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Jul 18, 2009 02:48 PM

How do you prepare Pork Butt (other than pulled)?

Lately we've been grilling a 2.5lb tied/boneout pork butt with a mustard seed/sea salt rub. It's fantastic, makes the best bark and the fat is just melty.

Besides pulled pork, what are other great options for pork butt (the best part of the pig, imho)

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  1. Braised with milk a la Marcella Hazan. I made it last night and paired it with some dandelion greens that I blanched then sauteed with garlic and olive oil and some lemon juice. The bitterness of the greens offset the richness of the pork.

    1. Rub in latino spices like chiles, cumin, paprika, fresh oregano, some garlic and let sit for a day, then either grill it or cover tightly in a low oven until the same texture as for pulled pork. Shred the meat and serve w/tortillas, Pork Pernil, or fry or crisp up under the broiler for carnitas, use in tacos as well.

      Marinated overnight in achiote, lemon & orange juices, garlic & oregano, and roast or grill it the same way, it's Cuban Roast pork, delicious with black beans & fried plaintains.

      1. Cook's Illustrated's version of pork carnitas.

        1. From the Aug 09 Cooks Country: St. Louis BBQ Pork Steaks:
          "Test Kitchen Discoveries

          * There is no substitute for pork steak, so the only option was to cut our own. We ordered five boneless Boston butts and cut them in half crosswise, then turned each piece on end to slice 1-inch-thick steaks.
          * One of the hallmarks of these steaks is their chewiness. Inspired by a test kitchen recipe for brats and beer, we used a method of sear, simmer, sear again. This untraditional process gives the steaks a nice char, candylike edges, and succulent, slightly chewy interiors."

          Have not tried it yet.....

          4 Replies
          1. re: domestikate

            I have seen a lot of hype for "pork steaks". Definitely a new take from the other white meat council?!

            Please let me know if you've tried it. I've seen prepackaged in the markets and costco too. Don't know if it's cut from the shoulder. tho. Will look closer next time.

            1. re: Phurstluv

              Pork "butt" and pork "steaks" are both from the shoulder. Marketing.

              1. re: Fritter

                i don't know if i'd chalk this up to just some "marketing". a butt is a large part of the shoulder. if they're cutting a steak from it, then it's, well, a steak.

                1. re: tommy

                  Hmmm I see your point. No difference at all between the front shoulder (butt) and the hind quarter which I'm sure many think of as the "butt" for obvious reasons.
                  Many sellers like those where I get my Berkshire pork from call a shoulder exactly what it is.
                  A steak could be cut from different places but the ones at Costco I have seen were front shoulder. I expect that when many think of pork steak they are thinking "ham" steak.
                  For those that might not know here is a link to a site that might be useful. slide down the pig for a cross section view of the flesh on the right.


          2. check this topic on Filipino style adobo... it starts out talking about chicken, but both chicken and pork are commonly used.


            6 Replies
            1. re: KaimukiMan

              Oh yea, I love the filipino pork chops I do, but they are the very thin cut, may not be suitable for a pork shoulder roast.

              1. re: Phurstluv

                Not sure what you mean by pork chops. I am talking about chunks of pork butt cooked in the traditional vinegar and shoyu until tender. (see pic)

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  Yes, I know, I was thinking of the filipino flavors, and the only thing I do like this is a marinade for super thin pork chops that you grill in a flash. I'm assuming that the flavors of that marinade (garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce, rice wine, soy) may work on the pork shoulder, but never tried it.

                  1. re: Phurstluv

                    3 lbs. Pork Butt
                    3 Tbsp. White Vinegar or 4-6 Tbsp. Unseasoned Rice Vinegar
                    1 C. Shoyu (Soy Sauce)
                    4 Garlic cloves, minced
                    1 Tsp. Peppercorns or Black Pepper
                    1/2 C. Water
                    2 Bay Leaves
                    1 Tsp. Sugar

                    1. Cut pork into 1 inch cubes, may be browned or not.
                    2. Put all ingredients into large pot and bring to boil
                    3. Lower heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes
                    or till pork is tender with the lid on
                    4. For an additional 15 - 20 minutes, remove lid and let liquid evaporate to desired thickness

                    whether or not to brown the meat first can cause great controversy in some families. it doesn't make that much of a difference in the end, I have cooked it both ways.

                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      Really? Interesting, I would think it would be a little richer with browned meat and fond in the pot before stewing. Thanks for the recipe, will have to try it!

                      1. re: Phurstluv

                        There is some difference in taste, but not as much as you might expect, but both camps have strong adherents. Other points of contention are whether or not to include onion and how much to reduce the juice. Some like their adobo very wet, others evaportate till the liquid is virtually gone and the meat starts to carmelize on the bottom of the pan. It can be good that way, but you have to be careful not to let it burn. I tend to go towards the middle ground. Like the flavors concentrated, but not to the point I have to stand over the stove for the last 15 minutes. The proportions of shoyu and vinegar vary from family to family, in some cases as much as a 50/50 mix with no water added. Even with rice vinegar that is a bit too strong for me. And in response to the OP's name, i know one family that doesn't like the taste of vinegar and use lemon juice instead. An interesting and pleasant substitute.