Friday, January 7, 2011

Shake (Up) Your B-U-T-T

I remember when I was a kid, how much fun we had in the kitchen on days when my mom would cook a whole chicken or frog legs.  We'd sit the chick up on the side of the sink and cross its legs like a lady then see how long it took for it to fall off.  Or, with frog legs, we'd each grab a pair a launch into the Can-Can.

Nowadays, nothing brings giggles to the kitchen quite like the very mention of our topic today.  I just have to say the words:  Pork Butt.  My kids laugh and laugh.  Something about those two words together, you know?  Reminds me of when my youngest was learning to spell.  She and I would spell all day long.  "Baby, did you see the b-i-r-d?"  She's a quick learner, that one, and soon was spelling everywhere.  But she thought she and I were the only two people in the whole world to do this 'spelling thing.'  One day, she turned to me in line at the K-Mart - proclaiming loudly and spelling proudly - "Mommy that lady has a huge b-u-t-t."  I don't shop at that location anymore.

Anywho, nobody laughs when I bring my JAMAICAN JERK PORK BUTT to the table, I'll tell ya that!  My kids quit giggling long enough to devour their serving and ask for more.  That is, if they can get Dad out of the way long enough!

This could not be easier to do, dawlin!  And, as always, I have a few tricks up my sleeve!  The first trick is, wait till it goes on sale at the grocery. 

Yesterday, I got a 2-fer:  two nice, big pork butts (go ahead, giggle), packaged together,  for 98 cents a pound.  Totals almost 20 pounds of meat for $18.90.  Pretty good.  Awesome if you're having a party and serving pulled pork sandwiches, which is what I'm doing.  I'm going to roast them both today then shred them and hold them in a crock pot during the party tomorrow.  Let's get cooking!

JAMAICAN JERK PORK BUTT - based on cooking one at a time
1 roughly 10 pound Pork Butt
3/4 cup Jamaican Jerk marinade (I like Walkerswood brand,just ask for jerk marinade at the grocery)
2 beers - any kind, or you can just use water, chicken stock, apple juice, whatever liquid you like (2 cups)

Rinse the pork well.  You'll notice that the roast had a big slab of fat on the bottom.  Now, this is key:  cook the butt UPSIDEDOWN with that fat slab on top.  It will crisp up like the most delicious bacon you ever had. (Yes, you wouldn't want to eat this every day, folks.  Just for parties and the like.)  Now, after you've flipped it over and place it in a nice, deep roasting pan, rub your butt with the jerk.  (This is funny stuff, y'all!)  Rub the marinade all over the roast to completely cover it and work it into any crevices in the meat. (Be very careful not to get this in your eyes.  It contains scotch peppers which are very hot!)

Now, pour the beers into the bottom of the pan.  You can use whatever brand you like, maybe try this one.  Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.  Place it in the oven.  Cook the living heck out of it - at 375 for about four hours.

At that point, remove the pan.  Very carefully, lift the foil off (wear a glove so the steam doesn't burn you).  You can check the temperature with a meat thermometer - needs to be at least 170 degrees to be done.  However, even if it's reached 170, you'll return the butt to the oven, uncovered, for another hour so that the fat on top can crisp up and the meat reaches 'shredding' stage.

You cannot over-cook it; it only gets better and better.  Keep an eye on the liquid at the bottom of the pan.  If it all dries up, add a little water now and then. (By the way, don't worry about the alcohol in the beer - it all evaporates at that high temperature for 4-6 hours.) Having that liquid at the bottom steams the meat - cooking it thoroughly, keeping it moist and making it fall apart.  This is the best doggone butt you'll ever put in your mouth.  (Go ahead....I'll wait.)

Now, at party time, I serve the shredded butt in a crock pot.  Along side, I set up a "build your own sandwich" bar with a huge basket of bread (cut to size), mayo, mustard, bbq sauce, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced onion, pickles, grated cheese etc.  The kids, in particular, love building their sandwich their way.  In the words of Scarlett O'Hara (or somebody like her),  "As God is my witness, you'll never go Subway again!"

By the way, this Jerk Butt sandwich goes great with Sweet Spud Andouille Bisque!  FYI.  I'm making a big green salad with mixed baby greens, thinly sliced red onion, blueberries, walnut, a light sprinkling of gorgonzola cheese and tossed with a creamy vidalia onion dressing.  I might even pile that salad right onto my sandwich.  Hungry yet?

Now, I think I'll let my husband take me out to lunch!

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at

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