Non-pulled-pork recipes for pork butt and 'picnic roast'?
March 2, 2015 1:19 PM   Subscribe

I made a bulk pork order some time ago, and with it I received a 3lb 'picnic roast' and a 3.5lb pork butt. What is the most delicious way to prepare these that is not pulled pork?
posted by torisaur to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Make bo ssam with the butt. It's super easy (if a bit time consuming) and stunningly good.
posted by Itaxpica at 1:25 PM on March 2, 2015 [7 favorites]

Carnitas, ideally in a slow cooker.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:27 PM on March 2, 2015 [10 favorites]

I have been on a roasting kick, so I would roast that pork butt. Mmm.
posted by jillithd at 1:27 PM on March 2, 2015

As a kid I was not a fan, but my grandmother made roast pork and sauerkraut that everyone else seemed to love.
posted by maxg94 at 1:33 PM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Another vote for carnitas. It's a great preparation, slow cooker or not. And, it freezes well.
posted by quince at 1:33 PM on March 2, 2015

Bo ssam. Definitely bo ssam. :)
posted by joycehealy at 1:36 PM on March 2, 2015

Carnitas! So easy. And you can just broil it to make it crispy, no frying required.
posted by sandmanwv at 1:37 PM on March 2, 2015

If you happen to have a grinder, you can make amazing sausages (even just the patties, no casings) with pork butt.
posted by ORthey at 1:38 PM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

A few weeks ago I cut a pork butt in two, used half for bo ssam as Itaxpica linked above, and confited the other half. I shredded the confit pork before serving and we ate them together with a kind of white bean ragout thing full of chopped bacon, and it was GREAT, highly recommend, total pork overload. It also yielded excellent and versatile leftovers.

Does your picnic roast have the skin on? Low and slow roasting (generously salt it all over and put it on a rack in a baking dish in a 250F oven for like 8 hours, until you can poke a fork into it with no resistance) finished in a very hot oven (remove the pork and let it rest while you heat then oven to 500F; put it back and turn the pan occasionally until the skin is crisp and blistered all over, maybe 20 minutes) is an unbelievably delicious treatment for pork shoulder with skin attached.
posted by bewilderbeast at 1:38 PM on March 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

Nthing caritas.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:45 PM on March 2, 2015

Well, carnitas is essentially pulled pork, so that's probably not going to do it for you. I would either make a roast out of it or cure it and smoke it for ham. Whatever you do with the butt, though, it's going to want to fall apart along the grain of the meat like pulled pork would, so be prepared for that. The picnic roast should hold together for nice slices.

Do this with the pork butt.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:47 PM on March 2, 2015

To expound on my carnitas recommendation - yes, it's akin to pulled pork in terms of technique, but it is different in terms of seasoning.

So maybe that's something you could clarify - if the reason you want to avoid pulled pork is a matter of flavor and seasoning, then there you go - carnitas would work. However, if you're avoiding pulled pork because you want something more solid and carve-able, then it wouldn't.

So I'll amend my recommendation to "carnitas, depending on why you don't want pulled pork."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:59 PM on March 2, 2015

Chashu or Char siu are both excellent uses of pork butt.

The first is Japanese and braised with soy, sake, ginger and garlic. The other is chinese and usually marinated with hoisin, honey and other ingredients before being BBQ'd or baked in strips.
posted by Muttoneer at 2:11 PM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Pork butt is the traditional cut for char sui. This recipe is pretty close to mine. If done properly, you'll get firm pork you can slice, nothing like pulled pork. The recipe over cooks it. Pull it at 150° and let it rest 10 minutes instead.
posted by advicepig at 2:13 PM on March 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

You're all wrong. At least, if OP is in the Northern Hemisphere and it's winter.

Pork butt makes the best chili (version 1, version 2).
posted by supercres at 2:20 PM on March 2, 2015

Pulled pork is closer to a method, rather than a single recipe or style. You can layer different types of flavorings on top of any kind of pulled pork. That momofuku Bo ssam recipe is really, really, really close to just regular old pulled pork. It's a fucking phenomenal recipe, but I'm not sure it departs from the umbrella of 'pulled pork.'

Personally, I really like pork butt sliced thin, marinated with lemongrass, fish sauce and some honey, and then broiled or grilled up. Not unlike this recipe here.

I'm also a sucker for a Rogan Josh style curry with pork in it. Not super traditional, but really good.

Goddamnit metafilter. Now I'm super hungry and all I have is this lame-ass turkey sandwich.
posted by furnace.heart at 2:43 PM on March 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

If it's the "pulled" part you want to avoid, Bo ssam can be cooked throughly low and slow and still be left sliceable. And yes, the ingredients for the roast are basic but it's all the extras (included with the recipe linked above) that seal the deal.

That char suit recipe linked by the eponymous advicepig sounds really good, though.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:02 PM on March 2, 2015

I have done carnitas, but was not so happy with the amount of fat. I know that's the best part, but maybe I am moving away from that. Tho' I have heard good things about people making carnitas with Coke in a slow cooker.

When I get a pork butt, I roast it at 300 F on a mini broiler pan, fat cap up, so the fat drips down into the bottom part. I do this for about 6 hours, or until it gets up to 195 or 200 F internally.

You can marinate or rub overnight first, using any flavor profile you like (I like mustard and herbs, maybe some hot sauce, or lemon and canola oil with thyme and garlic would work, I would avoid olive oil for something cooked that long). At the end of cooking, if it's not coming up to temp, tent it with foil (but it should first have that delicious crust on the outside).

Then it's super important to let it rest under foil for a while. I've done both: cut it right away or let it rest, and resting does something to it. But, only if you get it up to the 195 F internal temp first! Allow at least an hour for it to rest, under foil.

After that, you can do anything with it, you can slice it, or put it in stews, casseroles, curries, etc. The main thing is to treat it right: low and slow, either via roasting or a crock pot. It will naturally pull or shred, but you don't have to pull it with forks if you don't want to. Think of it like the dark meat chicken of pork. It's very rich, so adding it to things would make them richer. I can only stand so much pulled pork, so I get where you are coming from. Maybe shred some and save for use in breakfast hash, frittatas, etc.?

I also often make Cuban sandwiches with my leftover pork. I do not have access to real Cuban bread, but I get a soft Italian loaf, slice it horizontally, and smear with mustard, then lay pickle slices on the bottom, pork meat, ham, and Swiss cheese. I cut the loaf into about 6-8" pieces and put it in a cast iron pan with butter and another cast iron skillet on top, with a giant can of tomatoes on top of that to weigh it down (as I don't have the right sandwich maker). Then I will flip it and add more butter. So good. Just make sure the cheese is melted and take your time, don't make the pan too hot, just medium high. Now I want a Cuban.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:40 PM on March 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

Butt is better than tenderloin for traditional char siu - the fat in the butt gives a better mouthfeel. Ideally, though, you'd do it in an actual bbq or grill. If you're doing it in the oven, roast over tinfoil/parchment paper. The sugar is a real pain to clean off pans.

My "single mom" recipe:

-chunk of meat (the more connective tissue the better, pork butt is great, as is chuck)
-season with pepper, garlic
-mix 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup with 1 package of dry onion soup mix
-coat seasoned meat with soup/soup mix
-slow cookerate on [keep warm] for 8 hours or so (with remainder of the soup/soup mix)

Modern slow cookers hold at temperatures much higher than old school slow cookers for "safety" reasons. The [warm] setting is the oldschool [low] setting. I've found modern [low] settings to be too high and food comes out tough.

You can use the gravy with slices of meat. The gravy is also good as a pasta sauce. You can also toss in frozen peas/carrots about a half hour before serving.
posted by porpoise at 3:44 PM on March 2, 2015

When I get a pork shoulder, I like to cube it and make chile verde. Buncha tomatillos, cilantro, onion, jalapenos & other green chiles (as mild or hot as you like). Freezes well for later. Good stuff, Maynard!
posted by Guy Smiley at 8:34 PM on March 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I just remembered this recipe I've been meaning to try:

Italian Milk-Braised Pork

There are lots of versions online but this one has three ingredients and is an adaptation of a Marcella Hazan pork loin recipe.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:56 PM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Porchetta is often called italian pulled pork, so there's that. But it is delicious. Here's how I was taught to make it when I first moved to New York:

Butterfly the pork butt to remove the bone
Stuff it with chopped garlic, olive oil and chopped fennel (include the green tops)
Tie it up and sear the outside, after you've rubbed it with garlic, oil, salt and pepper
We sear over a grill, but you can use a hot skillet
Pop it in a slow cooker, or a low oven (225-250) for three and a half or four hours

And, enjoy!
posted by valkane at 3:33 AM on March 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Slow-roasted pork is great for homemade ramen. I like to make mine with shoyu-style broth and add boiled egg, sauteed mushrooms, and a lot of scallions, but there are endless recipes out there.

Valkane, I'd never heard of porchetta--that sounds amazing!
posted by heatvision at 4:52 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Most preparations here for picnic shoulder is essentially forms of pulled pork. Maybe and this happened to me last week, you are bored with the traditional pulled pork. Spray Bbq sauce and put in sandwich.

But then .. I found all the recipes pulled pork made possible.
Nachos,pizza, fried rice etc.
posted by radsqd at 10:55 AM on March 3, 2015

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