Does adding vegetables to a roast require more liquid?
September 4, 2012 8:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to make a version of this boston butt roast recipe, but would like to add some potatoes and/or carrots to the pot. Do I need to add more liquid to accommodate the vegetables? If so, about how much/what type (water, stock, etc.)? Thanks!
posted by griseus to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Throw the veggies in when there is an hour or so left. The potatoes don't need to be covered with water, they'll cook just fine, you'll want enough water to cover the carrots (shove the roast off to the side of the pan to make room for them, the potatoes can sit on top if needed). Just make sure it doesn't go dry on you, one cup of water for 2.5 to 3 hours may well evaporate. Add water as needed.
posted by HuronBob at 8:15 AM on September 4, 2012


Yeah. Don't do that.

Boston Butt will reduce in size by about 25%, all of it fat. While it makes meat ever so yummy, it will make your veggies soggy and greasy.

I'd put the veggies in, on a foil lined cookie sheet, tossed with a bit of olive oil to roast for about an hour or so before the butt is ready.

I recommend a Reynolds Oven Bag. This will contain a lot of the mess and really help with the breaking down of the meat for pulled pork sandwiches.

Stock up on cole slaw and bread-and-butter pickles. Yum!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:18 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Carrots, weirdly enough, always take longer for me to roast than potatoes. I don't know why, but it was a surprise to me. An hour left them rock-hard unless the temperature was fairly high, so I'd give carrots 90 minutes.
posted by xingcat at 8:19 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Liquid Smoke? Thats absurd... really thats a terrible recipe and this
"Place in the oven (350F) and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until thermometer reads 170 degrees F. " does not make sense.

after 2-3 hours of course its going to have reached that temperature.

But anyway - I"d stick the Vegetables in in the last hour. You don't need any more water. it Would have all evaporated by now anyway. The only problem is that there will be a lot of fat in there. Which is good for flavouring the vegetables but might end up deep frying them more than roasting them.

If the pork butt is not swimming in Fat it will be ok.
Otherwise I"d spoon out some of the Fat and slather it over the vegetables and then cook them in a different oven dish
posted by mary8nne at 9:20 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd make a suggestion that you maybe skip the liquid smoke and maybe add some smoked paprika to the rub. If you really want to use liquid smoke make you own BBQ sauce and add it to that, but WAY WAY WAY less than the amount called for in the recipe. like maybe a few dashes. And lower the cooking temp on the roast - 350 is too high for a butt where you want to dissolve the connective tissue

Also you don't want to roast veg in that container. If you cooked it at 350 you could use a seperate pan in the hot oven. But I'd probably par cook the potatoes, does them in some of the dripping and throw ii in a very hot oven for a few minutes after you've taken the pork out.
posted by JPD at 9:28 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's unusual to make a butt roast like this with the entire butt. Do you need a 5-pound roast? If not, part it down and save the rest for carnitas or pulled pork. Anyway, your call.

That said, everything in the recipe says this is a pan-roast, not a pot-roast. The drippings will basically be pure fat; the water's just there to keep the oven humid in the first stages of cooking.

That is quite a lot of liquid smoke, but then again, she's trying to emulate a properly smoked butt, after a fashion. Butts get smoked for half a day at least, in Q country. I'd go with 1.5T at the very most. Maybe it should've been 4 teaspoons.

Save the pork-fat, by the way-- it would be excellent for pan-frying something on the side, or cooking hearty greens. It'll have all the smoke and spices and onion flavor already in. Chop and fry a tuber of your choosing and you'll be in heaven. Also, maybe a teaspoon of the fat thrown in next time you cook a pound of dried beans.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:50 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll come in to nth that Liquid Smoke is gross.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:06 AM on September 4, 2012


mary8nne: "until thermometer reads 170 degrees F" is referring to the internal temperature of the meat, which may very well take longer than 3 hours to get there.

I'd second JPD that you're better off at a lower temp, maybe 250 for about 4 hours.
posted by libraryhead at 10:23 AM on September 4, 2012


Ugh, yeah gotta agree with everyone else: four tablespoons of Liquid Smoke? Ick! Maybe they really meant four TEAspoons, which I still think is too much but at least it's FAR less objectionable.

As for the vegetables: they really only need enough (not-fat) liquid to cover them; you can use water, stock, water + a boullion cube, or perhaps a cup of red wine (a hearty burgundy or merlot would do well). All would work, it's just a matter of taste.

And if there's extra liquid? I personally ADORE gravy and sauces.....
posted by easily confused at 10:24 AM on September 4, 2012


I'd cook the butt for hours and hours. Low and slow, that's how you get it to fall apart.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:55 AM on September 4, 2012


Is it necessary to go to 170F anymore? You could get away with 160, 155, hell 140 and call it blue. Pigs in the first world don't harbor trichinosis anymore. I hate to probe meat before it's done, but tenderness is the goal, not temperature. Once you hit 158, see how easily a knife gets in there when stabbing across the grain. If it's good, take it out and tent it for 20 minutes, and it'll coast into the 160s.

Also, it'll take more than an oven bag to get pulled pork-- this is a pork roast suitable for slicing.

By the way, an alternate way to add smoky flavor without the liquid: lay bacon over the top. When the bacon gets ultra-crisp, throw loose foil shield on there to prevent further burning. The fat will run down the sides an do wonders for the fat-soluble flavors in the spices, and then it'll go to the drippins pan, where it will just add wonderful goodness to the liquid gold already down there.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:53 PM on September 4, 2012


In LA this seems impossible, but in the Northeast, you can get smoked pork butt - and it is AWESOME.

I experimented with pork butt and liquid smoke here in LA. It did not go well.


You vould also use a smoked salt along with the smoked paprika, but for goodness sake, lose the liquid smoke in this particular application.


Good luck!
posted by jbenben at 1:44 PM on September 4, 2012


Is it necessary to go to 170F anymore? You could get away with 160, 155, hell 140 and call it blue. Pigs in the first world don't harbor trichinosis anymore. I hate to probe meat before it's done, but tenderness is the goal, not temperature. Once you hit 158, see how easily a knife gets in there when stabbing across the grain. If it's good, take it out and tent it for 20 minutes, and it'll coast into the 160s.


Although as a general rule modern pork should be cooked pink, in the case of butt you'll really find it needs sustained temps above 160F to melt the collagen and what not. You probably do not want to go above 170 tho. This is one of those dishes where temp isn't really going to help you tho. SO yeah, agreed on the stabbing, but you really do need to cook it very slowly up to a high temp to make it as good as it can be.
posted by JPD at 3:08 PM on September 4, 2012


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