Turner and George Pork Butt

In the butcher's lexicon, there is - it has to be said - a whole host of slang, names and terminology that ordinarily would swoop over most of our heads. Largely because they make no sense.

Cuts such as the popes-eye, coulotte and the London Broil often get whispered with quiet aplomb behind the counter. And a mention of a shifty in the 'dee-lob', for 'yelibbs' and 'potches', will usually cast a frown or two in front of the counter.

However, we have noticed that most customers these days are fairly knowledgeable and they usually see through the banter and know exactly what we are talking about, and what they want.

Except perhaps for pork butt. That still causes confusion. Because it originates from the shoulder of a pig. And not the, ahem...butt.

The word 'butt' in itself is an Americanism and the origins of this cut lie routed in US history and a penchant for BBQ - where meat is smoked and cooked, low and slow.

Neatly and succinctly summed by one of our followers on socials, Richard, the cut was named as such because:  In pre-revolutionary America, cheap cuts such as hams and shoulders were packed into barrels for storage. They were called butts from Latin word 'Buttis'. This particular shoulder cut was popular in Boston, hence the name Boston Butt.

We ran this by our own Richard, who confirmed with a beam - 'Yeah, that's right. Great piece of pork to put in the smoker, done Carolina style and pulled. The blade bone makes all the difference for flavour. Just make sure you use a proper vinegar mop when cooking though.'

A vinegar mop?! As in a bucket of cider vinegar and industrial mop? Well, not quite, so it seems. Although the initial recipe that Mr Turner sent through did cater for 30 people, so it wouldn't have been far off.

If you are new to smoking, slow cooking on the BBQ, or if simply fancy getting your taste buds around some succulent, shredded native breed pork, this is definitely the way forward. Served up simply at the end, with a smattering of BBQ sauce, some pickled red onions and wrapped in a tortilla, you can make this joint go a long, long way. In other words, it's an excellent suggestion for parties.

No ifs or butts.

Pork Butt cooked

METHOD

  1. Mix the rub ingredients together. Then place the pork butt on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle half the dry rub all over.
  2. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Preferably overnight.
  3. Light your smoker and allow to burn down as per manufacturer's instructions, add half your hickory chips.
  4. Place the rubbed pork butt on the racks in the smoker and cook at 105°C for six hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 89°C.
  5. Every hour or so, brush the pork butt with the vinegar mop liberally. You'll need to top up the smoker fuel from time to time and add more hickory chips. 
  6. Remove the pork butt from the smoker and shred into bite sized pieces and pour any remaining vinegar over the top, and sprinkle with leftover dry rub to taste. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Serve warm, with barbecue sauce on the side (Topping with pickled onions and serving in a tortilla is optional.)

Richard Turner Pulled Pork