Sunday, September 22, 2013

#1019 we love pork butt

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to make for dinner, right? Every week, I ask MT and T to tell me one thing I can cook that week, then I pick a couple of things. T usually picks something with pasta. MT is less predictable. Last week he wanted a roast - a pork butt roast.

My dad introduced us to the wonderful cut of meat we call pork butt. It's actually not the pig's rear end at all, it's a cut from the shoulder. It's pretty inexpensive and if you roast it for several hours, it is super tender and amazingly tasty. Remember the words of Emeril Lagasse, friends: Pork fat rules.

The pork butt we bought was just under seven pounds and cost a little less than $15. I massaged the roast all over with a dry applewood rub and popped it into my cast iron dutch oven pot. I put it in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes, then decreased the heat to around 350 degrees and let it cook for about three hours or so. The pot was a little small but I ruined the roasting pan I had, so it was my next best alternative.  The roast has quite a bit of fat, so it shrinks up a lot.

I think I could have left the roast in for another half hour, but MT was worried that it would dry out. The roast was tender and really good. I like it when you can just grab hold of the bone in the roast and slide it out - then you know the meat is really tender. I couldn't do that with this roast, but it was still good.

That night we had the roast with some corn on the cob. Let me tell you how I cooked it: in the oven, in the husk! I peeled back the husk first and removed all the silk that I could, then I closed the husk back over the corn, placed it on a cookie sheet and roasted it, along with the meat, for about 20 to 30 minutes. It was tender and delicious! I prepared mine with some butter, some chili powder and a squirt of lime juice. It was quite a treat. I'll certainly do that again.

With a seven pound roast, we had a bunch of meat left over, so a few days later, I chopped up some Anaheim peppers and some onions and sauteed them in a bit of oil until they were soft and fragrant. Then I added some chili powder, cumin and dried cilantro (I didn't have any fresh cilantro on hand, but it would have been great). To that I added some of the pork that I had chopped into little pieces. I heated up some soft corn tortillas, MT made guacamole and we put together some killer pork tacos. Delicious! A little guacamole first, then some pork, some fresh onion, a squirt of lime (I'm crazy for lime!) a bit of cheese and you have got a damn tasty taco. I actually had those tacos this weekend - there were plenty of leftovers. We also have enough meat that I froze some for tacos at a later date.

To recap: the seven pound pork butt shoulder roast yielded two main meals during the week, plus enough for me to have leftovers twice this weekend AND there's a bunch in the freezer for another time.

Here's a little amusing anecdote. MT came to the store with me to buy the groceries. We got over to the meat section;  I was looking at the pork butts and MT wandered off. I kind of yelled, "Hey! Pork butt!" MT turned around and came back over. A lady and her kids were standing there, staring at me and I'm sure thinking really bad thoughts about me. The lady kind of pulled her kids closer to her like "Stay away from the crazy lady, children." I laughed and said, "No, I didn't just call him Pork Butt. I was excited about the roasts." The lady nervously laughed and said, "Oh. I thought that was your pet name for him when he came over." Oh boy. Then the little girl says, "You eat pork butt?" I explained that the roast I was getting was really from the shoulder. I wanted to add that she probably actually ate pork butt because I noticed some ham in their cart, but I didn't.

Ok, that's all I've got for tonight. I'm way past my bedtime, but I wanted to write and I didn't have time earlier because I've been busy watching TV. Don't judge. "Breaking Bad" is pretty fantastic.

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