Saturday, June 7, 2014

Shoulder or Butt


By Kelley

Why are cuts of pork so confusing? As far as I am concerned, shoulder and butts aren’t the same thing at all. Not so in the realm of butchery, I guess. This cut from the upper portion of a pig’s shoulder is most commonly referred to as the Boston Butt. After a little research, this naming confusion has historical roots. The term, “Boston Butt,” actually has nothing to do with butts of any sort, but was the term used in the Revolutionary era for the crates used to ship and transport this cut of pork shoulder. Boston became the iconic location for the butchering style of this meat, hence the “Boston Butt.” That is why the shoulder is erroneously called the “Boston Butt” in many of our markets today. So don’t worry folks, you aren’t eating pig butt. Hope this clarifies a few things, it sure was eye-opening for me!

Bone-In Pork Shoulder (let’s just call it this, since I think it sounds more appetizing) is a versatile piece of meat, but commonly used for pulled pork. But don’t limit it to the world of barbeque and carnitas. The marbled fat and bone of this cut makes for savoury roast for the most elegant of dinner parties. The key is slow-cooking the meat for fork-tender presentation and basting the meat with drippings every half hour or so.