Boston Butt sounds like it would be a cut of pork from the backside. Well, the name does imply it! It is actually from the portion just above the shoulder. Supposedly, the Boston butt got its name from a meat container that was used by colonists in New England. This storage container was actually a barrel called a butt and butchers used it to store and transport less desirable cuts of meats. However, the pork butt and shoulder might not have been prized by colonists, but both cuts sure make great slow-cooked pulled pork!
With this recipe, you cook the pork long and slow to make the meat fall-off-the-bone tender.
First, you sear the pork on a grill to brown it. Cook it with the fatty side on top so that the grease from the fat bastes the meat. At 165 degrees F, the meat will have browned enough and cooked enough fat out to move it to a slow cooker.
The slow cooker will continue to cook the pork and will tenderize it. A trick to keeping the meat out of the grease (that will continue to cook out of it) is to put a rack underneath it to elevate it. If you don’t have a rack, ball up sheets of aluminum foil and place in the slow cooker before you add the meat.
Once the pork has finished cooking, the lean meat will easily separate from the fat. You can take a fork and pull the meat into long strips or chunks and it will be very tender. If you test it while it is still cooking in the slow cooker and a piece doesn’t pull very easily away from the main pork butt, it is not ready. Let it cook a little longer.
By cooking the pork on the grill first, the outside of the meat will be browned, which will give it lots of flavor.
There are many recipes for barbecue sauce. If you don’t have a special recipe that you use, then there is a shortcut to making a sauce that uses store-bought sauces. In equal amounts, mix together a very thick, sweet barbecue sauce with a thin, vinegar-based sauce. This usually satisfies those who like a thick, sweet sauce and also those who prefer a tangy, thin vinegar sauce.
In certain regions of the Southern U.S., coleslaw is eaten with barbecue. Some eat it as a side dish, and some like it piled on top of a barbecue sandwich.
Pork barbecue is delicious “pulled” into long slices or chopped into smaller pieces. Which way do you prefer?