Friday, April 5, 2013

Pork Butt or Pork Shoulder?

It can become confusing when one tries to recreate a dish from a childhood memory--especially, for those of us from down south.  A few year's ago, I was thinking about a pork roast that my Aunt Ruth made.  She called it a "barbecue roast".  As a young and inexperienced cook, I thought that was the name of the cut of pork.  I recalled that her recipe did not include barbecue sauce.  The dish stayed with me as only a memory since I couldn't find a recipe or a roast with which to try and duplicate it for our table.  

Enter The Baker!  He stopped by the market to pick up some scallions and came home with a pork butt roast??  He explained that he'd saved a newspaper clipping (Chicago Tribune?) from awhile back (he wasn't sure how "awhile" back) and had been keeping an eye out for the cut of meat.  He showed me the recipe and I noticed that it called for a pork shoulder roast.  I pointed out there was a big difference in the two--or, so I thought.    Imagine my surprise to find out they are the same.  Confusing?  I must not be the only one.  Just yesterday, I heard that the USDA is changing the name of the butt/shoulder roast to Boston roast.  Of course, this will still be confusing to those who have saved old newspaper recipe clippings or have cookbooks pre-April 2013!

Whatever the name of the roast, it is delicious!  Riddled with fat (stay with me here) that is rendered out by the slow and long roasting process, it is unbelievably tender and juicy.  Our approximately 7 pound roast served us several meals.  One of the meals was pulled pork in barbecue sauce.  I think that might have been how Aunt Ruth came to call her's barbecued roast.  Oh, and the cost of this roast was $7 + change--just a bit over a dollar a pound.



Pork Shoulder Slow Roasted 

1 bone-in pork butt, 6 to 8 pounds
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
Black pepper, freshly ground


1.  First, using a sharp knife, cut slits in a cross-hatch pattern in the fat of the roast.  Combine the salt and brown sugar and rub all over the roast and into the slits.  Wrap the roast tightly in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  When ready to roast, unwrap the pork and brush off the excess salt and brown sugar mixture.  Slip the slices of garlic into the slits evenly over the roast.  Place the roast on a rack in a deep roasting pan and let come to room temperature.
2.  Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place the roast into the preheated oven and add two cups of water and two cups of apple juice to the pan.
3.  Roast, basting twice, for 5 to 6 hours until an instant read thermometer registers 190 degrees.  Place roast on carving board and let rest, covered with foil, for 30 minutes.



ENJOY!


26 comments:

  1. Whatever it's called that looks delicious! Different names for meat cuts can be confusing. One of the most popular beef roasts here is the tri-tip and I know it has other names in different parts of the country. Now you have me thinking about a pulled pork sandwich.

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  2. Bonnie, this sounds good and I want to try it. It's so confusing with the cuts of meat now. I thought they were 2 different cuts also, the shoulder and butt. It seems like the Supreme cut of pork has taken over here; like a loin roast, very little fat. That fat in your roast is what makes it so good---or bad. :-) Love it!

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  3. I must admit that I don't pay much attention to the type of roast in a recipe. I just cook the roast for the cut of meat and change the cooking time accordingly. In the beginning I wouldn't have had the know how or even the confidence to change a recipe but this recipe is a keeper.

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  4. I cook this roast in my crockpot. I cook it for eight hours. It is incredibly tender and delicious. I use a packet of McCormicks Slow Cooker Pulled Pork seasoning packet. After cooking...I shred the roast with two forks.Delicious!

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  5. what ever they call it, yours looks wonderful and i love it with or without bbq sauce.

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  6. I think this explains some terminology for me --- looks delicious!

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  7. I am always confused by the names of cuts of meats that different stores and butchers label it. Even when I've read articles that allow for regional nomenclature, I'm still confused. This recipe sounds perfectly and simply wonderful -- whatever cut of pork.

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  8. This looks delicious! Would you believe I have never made a pork roast in my life? Well, I guess I am so dumb that I don't know my butt from my shoulder! And why would anyone name a cut after a city!! It does not tell you what part of the body the cut is from. This reminds me of our steaks. I like to make steak sandwiches from very thin steaks, usually New York Strip or top round.
    The butcher sells a cut called Sizzle Steak, WHAT?? We asked him what cut it was and did not understand a word he said. Happy eating!!!

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  9. Do you have a Butera Market down by you?? This week they too have a pork shoulder on sale - my husband wanted to pick up some steaks for dinner, so I checked their flyer - yep, .99 a pound!

    My grandpa was from the Eastern side of North Carolina, so his pork bbq was slow cooked pork with apple cider vinegar and crushed red pepper. So good!

    My boss brought me back some mustard BBQ sauce so I am making pork sandwiches for next week - so good!

    Enjoy our weather this weekend before the rain comes!

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  10. I love pork shoulders. It's what I use to make Chile Verde and we buy them to grind up to add to our venison sausage... adds a little fat to the sausage so it isn't too dry. There's so much you can do with the cooked roast.

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  11. Oh yea, ya gotta love the pig:@) Happy Weekend!

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  12. I love this cut for pulled pork barbeque. I've never used garlic in mine but it sounds good though, and I'll try it next time! :)

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  13. I have been recently thinking that the names of pork roasts were a little too confusing. And now another change coming? Nevertheless, this looks very, very good.

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  14. MMMMMMmmmmm..whatever it's called it looks succulent and good!

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  15. Pork just rocks doesn't it! Thanks for all of the fabulous info in this post. I'm ready to eat some good pig pickins' right now!

    Have a super weekend,
    Roz

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  16. Shoulder or Butt, either way....YUMMMMMMMMY

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  17. I've read they are changing the names of pork too. Maybe to healthier sounding names than pork butt. I've always been confused with pork names and looks like I will continue to be.

    Great looking roast Bonnie. Pork roasts always smell so good when they're cooking.
    Sam

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  18. This cut of meat could well be my favorite of all. I LOVE it slow roasted. We did pork tacos for Christmas dinner last year and it had rave reviews from the clan. ;) I'll have to give your version a try, too! Thank you. blessings ~ tanna

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  19. What a grand way to prepare pork shoulder. The Baker is a keeper, Bonnie :-) I have to give this version a try. It sounds wonderful. Blessings...Mary.

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  20. Are you kidding? That crunchy fatty top is the best part. :)
    Beautiful roast....good for The Baker. Pork labeling will ever be a puzzle, but who cares when it turns out like this?

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  21. Bonnie this pork look amazing!!!

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  22. Pork looks really amazing! I am new to your blog. Do visit/follow my blog at-http://www.rita-bose-cooking.com/

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  23. mmm...this pork looks and sounds so delicious!
    thanks for the great recipe.
    i'm going to try it out asap!

    dropping by via sandra's blog to say hi.

    have a great week ahead.

    i love your blog.

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  24. Our local grocery store has a sale on pork shoulder every Sunday. I love this cut of meat - no matter what it's called :) I've never made it with brown sugar though and I'd love to try this version.

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  25. i say pork butt! always have always will i guess:) This pork whatever you want to call it looks stunning and delicious and perfectly cooked!

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