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Episode 11: I Love Big Butts
Just like Sir Mix-A-Lot, I love big butts and I cannot lie. Specifically, I love pork butts—also known as pork butt roast, Boston shoulder, or Boston butt. Why is this my favorite cut of pork? ’Cause it’s inexpensive, flavorful, super versatile, and tough to mess up. Besides: despite its name, it’s not the part of the animal you’re thinking of. Ready to learn more about butts? Then listen in as I list the many ways butts reign supreme!
Show Notes & Links for Episode 11:
What We Ate:
Henry recently returned from a business trip to Dublin, Ireland, and I grill him about about his eats across the pond. Although Henry spent most of his time holed up at the office, he was able to check out the local food scene by visiting a new street food market and several restaurants in the city. Among his bites in Dublin were Gallagher’s Boxty House, The Winding Stair, and the K&M Food Craft stand.
Because Henry loves coffee, one of his favorite finds was Cocobrew, a gourmet coffee vendor at the Thursday street food market. Cocobrew’s a riff on Bulletproof Coffee, made with cacao butter and MCT oil—and according to my hubby, it was excellent. But to be honest, I think Henry just couldn’t get over the nifty vintage VW van where they blended and sold the coffee.
While Henry was eating his fill of meat and potatoes in Ireland,
I was busy solo-parenting the boys. On the day Henry left, I batch-cooked a ton of protein so we’d have plenty of stuff to eat during the week. I slow-roasted a giant pork butt, baked a tray of Damn Fine Chicken,
made a quick Instant Pot chicken stew, and whipped up a Mexican-inspired garbage
stir-fry. As a result, our weeknight dinners were fast and simple. The main dishes were
all ready to reheat, and all I needed to do was make a vegetable side dish every
night. Thank goodness for small favors!
If I have to pick a favorite cut of meat to cook at home, I’ll always choose a big pork butt roast. We devote the main course of this episode to why I love this cut, how it got its wacky, butt-tastic name, how to find it, and how to cook it.
Of course, even though I like pork as much as the next gal, it’s really important to source meat that’s raised responsibly. I recently listened to this episode of the Splendid Table podcast and it reinforced my commitment to buying pastured pigs raised by ethical farmers.
Sustainably-raised pork is more expensive, but pork butt roast is actually one of the most affordable cuts. An
average roast is about 5 to 7 pounds, which should feed a bunch of folks or
leave plenty for leftovers. Even here in the Silicon Valley, where the cost of living is pretty high, we can find pastured pork butt
roasts for under $10 a pound. I acquire my butts at Belcampo Meat Co., but I’ve also purchased half hogs from local farms to get the most bang for my book. If you can’t find a local pig farmer at your farmer’s market or on this site, you can buy pastured pork online at sites like US Wellness Meats.
You might not be familiar with the term “pork
butt roast,” but trust me – if you love pork, you’ve tasted it and loved it.
Pork butt roast is super versatile. It’s the most common cut used for pulled
pork, a staple of barbecue in the southern United States. Although pork butt is
routinely prepared in slow and low
cooking preparations like pot-roasting, stewing, slow-roasting, barbecuing, and
preserving as confit, you can also cube it and skewer it for the grill—and it’s
the best cut to grind for ground pork or sausage.
Here are some of my favorite pork butt roast recipes:
- Peachy Pork-A-Bobs
- Slow Cooker Kalua Pig
- Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig
- Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew
- Overnight Oven-Braised Shredded Pork Tacos
- Slow Cooker Pork Pot Roast
Crush of the Week:
Big O and Lil-O tell us how much they love playing the board game, Stratego. According to the kids, it’s like chess meets Space Invaders—or maybe Battleship. Lil-O also lets us in on how he lost his front tooth with the assistance of his trusty Nerf gun and pirate eye-patches. Sometimes the third shot’s the charm.
Question of the Week:
Kesem asked in the blog comments: Michelle, I’ve noticed that there are some fruits and vegetables that
never appears in your recipes (e.g. kiwi, grapes, oranges, eggplants, etc.) Is it because of paleo restrictions? And if so, then why yes to pineapple, but
no to kiwi?
I answer this question in a lot of detail in the episode, but the short answer is: fruit is A-OK in my book. I just prefer to eat it naked. (You’ll have to listen to the episode for my explanation.)
Some of my favorite recipes that include fruit are as follows:
- Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho
- Madras Chicken Salad
- Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs
- Orange Sriracha Chicken
- Mango + Avocado Salsa on Pan-Seared Salmon
- Smashed Steak Skewers with Cherry BBQ Sauce
- Chunky Monkey “Ice Cream” Bon Bons
- Lava Flow Ice Pops
it for this week! We’ll have another episode up soon enough, but if you can’t wait, feel free to check out our first 10 episodes and access all the show notes by heading over to our podcast archive. If you have questions for future podcasts, please leave them
in the comments below. We’re always looking for great topics!
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Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times_ bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013)._