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Pork Butt (No pulled pork, BBQ or smoked recipes)

I just picked up a 4 lb bone-in pork butt on the cheap today. I've used the search function here and almost all titled threads with pork butt are about pulled pork, BBQ, smoked recipes or arguments about grilling v. BBQ.

I've cooked those many times. I would like to do something different. Is there anything else I can do with the meat?

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  1. Tamales
    Chili, OR
    If you have access to real green chile, then a pot of NM green chile
    You can think up more things I'm sure, but if I'm not mistaken, a slow cook will be needed

    1 Reply
    1. re: gordeaux

      Read the 1st 5 letters of my 'nom de chowhound.' I second gordeaux motion #3.

    2. This is one of my family's favorites: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sl.... I don't use as much broth and cook it in the oven instead of the slow cooker.

      1. Put salt and pepper on it and roast in a 325 oven until it is however tender you would like it to be.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kengk

          If you get good pork, this is quite tasty. I've made it before and my husband comments on how good it is, and asks what spices I've used.

          1. If you like Indian food, pork butt is great for the classic Goan dish, Pork Vindaloo (it's hot). Here's a Julie Sahni recipe from the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/din...

            Hungarian Goulash is often made with pork butt or shoulder. There are tons of recipes online.

            Chinese roast pork could also work -- either the kind cut up and marinated before cooking like this one: http://www.whats4eats.com/meats/char-... (it'll come out a little bit like jerky), or the kind that is roasted whole like this one: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chinese-... .

            This Viet Namese recipe also looks really good: http://www.theravenouscouple.com/2009...

            1 Reply
            1. re: ninrn

              this was what i was going to suggest. shoulder is the ideal cut for curry. i'm sri lankan.. our curries are a little different and ingredients are harder to come by unless you're in a city with access to a sri lankan market but any curry will be tasty.

            2. Mark Bittman's pork pernil: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

              I always vote for posole.

              While your cut is bone-in and much larger, this stew's ingredients may make a good braise flavouring: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              Same goes for this jerk-flavoured stew: http://www.cbc.ca/bestrecipes/2010/03...

              1. Just salt, pepper, garlic, sage. Roast it, uncovered.. When the bone pulls out easily, it is done. (long time, med heat).
                Then, take it out of the roaster, drain off most of the fat, make a roux with some flour and remaining fat and bits, add water (like the water from boiling potatoes, which if you are making should be ready to drain by now), whisk smooth.

                1 Reply
                1. re: wyogal

                  Yup, this is so much better as a roast than just about any other part of the pig; I wouldn't want to cook a loin these days unless I knew it was from a good fat and happy pig.

                  Another favorite thing of mine to do is to season and brown it, then cook sliced onion in the fat until transparent, then toss in a couple of pounds of drained kraut and maybe some cut-up apples, and toss that until it's steamy hot. Then bury the roast in it, add about a cup of white wine, put the lid on the pot and stick it into a slow to moderate oven (300º-250º), depending on how much of a hurry you're in. Devour with potatoes, boiled or mashed.

                    1. re: SAHCook

                      I second the carnitas - we LOVE them
                      I made this recipe this weekend - I add a couple of Guajillo peppers and a little light beer to the crock pot, and I make the seasoning more of a paste by puting the spices in a mortero and adding a little lime juice and fresh cilantro. When shredded I crisp them under the broiler and reduce the sauce and people can add back as they like


                    2. Try searching for "pork shoulder" as well, you will find more ideas there.
                      Here is a link that I added recently to a "shoulder" thread. Yes, I'm linking it again, because I enjoyed making it that much:

                      I also like the sauerkraut idea. My preference - brown roast if you like (I do). Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle very generously with caraway seeds. Roast, covered, until it is close to done. No, I don't know how long that is for your 4 lb roast, but you'll get it ok. It's pork butt, the most forgiving cut of meat ever. Anyway, add a couple of jars/cans/a bag (whatever your preference) of sauerkraut, and cook for somewhere between a half-hour and hour more, uncovered. Until the pork is done, and it and the sauerkraut have browned. If your family is like mine, serve with way too many mashed potatoes. Or not. Either way, enjoy!

                      1. Looking at another thread, saw a recipe for adobo. LOVE this and haven't made it in such a long time. It's going on this week's menu!


                        Actually, the whole thread looks good.

                        1. Garlicky-lemony-rosemary-spicy goodness from Michael Chiarello:

                          I no longer roast the garlic ahead of time; it roasts itself. I use less salt -- more like 3T I think. I use fresh rosemary (because I have lots), ground coriander, and ancho chili powder instead of chipotle. It's pretty flexible and really amazingly delicious.

                          Note that the quantities listed make at least 2x what you need; extra keeps in the fridge or freezer for ages.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: sweethooch

                            Also from Chiarello - Forever Roasted Pork:

                            We love this one - GF requested a "do-over" last weekend.

                            1. re: WNYamateur

                              I posted that one a day or so ago.....it is indeed delicious. If two of us like it, it must be good!

                          2. I sometimes cut a pork shoulder into small slices or strips of meat that I pre-apportion and freeze for future Chinese stir-fry recipes.

                            1. I have made this recipe a couple of times, and it is really special and different - very 'company dinner' worthy!
                              Pork Shoulder (Boston Butt) stuffed with figs, garlic, and Pinot Noir.
                              Ends up a lovely roast studded with chunks of Fig, slivers of garlic, and tender enough to be sliced on a platter where you can see the wonderful pattern; served with a Pinot Noir gravy reduction. Fabulous!

                              1 Reply
                              1. Just yesterday I did a recipe from Pioneer Woman - braised in apple juice with onions and apple wedges. Juices cooked down almost to a syrupy glaze. We liked it a lot.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: mamueller

                                  was this braised whole? I make a pork stew with same flavor profile, although braised in cider and dark beer.

                                  1. re: magiesmom

                                    Yes, just browned the whole roast - about 6 lbs or so, added the rest of the ingredients and shoved it into the oven.

                                    1. re: mamueller

                                      sounds good.
                                      How about a chinese braise in soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sherry?

                                2. so whatd you end up doin with it Rocky?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                    LOL...wow, I just rechecked this thread. Here is what I did. I browned it on all sides in my cast iron pan, then just threw it in a slow cooker with water, garlic, onions, peppercorns a couple of bay leaves. Nothing special I'm afraid :-( I let it go for about six hours until it was really nice and soft. Here's what I ended up making with it.

                                    Pork tacos, with fresh homemade corn torts
                                    Pork enchiladas, with same torts
                                    Pork sinigang soup
                                    BBQ pork sandwich
                                    Pork and cabbage Hawaiian style dish with rice

                                    I wanted to make lau lau but couldn't find ti or taro leaves - and I really looked too! Flavor was great, nothing went to waste and it was really worth the purchase because of the price. Thanks for all the responses.

                                    1. re: Rocky Road

                                      I used your recipe and did the same. It was easy and came out great, but I used more chicken stock as my pork butt did not have a lot of visible fat.

                                  2. Aside from barbecue, one of my favorite ways to eat pork butt is when it is cooked/braised in pasta sauce. That always brings back fond memories of Sunday meals -- a big plate of pasta, served up with sausage, meatballs, and pork butt.

                                    1. Carnitas! I can't speak to authenticity, but this is one of the very few slow cooker recipes that cooperates with me: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/200...

                                      Disclaimer: I have made this in the slow cooker a few times, but always when I was home to keep an eye on the meat.

                                      1. curry, coconut milk and pineapple juice. start there and season as you like

                                          1. Can you get it sliced into steaks? That's how we like to eat them here in Saint Louis. Martha has a nice recipe for vinegar braised pork steaks. (She calls them pork shoulder chops. That's kind of a cute name.)

                                            1. Make a terrine, preferably with a rabbit or two added. Or a duck.

                                              1. Have you tried searching Epicurious.com?

                                                1. Pernil all the way. FYI leftovers are not as good as hot out of the oven.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: melpy

                                                    They can be (well, nothing's as good as straight out of the oven, but they can be made better). Bag or vacuum seal portions of the leftovers, with a little of the sauce. Reheat the bag in a pot of boiling water. I do this with all variety of roasted and barbecued meat, and it really does the trick.

                                                    1. You might try Porchetta. This is the recipe from Porchetta in NYC. My dad would make this with a pork butt. He would take out the blade bone, which is pretty easy as I would do it when I was 13. After you take out the bone, the meat pretty much lays out flat. You fill it with all the spices, roll it back up and tie it like any pork roast. The flavor is out of this world. Slice leftovers thin and keep them in their juices for incredible pork sandwiches.

                                                      Buon Appettito!!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: awm922

                                                        I make something similar to this but without the sage and bee pollen. I season it the night before, tie it up and wrap it. Cook it at a low temp in a covered cast pan on a rack of carrots, celery and onions and a couple inches of water. About 30-40 minutes before serving crank up the temp to 350 and crisp it up.

                                                        As an FYI, I remove the skin and trim the fat, I then use it to cover the meat. Remove the skin before crisping. My husband and I have extra poundage that we need to lose.

                                                        1. I would suggest Chile Verde (my standard answer for pork). The downside is you'll have to cube a majority of the meat. You can leave some of the meat along the bone. That meat will come off easily when done.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: dave_c

                                                            You don't have to cube it. I start mine by roasting the pork whole. I make the chili base separately, then combine at the end for a simmer. I take drippings/fat out of the roasting pan, and use that to start the chili base (onions, chilies, garlic, sauteed in the fat).

                                                          2. Italian Style Ragu or Asian Noodle Stir-Fry is great with pork shoulder/butt...

                                                            I like to braise pork on Sunday in a neutral herb garlic liquid and .then I use the meat for the above type dishes, tacos et. al, sandwiches, etc.

                                                            1. Boneless shoulder butt cured in brine = COTTAGE HAM. You probably won't find it outside of the Cleveland/Pittsburgh corridor. I haven't and it hasn't been for lack of trying! We used to boil it like corned beef and serve it with cooked cabbage. Yum - a sensory memory from a childhood long ago as an Italian in a VERY Polish neighborhood, where I regularly tasted czarninsa a child.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: clwseattle

                                                                My absolute favorite slow cooked pork shoulder recipe is Cat Cora's Hirino Psito, slow roasted pork.

                                                              2. I'm a big fan of Zak Pelaccio's Pork Shoulder With Maple Glaze: http://nymag.com/listings/recipe/pork...

                                                                It has a lot of stuff in it, but the flavors are so complex when it's finished. And the thai chilies give it an amazing kick.

                                                                1. Cook/spice it like any other beef roast ... Due to the fat content, the taste is vastly superior to any beef roast.

                                                                  1. I’ve been staring at this recipe in my “to try” file for years. I finally tried it last weekend. Husband said it was the best pork roast ever. Just how he remembers his mom’s pork roast. He said he felt like he just sat back down at her dinner table. (She passed 30 years ago, that made me teary eyed)
                                                                    Only way I will cook them now. And doing another one this weekend, by request.

                                                                    Pork roast (shoulder or butt)
                                                                    Preheat over to 325 degrees
                                                                    Add flour (1 cup) salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash or two of cayenne to a bag. Toss in roast and shake until coated on all sides.
                                                                    Place on a rack in a shallow pan and bake for 4 hours. DO NOT COVER, DO NOT ADD ANY LIQUID, DO NOT BASTE.
                                                                    I guarantee you will think you went to heaven!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. You could cut it into chunks, dip them into a tempura batter and fry them. Then serve with some sweet & sour sauce.

                                                                      Cut it into chops, and pound them really well with a meat tenderizer then bread them with seasoned panko and fry them. Then serve with a white gravy.

                                                                      If you have a meat grinder, try making your own sausage.

                                                                      Or how about a pork posole soup?

                                                                      A pork ragu to serve with papardelle or some other pasta?