Pork Butt, also called Boston Butt, is actually a somewhat tough (but full of fat and connective tissue) cut of meat from the upper shoulder area. It is the perfect braising cut! In the past, I've used the picnic, or the lower shoulder, but that usually comes with bone and skin (which is a pain to remove.) So having a ready to go, boneless cut of meat makes this a low maintenance dish which involves 3 steps: dry rub marinade, searing and braising.
Start in the morning so the pork has time to tenderize and get flavored from your dry rub. Rinse and pat the butt dry. Thinly slice a couple of garlic cloves, make slits all over the pork and insert the garlic -- this will perfume the pork on the inside. The butt pictured here is roughly 3.5lbs.
Prepare your favorite spice rub. You really can't go wrong here. A basic one is as follows:
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
That's a basic rub. Sometimes I add cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, cloves -- whatever one fancies.
Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
- After 6 hrs, remove the pork butt from the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 300F on the convection setting (or 325F if you don't have a convection oven.)
- Start heating your Dutch Oven on medium heat with a couple tbsp olive oil.
- Slice one onion (I only had a red onion, but I've used yellow ones in the past)
- Have a couple of bay leaves, some low sodium chicken broth and some apple cider vinegar on hand.
- Sear the pork on one side for ~5 minutes until a nice flavorful crust forms.
- Flip the meat and add the onions to the pot so they begin to cook.
8. After 5 minutes, add your bay leaves and enough broth so that only the top third of the pork is showing. At this point I also added 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar.
9. Cover, and place in the oven for 1.5hrs.
10. After the first 1.5 hrs, flip and add more broth if necessary. Back in the oven for another 1.5 hrs.
That's it! The first night, we usually shred a bit of the pork and serve with some potatoes and a salad. However, the best part about this is what you can do later on in the week. Think green pork stew with green chilis, tomatillos and chickpeas. Or how about pork lo mein? Pozole rojo? I've made 'em all, and I'll be sure to post them soon!