Let me just butt in here and say that the front part of the pig is better than bacon. Whether it’s Boston butt, picnic roast, or best of all, country-style ribs (which aren’t really ribs), that’s my favorite part of this animal. You can keep the ham as long as I get the front end… although there’s a delicious place for a ham, too, if smoked by good pros.
I’ll also butt in to say that a pork butt cut is not where you might think it is. The nether end is the ham end. The shoulder end contains the alliterative butt-cut. And sometimes the butt roast cut takes over those luscious country style ribs, or at least some of them. At any rate, there’s a long linguistic set of reasons I don’t feel like repeating as to why the Boston butt (which is referred to in Boston usually just as the butt) roast is named the way it is.
No, I don’t know why the picnic roast is called a picnic roast… although it would be just as fun to bring to a picnic as many other cut preparations might be. That one is supposed to be a bit lower on the shoulder/foreleg than the butt.
I am given to understand that in other parts of the world, cut names, and actual divvying up of cuts, is different than here in the US. So, find an upper shoulder cut of roast that contains skin, and if bone is not present, cook it for a somewhat lesser time — open oven once or twice and strategically poke… You don’t want a cold shoulder, much less a tough one…
Okay, so let’s just say it’s time to pig out and make our roast before I milk (does anyone ever milk a pig, other than their own piglets?) these porcine terms to death?
I took temperatures and timings from Serious Eats website, but otherwise did my own thing. And I did overall cook this a shorter amount of time, as my goal was to minimize shredding — keep it in the oven if you want that, but for this prep, I did not. Plus, my cut was smaller than theirs.
One thing I loved about this low temperature is that the rub did NOT burn. It was cooked, but not charred into the taste of charcoal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7.5 hours + 15 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes and counting
Leftovers?: Yes, for sure, there’d better be!
Pork Butt Roast in the Oven
- 1 pork butt (Boston butt, shoulder roast) bone in, skin on. Mine was 6.3 lbs / 2.9 kg.
- 4 tablespoons Ethiopian Berbere seasoning (or your favorite flavory rub)
Pre-heat oven to 250 F / 120 C.
Rub the roast with the berbere seasoning. Or find or make another dry rub that appeals to you, and use that. The berbere comes with salt and pepper, so I felt no need to add extra. If your rub needs salt and ground pepper as extra, add them!
Cook in the oven for 7.5 hours. 8 hours if you have a larger pork shoulder roast.
I removed from oven, ate a little, reserved the drippings, chilled over night and defatted the drippings, which I kept with the roast. You can, however, make a gravy by deglazing the drippings in their pan with a cup of broth (or wine). For Paleo, use a little arrowroot starch mixed 1:2 with a little water… say, 1 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons, and add that to the gravy and stir.
Since I made this for myself, I had lots of leftover ideas. Not really sure how many servings I actually got out of this… Re-heat slices in the microwave, serve with sautéed veggies. Top a cold salad with a couple slightly-warmed slices. Chop up finely, and add to a stir fry. Make breakfast, in the spirit of steak & eggs, but instead, pork roast and eggs: (PS, that’s a duck egg AND a chicken egg.)
I made this recipe four weeks prior to posting, due to having more than enough pork posts already back then. (
Sometimes you just need to cut the pork…)
So, I decided to have a little fun: Gordon Lightfoot: Cold on the Shoulder:
I admit, I absolutely loathe her (Adele’s) song, Hello. Beyond speaking. It goes with Terry Jack’s Seasons in the Sun.. ACCCCKK!!! But looking around for songs about shoulders, this earlier song of Adele’s, Cold Shoulder, this I do like. I’m glad I stepped out of my envelope for it, while looking for songs about shoulders. I almost didn’t play it, but figured I could back out at any instant. It works as something I can listen to again. Often.
Happy Roasting! May your kitchen have cool enough moments to make this. The low roasting temps will definitely help even if it be hot outside, and you lack A/C.
Link to this recipe joining the fiesta at Fiesta Friday! Your co-hosts this week are Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens. The latter is me, and I am glad to be co-hosting Fiesta Friday this turn around, especially with someone who cooks like Jhuls. Don’t let her fool you… she’s creative.
And, visit this recipe at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link Up 162!