Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pork Butt At It's Finest - Low and Slow

Pulled pork, slow roasted, with tons of flavor - is there anything better?  Perhaps not.  I made this pork butt on Memorial Day and used a recipe I found at  It's a keeper and we will be having this again and again.  It's an easy recipe that produced wonderfully seasoned, super tender pork that made us sad when it was gone.  It may sound like an odd combination to you, but it creates a wonderful bark on the pork butt that has a sweet barbecue flavor.  Yum.  Yum.  Yum.  Wish I had some right now.

Recently while watching Bobby Flay, he gave an explanation of the difference between barbecuing and grilling.  Barbecuing is done low and slow, grilling is high heat and fast cooking.   Makes sense doesn't it?  This beautiful pork butt was cooked low and slow and was worth the time it took.  Here is what you need.

1 4 pound pork butt
whole garlic cloves (I used 5)
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 cups apple juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

First, make slits all over the pork butt and insert a whole garlic clove into each slit.  If you like lots of garlic, go for it and add more.  I like mild garlic flavor in barbecue, so I used 5 whole cloves.
Just peel off the paper wrapper on each clove and shove them down into the slits you made in the meat.

Now, place the pork butt in a dutch oven or greased casserole that has a lid.  Let it sit at room temperature for 1.5 hours.  After 1.5 hours, spoon any Worcestershire sauce in the bottom of the pan back over the pork butt.

Using your hands, press the brown sugar onto all sides of the butt making sure it sticks to the meat.  Go slow and press hard.

Pour the apple juice down the side of the pan so  you don't knock any of the brown sugar off the butt.  Cover tightly.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.  Place the pan with the pork butt in the oven and IMMEDIATELY reduce the temperature down to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remember, LOW and slow.

The roast will take about 4 hours until the meat is fall apart tender.  *Here is where I did something a little different.  At 3.5 hours, I removed the pan from the oven.  We turned the gas grill on low heat and put a foil packet of hickory chips on the grill.  You soak the chips in water for several hours so they will smoke, then place them in aluminum foil and seal the top by folding the foil over.  Oh, it gives the meat such a good flavor.  Nothing like a good smoke flavor, like the barbecue we grew up with.  I put the whole butt on the grill and let it cook for about 45 minutes (low heat on one side, meat on the side with no flame) and then removed it to a platter.  At this point, you can pull the pork using two forks and sort of shredding it, or do as I did and slice it.

The pork butt was served with our favorite barbecue sauce, Sweet Baby Ray's, which is tomato based and has just an undertone of spice to it - not too much, just right.  The pork was so flavorful and delicious that it really didn't need any sauce as far as I was concerned.  Fantastic.

Summertime is a great time for serving meat that has been cooked low and slow.  You can make sandwiches or serve it sliced.  It's great for picnics or easy Sunday dinners.  Either way, it's worth the effort.  Give this recipe a try.  It has been approved by the whole family.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

The memories of childhood summer swirl around cook outs, picnics, friends, swimming, laughter, ice cream and fireflies.   Games of tag and kick the can, hide and seek and whiffle ball.  Those were golden days.   donna