What should I ask for if I want a Boston butt?

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What should I ask for if I want a Boston butt?

Post  RichardD on Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:24 pm

As well as the butchery trade being, well, butchered by the dominance of packaged meat in the supermarkets, they now have to put up with me asking for cuts of meat I've read about in American books or websites.

I've given up trying to train my local butcher to cut baby back ribs, and instead rely on a stall in Birmingham's indoor market, but my request for a Boston butt failed even there. Last time I came home with pretty much a whole pork shoulder *that took forever to cook); this time I have something from the shoulder (with some of the blade in it), but I've yet to actually cook it (we have guests over tomorrow, and wanting a disaster-free cook I've wimped out and decided that it'll be ribs again). But when I go back to the butchers in a week or two's time, what *should* I be asking for if I want to do pulled pork?

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Re: What should I ask for if I want a Boston butt?

Post  irish_admiral on Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:46 pm

Hi bud

It's pork shoulder you want for pulled pork, usually! I've just got one myself & am throwing it on the bbq tomorrow along with a brisket... moving house so need to feed the troops!

Just get a shoulder with a nice bit of marbling. Don't need much surface fat. Give it a nice rub the night before... i've used something called Memphis dust that I came across on the Amazing Ribs website.

Go low and slow and you'll get there. Pork is pretty forgiving.

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Re: What should I ask for if I want a Boston butt?

Post  irish_admiral on Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:48 pm

By the way, doesn't matter if the bone is still in. You should be able to turn it pretty easily when the meat is done. If there's no bone, poke a fork in. If it turns fairly easily, you're done...

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Re: What should I ask for if I want a Boston butt?

Post  irish_admiral on Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:32 pm

Sorry, just read your question properly...

A full shoulder can weigh 8 to 20 pounds and has two halves, the "picnic ham" and the "Boston butt". The picnic ham, runs from the shoulder socket through to the elbow. A picnic ham is not a true ham. Hams come from the rear legs only. The picnic usually weighs from 4 to 12 pounds.

The top half of the shoulder, from the the dorsal of the animal near the spine through the shoulder blade, is the Boston butt... or pork butt, butt, shoulder butt, shoulder roast, country roast, and the shoulder blade roast.

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Re: What should I ask for if I want a Boston butt?

Post  steveheyes on Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:32 pm

Try asking for a whole shoulder with the hock end cut off, tell him you're expecting it to be around 4-5Kg. You should get pretty much the right thing then.

Also you can try asking for a three bone neck end. That should get you a nice piece with the scapula still in there and possibly some of the neck vertebrae. We cooked neck ends at our last competition and they turned out great.

My Butcher in Reading is now well trained in providing Boston Butts, he also knows how to select a good brisky for BBQ too (although they're still thinner than you get in the States Mad ). If anyone reading this is local to Reading and wants to try them, speak to Michael at Jennings of Caversham, but please tell him Steve from Royal Q BBQ team sent you.
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