Elegant Pork Butt dinner?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I like making pork butt as a segue to pulled bbq and have served it as a roast for dinner for just ourselves.  It usually falls apart though which I don't mind but I'm wondering if there's a way to slice it elegantly.  Should I cook it a bit less so it's soft and tender but not falling apart?  If so, how long per pound should that be?  I'm also looking for a nice crisp all around, do I start on high heat and then cover or uncover at the end and blast? 

    Any good recipes, sauces, gravies, and presentation ideas?  I'm open to anything but prefer to serve family style.
     
  2. french fries

    french fries

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    I LOOOOVE Pork butt, and not necessarily the pulled-pork type (which I also love). You can definitely cook it less where it stays in shape, and nicely carve it into beautiful slices, elegantly plated with its jus and one or two sides. 

    One of my favorite ways to prepare pork butt is to roast it very, very slowly in the oven (300F). Actually I start it much hotter (475F) for about 15-20mn, then cook it slow. I'm not 100% sure of my numbers, I usually kinda wing it, but I think it's something like this for a 4-5 lbs roast: 

    1) Tie the pork butt into a nice roast. 

    2) Rub with fleur de sel or coarse sea salt. Many people will scientifically prove to you that salt is salt and it doesn't make a difference, my palate doesn't agree with them, and I'd rather trust my palate. You can rub with freshly ground pepper, and even stuff with a bit of salt and fresh sage if you wish. 

    3) Place on rack in roasting pan and cook 15mn @ 475F, then 1:30 @ 300F. 

    4) Pull out of oven, pull rack & pork out of the pan and rest with foil. 

    5) Place roasting pan on a burner over medium to medium-high heat and add 6 onions cut in 4 quarters (I use 3 white onions and 3 red onions), also add 2 lemons cut in 4 quarters. Deglaze the caramelized pork juices with the onions and lemons while coloring them to golden brown. 

    6) Add finely sliced sage to the onions and lemons, and a couple Tbsp honey. 

    7) Push onions/lemons to the sides and place roast (without rack) in the center. 

    8) Back in the oven for 1:30mn. 

    9) Pull out of the oven, place onions, lemons and pork into a serving dish and keep warm (very low oven). 

    10) Place roasting pan on a burner and deglaze with white wine to make a jus. 

    If you do it right, the jus will be the highlight of the evening. You can strain the jus for an even more elegant presentation - but it's not necessary.

    Hope you'll try it - let me know if you do!! :D

    If my memory serves me right this recipe came from Marcus Wareing. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  3. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    That sounds like a really nice recipe, French! And if it's inspired by Marcus Wareing, I would certainly give that a go, he's a fantastic cook.

    Maybe with a side dish of apple? I usually fry cubed sweet apples in butter first for a while, then add a handfull of dark raisins, a pinch of Chinese 5-spice powder, a good tbsp of soft dark sugar (type cassonade or vergeoise) other sugar may work too, a good squeeze of lemonjuice and let it caramelize lightly. Yummm! I made it recently with these pork boudins; http://www.cheftalk.com/t/67693/black-white
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    That's a very nice recipe FF!  Pretty much what I was looking for.

    I've always been weary of tying my roasts because I don't understand the value of it.  Can you help me with this?  Also, are the onions and the lemons meant to be eaten?  Does the jus have a lot of fat in it, does it have to be defatted?
     
  5. oldpro

    oldpro

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    You might want to experiment with a picnic (pork shoulder).  I've used them lately in place of the pork butts when I smoked them for pulled pork.  They have a slightly different texture than the pork butts, and should slice better for the presentation you're looking for.  They come skin on, which I've removed when smoking them.  I don't know if that would be absolutely necessary for roasting, but it probably would.  I can't say it's better than the pork butt, but it's just as good. 
     
  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The "whole shoulder" is composed of the "Boston butt" and "picnic ham."  The butt is the higher part, nearer the neck (cushion), and the picnic is the lower, including more of the leg. 

    When I do picnics in the oven I remove the skin in one piece, season the roast, and tie the skin back on.  That way we get delicious cracklings as well as the meat, and the meat itself won't dry out during the cook.  The skin and fat come off pretty easily, it's mostly a matter pulling without too much little help from your knife; not exactly grad level butchering, but you'll do a few sloppy jobs before getting it right.  

    It's a good idea to tie just about anything which can be tied.  It makes for more even cooking, and a more compact, easier to slice roast or bird.  When a roast has been boned or butterflied, trussing is necessary to hold the roast together.  Trussing is really very easy, once you get the hang of it. 

    FF's recipe looks very good.  Michael Chiarello has a recipe on his site for roast butt which you may like; the fennell/coriander seed rub is quite good and I've used the idea for one of my "stock" pork rubs.  When I do butt for something other than pulled pork (not often), I butterfly, stuff and roll.  Injecting isn't a bad idea with butt. 

    BDL
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    At the market they're just called pork butts, how would I know which one it is, boston or picnic?  Should I ask the butcher?

    Deboning and stuffing sounds good, can that be cooked until tender?
     
  8. teamfat

    teamfat

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    A boston is more square, a picnic looks more tapered, like a ham, since it is basically the front leg.  Also the picnin will usually have a thick layer of skin and fat around most of it.

    One thing I often do when serving pork roasts is use ginger snap cookies, finely crumbled, to thicken the gravy.  Ginger goes well with pork.

    mjb.
     
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    team is right.  But easier still... If it's called a butt, it's a "Boston butt."  A picnic ham would be called a "picnic."

    BDL
     
  10. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    It's definitely a butt then.
     
  11. chefboyarg

    chefboyarg

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    David Chang has an awesome recipe for pork butt cooked bo ssam style. A friend cooked it for a Christmas party dinner last year and it was AWESOME. Deliciously crispy, slightly salty and sweet, very porky and a traditional Christmas dish. ;)

    Recipe is as follows, paraphrased from Chang's book for an 8-10lb butt bone in:

    1 whole butt

    1c granulated sugar

    1c + 1 tbsp kosher salt

    7tbsp light brown sugar

    1. Put shoulder in a non reactive roasting pan that will hold it snugly. Mix together all the granulated sugar and 1c salt in a bowl. Rub all over the butt and discard excess. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.

    2. Heat the oven to 300F. Remove the pork from the fridge and discard accumulated juices. Cook the pork for 6 hours in the oven, basting every hour with the accumulated juices and rendered fat. The pork should be tender and yielding. If not rushed, let the pork rest for an hour at room temp.

    3. Crank oven to 500F, stir remaining 1tbsp salt and brown sugar and massage that butt with the mix. Put it in the oven for 10-15mins until a crisp, sweet crust has formed.

    4. Enjoy.
     
  12. french fries

    french fries

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    Yes, defat the pan before deglazing. Some people don't defat, I guess that's ok too if you don't mind a fatty jus. It also depends how much fat the shoulder rendered. 

    The onions and lemons are DEFINITELY meant to be eaten, they were caramelized in the drippings, sweetened with honey, flavored with the sage, slow cooked with the pork, they are absolutely delicious. My wife and kid both love biting into the lemons too, although I personally just squeeze them a bit over the onions. But the onions are absolutely delicious. 

    Regarding tying, a boned pork butt is generally pretty shapeless, it doesn't really looks like a roast until you tie it. That means you'll have a shapeless piece of meat, with some parts that are thin, some thick, etc.. and by the time you've cooked through the thicker parts, the thinner ones will be completely overcooked. So I tie them to give them the shape of one big roast, so I can slow cook without fearing overcooking any bits. 

    BTW BDL mentioned the skin, I never tried it, but the original recipe says to cut long slits through the skin about 1/2" apart on the entire surface of the skin, while keeping it attached to the meat, and rub it generously with coarse sea salt. Before serving, the skin is detached, cut into small pieces and served as a garnish. That sounds absolutely delicious but I've never had the occasion of buying a skin-on pork butt (yet). 
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  13. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Chefboyrg that sounds really good too.  Does the pork come out sweet?

    FF, I bet cippolini onions would work well.  Pardon me but I'd add garlic too, lots of it.  Can't wait to try out these ideas.
     
  14. french fries

    french fries

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    You're pardoned. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

    Cippolini... why not... maybe leave them whole then? Personally I love to quarter white and red onions. First, they're quarters, giving them two flat surfaces, which is perfect to deglaze the roasting pan, and perfect to add golden brown color to the onions before slow-roasting them. Second, the two color onions make for two different flavors, and different colors on your dish. But I'm sure your dish would be very good too. 
     
  15. pohaku

    pohaku

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    Nice.  I usually slather mine with a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper, grated parmesan or romano, minced garlic and chopped fresh rosemary.  Splash a quarter cup of white wine over it before you throw it in the oven.  Roast at 300* in a convection oven.  Defat and deglaze pan with your choice of stock when done.  I usually use chicken stock because I always have it available.  Of course, if you have pork neck bones available, you could make a nice pork stock.  Correct seasoning.  The caramelized cheese adds a really nice extra depth of flavor to your sauce and the meat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  16. chefboyarg

    chefboyarg

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    yeh. nice and crunchy, sweet and slightly salty.
     
  17. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    This time of the year, I would cut the shoulder in chunks and make a nice stew. Maybe something interesting like a "ragoût of pork, wild boar style"?

    Ignore this suggestion when it doesn't fit this thread.
     
  18. french fries

    french fries

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    Not sure whether Kouk' would consider a stew elegant or not, but in that vein you could do a chili, for example BDL's chile verde which is delicious (made it a few times already): http://www.cookfoodgood.com/?p=78

    PS: Chris would you have a recipe for a ragout of pork wild boar style? I'm interested! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  19. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    FF, here's my suggestion of "Ragoût of pork, wild boar style" to which you can add your own touch and interpretation.

    Start by cutting the meat in not too small chunks, remove as much fat as you seem fit. Make a marinade of a bottle of good wine (Merlot is perfect), add an onion with 3 cloves pushed in, some juniperberries, a bouquet garni (bayleaf, parcely stalks, thyme..), peppercorns, a whole bulb of garlic sliced sideways in 2, rough chunks of carrot and celery. Simply add what seems logical and fit to you. I would add some stems of shiitakes (use the hats in the stew). Put the meat in, cover and let marinate 24h or longer.

    Strain, and dry the meat, preserve the sieved marinade. Put the sieved marinade in a separate pot and let reduce by half. Brown the meat, a small batch at a time in a frying pan. Take your time for this, 1 minute per side is not enough, the chunks have to be nicely browned.

    Meanwhile, in your castiron stewpot, on low fire, sweat roughly chopped onion and garlic to taste. Only then, put each finished batch of meat in the pot. When the meat is done, add the "petit jus", aka the remaining liquid in your frying pan into the stewpot, turn the heat up a bit and sprinkle with a tbsp of flour. Let cook for a minute. Let's not forget your frying pan; add a big part of the reduced marinade in your frying pan to deglaze. Scrape all the goodies from the bottom of the frying pan. Add that to the stewpot, together with the rest of the marinade. Add a good cup of stock (beef, veal, chicken, whatever you prefer), a tbsp of tomato paste, then add plain water until everything is just covered with liquid. Stir, cover, reduce the fire to low and allow yourself a beer.

    After 45-60 minutes, add a few nicely cut carrots. Peel them, cut at 1 inch lenght, slice in equal 10-15 mm-ish thickness. Meanwhile, clean and peel 2 or more handfulls of white baby onions (we call them silveronions). Works faster when you blanch them a few seconds in boiling water! Cut the hats of the shiitakes in 4 chunks. Add the carrots raw to the stew. Fry the onions in butter untill golden brown (add a sprinkle of sugar) and preserve. Then fry the mushrooms and preserve.

    After another 45-60 minutes or longer if needed the meat should be more or less done, add the onions,the mushrooms and a piece of dark chocolate (2 big bites is enough!). Small dash of cream and some parcely if you want.

    Et voilà, "ragoût de porc, wild boar style". Serve with mashed potatoes maybe combined with celeriac. Red cabbage, apples, ...
     
  20. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I love stews, but in this case I'm looking for an elegant roast.  I'm intrigued by the thought of butterflying and stuffing it.  Will do some research on stuffing ingredients sans bread.