When I was a kid I was kind of a picky eater. My family used to tease me about my food choices. I am sure you know at least one kid who acts the same, or maybe even an adult!
I eventually grew out of these habits, but this experience says how it is hard sometimes to get some people excited about foods. That is why you need to try this recipe at your next family meal.
Don’t let a name like “Boston butt pork roast” fool you, this slow-braised sweet pork with homemade BBQ sauce is packed with so much flavor that not even picky eaters will be able to resist it.
The dish is simple to prepare, though it takes few hours to cook it all. Luckily, the oven will do the all the work. It’s perfect for busy nights or lazy moods. Most of your job is just watching the clock!
So let’s get busy with this delicious slow-braised Boston butt pork roast!
What is Boston Butt Pork?
Let’s get this cleared up: pork butt is not from the rear of the pig.
It is actually part of the shoulder, but not the shoulder. Are you confused? Let me explain:
Pork butt and pork shoulder are frequently confused and misleadingly named cuts of meat.
Both come from the shoulder of the pig, but pork butt is higher on the foreleg, while the pork shoulder is farther down. Both are relatively tough and fatty cuts, and the ideal way is to slow cook these, like stewing or braising.
Still, although they come from the shoulder, pork butt is much more interesting, and in my opinion the better cut. Here’s why:
- A Boston butt pork is well marbled with intramuscular fat or marbling, while the pork shoulder has less.
- The pork butt is often sold with the fat cap intact. The fat is what gives the meat its flavor.
- The pork butt is sold as bone in and boneless, while the pork shoulder is sold in netting if it is boneless. When you remove that netting the meat unfolds into uneven layer, which ruins the look.
What Does it Taste Like?
Pork butt has a good amount of fat, which naturally helps to baste the meat and gives it much more flavor.
Long, slow cooking on the lower heat brings out the juices and turns the meat into a tender and succulent cut of meat. This meat cut can be easily shredded or sliced. Mmm!
How to Choose Pork Butt?
Always choose fresh meat from a butcher or at least the fresh deli section of your grocery store.
But take note: lots of supermarkets offer pork butts injected with a solution of water, salt, and other additives to make the meat moister.
This is sometimes called “enhanced meat,” but I advise you stay away from it. The excess water may turn meat into something different than you expected.
Your pork butt will be far more delicious if you buy it unaltered and slow-braise it. Trust me, it’s worth it, especially since the oven still does all the hard work for you.
Bone-in or Boneless Boston Pork Butt?
For this meat preparation it really does not matter if you buy your pork butt still on the bone or not.
People usually prefer boneless pork butt because they do not have to deal with the bone. Still, some like the meat on the bone since it can be excellent an indicator of readiness – once the meat starts to fall apart from the bones, the pork is done!
There is almost a myth regarding the bone in the pork butt. Some swear the bone gives it more flavor. That may be a little true since the bone may provide additional moisture, but this probably won’t make a huge difference.
Regardless, if you plan to prepare the pork butt following this recipe, the bone really does not matter. The effect of the bone will be negligible once the meat is pulled and seasoned with homemade BBQ sauce.
How to Serve Boston Butt Pork
I like to serve my pork with some rice, cooked or grilled veggies, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes with celery.
It also pairs amazing with a Benihana-style garlic butter and fried rice. This pork can be used as a filling for tacos, enchiladas, sliders, or to make a delicious twist on a Cubano.
Any leftovers can be frozen up to a month and you can use them however you like.
You can season your pork anyway you like.
Salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, are essentials, but you can add other spices like smoked paprika, cumin, thyme, basil, or some chili powder to your liking. Experiment with your favorite spices and you will not go wrong.
I braise my pork in chicken stock, but you can also use beer with great results. A good ale or dark beer will bring an amazing flavor and make an exquisite BBQ sauce base. Vegetable stock is another option if that’s what you have around.
How To Make a Slow Braised Boston Butt Pork Roast
Make the dry rub:
In a bowl, combine salt, black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and coriander.
Rub the pork with spices, making sure all is well seasoned. Wrap the pork in a plastic foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
After the pork has been seasoned in the dry rub, preheat oven to 500 F.
Place the pork in slightly oiled baking dish. Cook the pork for 45 minutes.
Remove the pork from the oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.
Pour the stock around the pork and cover with an aluminum foil. Make 8-10 holes on a foil with a toothpick.
Bake the pork for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Remove the meat from the baking dish and set aside for 5 minutes before shredding.
Make the BBQ sauce:
Strain the cooking juices into the pan. Add ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.
Simmer the sauce until reduced by half. You can shred the pork while the sauce is simmering.
Pour the sauce over the shredded pork.
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp (about 20 grinds) black pepper
- ½ tbsp chili powder
- ½ tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 6oz. chicken stock
- 2.5 to 3lb. pork butt
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Make the dry rub: In a bowl, combine salt, black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and coriander.
- Rub the pork with spices, making sure all is well seasoned. Wrap the pork in a plastic foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
- After the pork has been seasoned in the dry rub, preheat oven to 500 F.
- Place the pork in slightly oiled baking dish. Cook the pork for 45 minutes.
- Remove the pork from the oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.
- Pour the stock around the pork and cover with an aluminum foil. Make 8-10 holes on a foil with a toothpick.
- Bake the pork for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
- Remove the meat from the baking dish and set aside for 5 minutes before shredding.
- Prepare the BBQ sauce: Strain the cooking juices into the pan. Add ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.
- Simmer the sauce until reduced by half. You can shred the pork while the sauce is simmering.
- Pour the sauce over the shredded pork.
- Serve warm.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 656Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 196mgSodium: 1539mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 54g
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