Boston Butt in the oven
Thank gawd August is OVER!!! The first day of September means cooler weather ahead – and time to fire up the oven. I had some ish-shooes with the old avocado stove over the summer and had Accardo’s Appliance Repair shop come out and fix the ancient thing, who I might add were so tenacious that they came back not once, not twice but FOUR times to get the darn thing fixed! So despite the milky green exterior, the inside is nice and hot and ready to cook!
I have a friend coming over the Labor Day weekend so I decided to cook a pork Boston Butt in the oven and use some of it to make a pot of Jambalaya (another post on that forthcoming). Yeah yeah I know, for those purists out there the only way to do Boston Butt or brisket is on the smoker, but I don’t have the time to invest in stoking chimneys of fire over the pit for 12-16 hours to attain that perfect 190 degree internal temperature that is so crucial to falling off the bone and tender meat.
So in the oven it goes. For the Boston Butt I cooked it at 250 degrees over 8 hours. I use the same recipe for beef brisket, however I change the time to 1 hour and 15 minutes for each pound of brisket at 250 degrees oven temp. The most crucial step for both cuts of meat, let them rest before slicing.
Here’s the Boston Butt, almost 7 pounds, which is truly a half butt.
And the seasonings
I cut 3 onions in half, then slice the halves
Don’t forget to toss the cuttings in your compost pile!
So I lined the bottom of the pot with foil, poured some olive oil to coat the foil, and laid down the onions and garlic in the pan
Then I prep the butt, making slits in it and stuffing it with garlic toes
Coat the butt with olive oil too
Don’t forget good hand washing while fooling with raw meat!
The butt in the pan – note that it is placed with the fat cap on top to allow the juices to penetrate the meat. Also note the southwest-northwest striations of the meat, this is called the grain of the meat. For pork you’ll pull it parallel to the meat, for brisket you’ll slice it “across the grain”.
Last addition – vinegar based BBQ sauce. I lived in eastern North Carolina for awhile and developed a fondness for vinegar BBQ sauce and pork BBQ – this sauce lends the right amount of acidity that helps cook the meat. Any good vinegar based sauce will do, the ones made in eastern NC are the best.
So into the oven covered, at 250 degrees for 8 hours – low and slow tenderizes the toughest cuts of meat. If you really want to be discriminating, use a meat thermometer and wait till the internal temp reaches ~190 degrees. And here is the final result. Don’t forget to let the meat “rest” before slicing so the juices can go back into the meat.
The final product, with some of the onions and garlic on the side – put it on a bun with cole slaw, or add some side of your choice (baked beans, mac-n-cheese, etc.)