Pork Butt - What to do?
I just bought a 4 lb. bone-in pork butt roast. I usually slow roast for pulled pork, but this time I want to do something different. I would prefer to use a slow cooker. I'm thinking about cutting pockets and stuffing with garlic, oregano etc. and just letting it braise in its own juices. Ideas? Hints? Thanks.
I'll offer this up, even though I know that it's won't be to everyone's taste, but when I was a kid it was a family favourite. Trim the excess fat, rub the exterior with salt, pepper, and carraway seed. Brown the roast in a Dutch oven, lower the temperature, add lemon juice (1 or 2 lemons, depending on the size of the roast and the lemons) and white wine (1/2-1 cup), cover, and braise. (Check to see whether the liquid needs 'topping up). Once done, remove the meat, and thicken the pan juices.
I always make these pulled pork tacos with pork shoulder. However, it can also be used for burritos, enchiladas, etc.
One pork shoulder
One can of Ro-Tel (This is tomatoes and chiles together. They sell it next to the canned tomatoes)
One bottle of Corona (any light bodied beer will do in a pinch though)
First, sear the shoulder on the stove. Don't worry about cooking it all the way through. You can't possibly. Just get it brown and crispy on all sides. Salt and pepper the meat as it's cooking. While that's going on, quarter your onions and peel your garlic. Throw it in your crockpot. Put the seared meat on top, then pour in the Ro-Tel and about half the beer. Lid it and let it cook on high for at least six hours. You want it to be fork tender.
Take the meat from pot (I save the stock for soups) and put it on a cookie sheet. It should be just falling apart right now. Shred it with a fork or by hand, then put it under the broiler for a few minutes. You want it to crisp up a bit. Then add chopped, fresh cilantro, lime juice and sea salt to taste. Mix it together and serve.
I also took a pork should once, deboned it, chunked it and used it to make a curried pork stew. You brown the meat in a pan, and toss it in the crock pot with a dark bodied beer, and large chunks of carrots, potatoes and onions. I added a generous amount of curry powder, then cooked it on low all day. When I came home from week, I added a half bag of frozen peas.
You could also do this with lamb.
How about Chinese Red Cooked Pork? There are tons of recipes for it on the web, depending on your time, taste and what you have on hand, but the easiest one is to throw it in a crock pot with 1/2 C Sugar, 1/2 Cup Water, and a Cup of Soy. Cook it until it falls apart. Hard boil half a dozen eggs and throw them in for the last hour. Serve with rice. Each person scoops the slightly sweet pork and sauce into his or her rice bowl and mashes up one of the eggs or half an egg into it.
CA Scotch Chick
I learned this here on Chowhound - maybe adapted from Will Owen? Have done it over and over again and love it! Here in North Carolina pig country the Boston Butts go on sale for 99 cents pretty often.
trim excess fat from outside of Boston Butt Roast
stuff about half head of garlic into slits in meat
put 3-4 tsp Liquid Smoke on outside
sprinkle with all the black & crushed red pepper, salt, onion & garlic powder you can stand
cook in crock pot/slow cooker at least 6 hours
I cook it till it falls apart when touched with a fork. Use two forks to pull it from the crock pot and shred it.
Ideally you season a day ahead, tightly wrap & refrigerate before cooking, but it's darn good if you season it just before cooking.
Last time I cooked this I saved the liquid, separated off the fat. Combine 2 cups broth, 1 cup rice, 1/2 vidalia onion sliced, 1 tsp salt. Heat to boil and cut to low and cover. Cook 15 minutes. Add about a cup of pulled pork and cook for 5 more minutes. Yum.
Zuni Cafe Cookbook's Mock Porchetta - highly recommend it. We recently made two for a large party. The recipe calls for a boned roast, but there is no reason you couldn't use bone-in.
If you must braise in own juices, another excellent option, try this (from Saveur a few years ago). It is succulent, juicy and so simple:
Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder
Combine parsley, chopped garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Stuff into pockets. Tie roast if needed.
Place in a large Dutch oven and top with thin slices of lemon (about half a lemon).
Cover and roast at 200 for 6 to 8 hours (I usually have a larger cut - like 6 pounds - and do 8 hours.)
Uncover and roast another 30 to 60 minutes.