Food You Can Eat: Slow Roasted Pork Butt

First things first:  When I was a kid and my mother would say we were having pork butt for dinner, my first thought was always, “why would we want to eat ass?”  As an adult (but not quite a grown-up), I still don’t understand why people eat ass, but I have come to appreciate a good, tender, butt.

A caveat before we get started:  It takes basically 24 hours to make this, due to the marinating process, so make sure you’ve got your shit together, especially for storage in the fridge.  If you’re one of those people who has jars of condiments that expired in 1989 (you laugh, but I’ve cleaned out more than one fridge like that), and has Tupperware containers filled with stuff that is on the verge of sentience, then this recipe is not for you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Big-Ass Pork Butt.  It can be bone-in (like the one I’m using here) or boneless.  It matters not.

4-5 cloves of Garlic, minced

4-5 teaspoons of Kosher Salt (No, not table salt, not sea salt, not that $15 Pink Himalayan Salt, which is probably just Morton’s with food coloring—use Kosher Salt.)

1-2 Tablespoons of fresh Rosemary, minced

Black Pepper

¼ to ⅓ Cup Olive Oil

1-2 Tablespoons Brown Mustard (If you want to go all Old-Man-In-Rolls-Royce-Eating-A-Deli-Sandwich-Because-That’s-Totally-Believable, then use Dijon.)

Place your minced garlic and Kosher salt in a mortar and pestle and mash together until they create a paste.  Don’t have a mortar and pestle?  Then you clearly are not pretentious enough to make this recipe.  Just make some Real American food instead, like a steak that is cooked into oblivion and eat it with ketchup.

This is why you need Kosher salt. Anything else, and you won’t get this texture.

To make the marinade, place the garlic paste in a small bowl, add the black pepper, olive oil, mustard and rosemary and mix well.  If you live in a desert, then rosemary is a relatively low-maintenance perennial herb to grow and can get as large as a mesquite tree.  If, however, you live in literally any other environment, then rosemary is a high maintenance pain in the ass.  However, because we deem it essential in this house, we have a rosemary plant.  Well, it’s actually our second rosemary plant.  The first one we planted in our garden and made sure it had excellent drainage—but it still got too much water just from the rain alone and it croaked.  So, we took a large pot, filled the bottom a third of the way with large rocks, then put in the dirt and the plant.  We bring it in over the winter and put it back out over the spring, summer and fall.  I only water it when it’s looking drier than it should.  It’s been with us for three years now and counting.

But I digress.  Now it’s time to trim your butt.  You may be saying to yourself, “but my butt is just fine the way it is.”  I promise you it is not.  Using a sharp knife, trim as much fat as you can without digging into the meat.

Before…
…after

Now, take your marinade and slather it all over your butt until your butt is completely coated.  Pro tip:  only use one hand to slap your butt with marinade.  Use the other hand to stick a fork in your butt to turn it this way and that, so you’ll always have one clean hand.  After years in the restaurant business, I cannot begin to properly express the need to always have at least one clean hand.

Mmm…that’s one good lookin’ butt.

Cover your butt tightly with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge to marinate overnight.

The next day, roughly 6 or 7 hours before you plan to eat your butt, take your butt out of the fridge and let it sit out so that it comes up to room temperature—leave the plastic on, because you don’t want anything touching your butt.

At 3 or 4 hours before you plan to eat your butt, take off the plastic wrap, place it on a roasting pan (if you also have a roasting rack for your roasting pan, then bully for you), stick a meat thermometer in your butt, and then put your butt in a 325-degree oven.  When the meat thermometer reads 180 degrees, then pull your butt out of the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Tsssss! That’s a hot butt.

Serve with Meg’s Risotto.  You’ll have plenty of time to make it while your butt is roasting.

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About butcherbakertoiletrymaker 568 Articles
When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.

14 Comments

  1. Oh this is something I would definitely do. I bet this makes for excellent leftovers, like in a sandwich with gravy/au jus or sliced over a salad.
     
    Have you ever made this without the bone in? I’ve always thought that meat with a bone in takes a little longer to cook but is usually tastier.
     
    Also, thanks for alerting a wider audience that you don’t need a slow cooker or instapot to make meat like this. I’ve been contemplating contributing a rump roast recipe to FYCE that’s very similar to this one, so maybe not. For mine, you basically do the same thing, although the marinade is a little different. 
     
    This reminds me I haven’t made a beef brisket for a while, but maybe I’ll do this instead over the weekend.

    • Yeah, instapots and less techie slow cookers are fine and all, but are certainly not necessary to make foods that people have been making for ever.  Now that you mention it, I don’t think I’ve done a boneless butt, so the cook time should be taken into account if one is going that route.

  2. Remind me not to read your recipes while drinking coffee – I laughed and splurted my coffee after the first butt reference; my sense of humor resembles that of a 12-year-old boy. Anyway. My goodness that looks good. I know people who would love it – how heart-healthy do you think it is? Were I not a pescatarian, I would love that, but I will cook meat for others.

    So I vouch for the expired stuff people hanging around. After my mother died, my father moved in with us. We were cleaning out his home and got to the pantry. There were expired canned goods. Expired for years. Do you know how long it takes canned goods to expire? I chalked it up to having been children in the depression era.

    A mortar and pestle is a requirement in my kitchen. After the renovation this summer, I couldn’t find it, and figured I’d inadvertently pitched it. Nah, I had just put in a spot that wasn’t obvious and didn’t find it till after I’d purchased and used the new one. Amazon has quite serviceable, inexpensive ones. So now I have two; clearly I am pretentious enough to make this recipe!

    • So, with the whole “is (x) meat heart healthy” question, most of the time the assumption is made that said meat is industrially farmed, because that shit is bad, bad, bad for human consumption.  However, when meats like beef or pork are raised in a non-revenue-maximizing fashion, such as pasture raised and completely grass-fed, that meat will have as good, or better, nutritional profile than most farmed fish.  Same goes for eggs.  Almost all the meat we get is this type so we have no concerns.  The other side of the coin, obviously, is that the meat costs a lot more money–but you get what you pay for.
       
      We once cleaned the kitchen for Mrs. Butcher’s aunt and uncle.  The aunt’s mind was going and the uncle was a borderline hoarder.  We had to wait until the uncle left the house to run some errands and then we went to it.  This was…probably early 2000’s, and I found opened jars in the fridge that had gone bad in…wait for it…1987.  Between the fridge and the pantry, we filled three or four large black garbage bags and tossed that shit out.  Unfortunately, the uncle arrived earlier than we anticipated and saw what we were doing and he flipped the fuck out.  He went so far as to go outside to get the garbage bags and put the shit back.  It was the last time we visited them.

      • When we cleaned out my wife’s grandmother’s house (she was 98) a few years ago, there were canned goods that had to be 15-20 years old.  Some of the cans rattled when we picked them up.  I broke a jar of pickles throwing it into the dumpster.  20-year-old pickles smell pretty much like you’d expect them to, only worse.  In the chest freezer there were meats dated from the 80’s and 90’s.

      • I can get that type of farm-raised free-range meat, locally butchered. I live in the land of Amish/Mennonite farms coupled with hipster back-to-nature farms.

  3. I read somewhere that you can trim your butt by covering it tightly in plastic wrap but I always assumed you were just losing water weight.

    Local farm raised meat is much tastier than the factory farmed stuff too. This sounds really good.

    There’s an elderly man I know, a shut in, that I take food to. Several years ago he asked me to help him move. His refrigerator was full of food going bad, not just out of date but dangerously BAD. We got into an actual fight about me throwing it away. He was furious with me, insisting it was still good. I threw most of it out because he was going to end up in the hospital if he ate it. It put a strain on our friendship. I still cook for him but refuse to put the food in his refrigerator. I set it on the counter so I don’t have to get that upset again.

     

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