Mary Ann's Blog

Don't look over your (pork) shoulder

Oh, the lonely pork butt, (also going by the name of pork shoulder roast), is so overlooked by home cooks. This cut need lovin’ in a low oven to really bring out its tenderness and tastiness. A pork butt has lots of fat and connective tissue and that is where the juicy secret of its taste lies. And it is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat that tastes so gourmet! It is a great choice for pulled pork because it shreds apart so easily when it’s cooked.

A few tips should get you running to the store to get one; first choose one that has a good ratio of meat to fat. When you are about to cook it, don't start with cold meat. Take the roast out at least an hour before cooking it. Season liberally with sea salt and coarse ground black pepper. Brown the roast slowly on all sides (this means the ends as well) in a heavy-duty stovetop to oven casserole. Transfer the meat to a dish and in the same pan, brown some sliced onions.

For a 4 pound roast, I like to use Vidalia onion for its sweet flavor. After the onions are browned, return the roast to the pan. Heat ½ cup of orange marmalade and 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until well combined. Brush evenly over the roast. Cover the casserole and place in a 325 preheated oven. Bake for about 1 ½ hours or until the roast is fork tender and an instant read thermometer registers 165F

To serve, cut into crosswise slices and spoon some of the juices over the meat. 

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