I am good at everything I do. I am successful at everything I attempt. These are just an example of positive self-talk statements that I use when starting something I’ve never tried before. Usually, I believe me. And usually, I am right. There is certainly something to this kind of thinking. I did say these before trying this recipe, which was made up on the fly, However, this is a FOOD post and not a Law of Attraction post, so let’s get right to the food…
Boston Butt is not something I have attempted to cook in my adult life. I’m not sure why; as a kid it was a favorite, and one of my dad’s favorites to prepare. Last week I was thinking about the 4th of July and how to celebrate it. We weren’t taking a beach trip, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to take the kids downtown to see fireworks. (In my experience, the level of difficulty/frustration in doing anything downtown that late with a 3 year old and a 16 year old is about one billion-point-two.) So we decided that since we have a large swimming pool and we’d both be off work this weekend, let’s cook! Just us, some fresh watermelon, and lots of sun and fun.
I went to the grocery store a few days ago and I’ve just been chomping at the bit to cook this roast. Last night I perused a ton of recipes, using Google and Pinterest, looking for inspiration. I didn’t find anything that I really wanted to try. Granted, my bar was a little high because 1) this is my first pork roast and I want it to knock my socks off, and 2) I needed something that listed the ingredients I have in my cabinet.
So, as per usual, I decided to make something up. I didn’t write everything down, because I was moving quickly and chattering to myself, mad scientist style, so I could get the roast in the crock pot and get some sleep. Here is, to the best of my recollection, here’s how it went down:
Unwrapped the Pork Butt (mine was from Publix, 3.78 lbs) and assembled the following: salt, black pepper, cumin, ginger, yellow onion, low sodium soy sauce and barbecue sauce of your choice. (What I used was Kraft Original, because it’s what we had. They do make a “light” version, which I did have but wanted to use on some chicken later in the week.) I chose ginger because it’s a flavor that I always associate with Asian dishes, and I knew it would go well with the soy sauce, so I figured what the heck.
First I chopped the onion and placed it in the bottom of the pot. Next I placed the pork in the pot and salted it moderately and sprinkled some pepper on top. Also some shakes of cumin, maybe 1 tsp and ginger, maybe 2 tsp. Rub all of that in, the top and sides of the pork. (Note: When I say I salted moderately, I mean moderately for me, and I rarely use seasoning so my moderate might be your “light”. Just use your discretion here.) Then, in a measuring cup, I poured soy sauce until my inner culinary guide said “when”, which happened to be right at 1/4 cup. Sure, sounds good. We’ll go with it. Then into the same measuring cup I poured the barbecue sauce. I kept going until the liquid reached just over 3/4 cup line.
I stopped for a minute to take in the smells. One of my FAVORITE things about cooking and creating recipes, are the smells. Before they become flavors, they are sweet, sour, tangy, seductive aromas wafting all around me. My kitchen smelled delicious.
I mixed the soy sauce and barbecue sauce together with a fork, not paying attention to lumps and bumps since it’s a crock pot, which tends to be very forgiving of things like that. Poured it on top of the rubbed pork butt roast and added maybe 1/2 cup of water. Set the crock pot to HIGH.
Yes, I set it to high! Everything I had read about crock pot roasts said to set it to low or medium, which is what I meant to do. However when I woke up this morning to check the roast, the pot was on HIGH! Of course, there was a fair amount of freaking out before I found the courage to look inside. Thankfully, the roast was not a charred, stinky, inedible mess. It looked PERFECT! But was it perfect? Only one way to find out. I gently transferred the roast from the pot to a plate, and THIS is what it looked like:
It’s everything I dreamed it would be! Hard, flavorful outer “shell” with tender, juicy, fully cooked but not dry meat inside. Just look at that juiciness! I grabbed a fork and started pulling this pork! I was (I still am) elated at how this “not a recipe” recipe turned out! Here’s the final product, off the bone and ready to be devoured:
Does that not look amazing?!! Let me tell you, it tastes even better than it looks. My socks are decidedly off. I’ve said it before about other dishes, but this truly is one of my best. The taste was right on, all the flavors blended well together and for me, it was everything I want my barbecue pulled pork to be. It isn’t too sweet, and I’m glad about that because one thing I cannot eat is sweet barbecue. So, thanks for reading, and PLEASE try my recipe and give me feedback! I’d love to hear what you think! (Good news if you are Paleo/Atkins/low carb, I don’t know the exact macros but I can tell you that the sugar and carbs in this dish are negligible. If you go with a sugar-free or “light” barbecue sauce, they’re even less.)