Boston Butt

Nope, not talking about my own butt – talking about a pig’s shoulder.

Boston Butt: Pork Primal Cut

Graphic: Wikimedia Commons / Danilo Alfaro

Confused yet? here is the official “Wikipedia” explanation:

In pre-revolutionary New England and into the American Revolutionary War, some pork cuts (not those highly valued, or “high on the hog,” like loin and ham) were packed into casks or barrels (also known as “butts”) for storage and shipment. The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston area became known in other regions as “Boston butt”. In the UK it is known as “pork hand and spring”, or simply “pork hand”.

No matter what it is called – it is delicious! No brining, no fancy marinade, just a slow cooker. I decided to make the effort to “sear” the meat first and therefore create the sauce using the brown bits of flavor from the pan before putting all into the slow cooker. I suppose you could just skip this step and go right into the slow cooker but I think it was worth the extra step and pan. Besides the slow cooker really does all the heavy lifting.

The result: 100% authentic BBQ flavor – no smoker needed!

The Recipe

3lbs +/- Pork ( preferably Boston Butt – I removed the strings that were tired around it, since I was “pulling it” later)

oil for browning in heavy bottom pan

2-3 tb seasoned salt of your choice rubbed into the meat on all sides (use liberally as this is your only “salt” in the dish)

Fresh cracked black pepper to taste rubbed on the meat as well

Heat the oil really hot and sear each side of the meat – patiently waiting until each side is unstuck from the pan before turning. Remove the meat to a waiting slow-cooker and turn down the heat on your pan a bit.

Add in this order:

1 smallish/medium onion finely diced

1 small can (6oz) tomato paste

1 tsp each: smoked paprika, ground ancho chili pepper, cumin

Stir and cook a minute – “toasting” spices and paste.

Now add:

1/4 cup mustard (brown, spicy or dijon works well)

1 garlic clove – mashed really well

1 cup Ketchup

1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white wine vinegar ( I am sure reg white or apple cider would be nice too)

stir and get all the bits off the bottom.

Add enough of your favorite hot sauce to make it your level of spiciness. ( I use Tabasco for this)

Now pour this all into the slow cooker with your meat, cover and cook on low for at least 4 hours. Meat should be falling apart when done. Shred and serve on toasted rolls with bread and butter pickles.


6 comments on “Boston Butt

  1. Jennifer says:

    This sounds fantastic!

  2. Mike says:

    so thats where high on the hog comes from. This was so delicious.

  3. Karen says:

    The nice thing about a slow cooker this time of the year is that your kitchen stays cool. Great looking sandwich.

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