good around here!

                          2. Morganna RE: emmccarty Sep 16, 2008 09:12 AM

                            Grind it up and season it for sausage. Penzey's has some great herb/spice blends for making your own sausage. :)

                            1. rabaja RE: emmccarty Sep 16, 2008 02:58 PM

                              I just cooked up 3.5 #'s of it in a chili verde stew. Got the Hatch chilis last week and roasted them myself.
                              Can't wait for tonights dinner!

                              1. j
                                Joebob RE: emmccarty Sep 16, 2008 06:35 PM

                                Marianne Bobich's Burrito Filling

                                3 1/2 lbs BostonButt in 2 " cubes
                                7-8 lg. garlic cloves
                                2 sm. dried hot peppers (or to taste)
                                3 onions, chopped
                                2 tomatoes, chopped
                                1/2 lb tomatillos, chopped
                                5T (or more) ground corriander
                                1 T ground cumin
                                2 Poblano (or bell) peppers, chopped
                                1 bunch corriander, chopped

                                Place pork, garlic and hot peppers in large heavy pot and cover with water. with lid on, boil 30 min., then remove lid and cook until water has evaporated (about an hour). Remove as much fat as you desire. Press garlic into pot and discard skins. Add peppers, onions, and seasonings, stir, and cook over low heat. Add tomatillos and tomatoes, cover pan and cook on low another 30 min. Sprinkle fresh corriander over pork and serve with hot tortillas or burrito wraps and Dos Equis or Bohemia.

                                1. rlove RE: emmccarty Sep 17, 2008 04:19 PM

                                  Echoing a few others, I would definitely make carnitas. Here is my recipe:


                                  You can stick the meat in tacos, burritos, or just eat it on its own as a main. Decadent.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: rlove
                                    rlove RE: rlove Sep 17, 2008 04:20 PM

                                    Apologies, that is the wrong link. My carnitas recipe:


                                    Whatever you do, enjoy!

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