Pork Butt (Shoulder) Roast

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.

Pork butt, Boston butt, roast pork shoulder,

The whole butt sitting on a serving platter. Yes, I’d already sliced a swipe down at the lower right…

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?

pork butt, Boston butt, recipe, pork shoulder roast, Paleo, gluten-free

Ready for the oven, rubbed down on all sides with Berbere rub. One good thing about low temp roasting is that the spices did NOT burn.

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
Serves: 6.  
Leftovers?:  Yes, for sure, there’d better be!
Cuisine: Fusion.

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.)

pork roast, pork shoulder, pork butt, Boston butt, recipe

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!








About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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21 Responses to Pork Butt (Shoulder) Roast

  1. Cat says:

    I absolutely love pork and yours looks delicious. Have to disagree about Adele though, love her and love Hello 🙂

    • Cat, thanks regards the pork roast! I think my problem with Hello was “overplay syndrome” when I was having to have physical therapy the previous time, for my broken ankle. I’m actively looking for a gym that won’t keep slamming music at me!

  2. Arl's World says:

    Looks delicious! 🙂

  3. Looks delicious! I’m a big fan of Berbere spice mix. Love the idea of using it as a rub.

  4. Jhuls says:

    I don’t eat pork, but I am sure I could use beef. I haven’t tried roasting beef before coz I am afraid I won’t do the right thing, haha! Thanks for co-hosting with me, Diann. Happy Fiesta Friday!

    • And likewise, Happy Fiesta Friday/Saturday/All week long! I am sure this works well with beef, too. Maybe test it and try a taste an hour before, then keep tasting until you find your best time. Glad to co-host with you, too.

  5. mareliz says:

    Wow, Pork butt is my favorite part whenever I would do pork dishes.. its the best part I suppose because its tender and you don’t have to cook it longer. Your pork roast looks so delicious.

  6. nancyc says:

    It’s great that this not only makes a good meal, but you can use the leftovers in so many ways!

  7. Best post ever. You cracked me up!n When you said milk, I thought for a minute you might be cooking your pork in milk, which I’ve heard of but never tried!!

  8. Irene says:

    Hi Diann!
    Great food and great videos! Since you like Gordon Lightfoot and music videos, I thought you might be interested in joining the 3-day lyrical challenge; I have invited you in one of my posts, please check it out, thanks!


  9. That is a beautiful roast! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party!

  10. Lol, Diann, you crack me up. I can now confidently say I can cook whole pork shoulder really well, with crisp skin and all, having done it now about 3/4 times.To say it’s a great piece of roast is an understatement. I’ll post my method one of these days, I have lots of pictures! Thanks for cohosting! 😘😘

  11. Pingback: Four Hundred Blog Posts and Counting | Of Goats and Greens

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