BBQ72/17: Butterfly Pork Butt Burnt Ends

BBQ72/17 – Butterfly Pork Butt Burnt Ends:

This is another recipe from the book “Pitmaster” by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart – the last recipe I cooked from it was the fantastic Texas Style Beef Ribs. I had spotted this in the book and wanted to try it because I have seen lots of people cooking pork belly burnt ends but I haven’t seen anyone do burnt ends with a whole pork butt yet!

I emailed Mark from Bob’s Butchers to ask if he could butterfly the pork butt as per the recipe: “Slice the pork butt partially in half starting from the end where the shank bone was removed. Stop slicing just short of the “money muscle,” the tubular muscle that runs across the butt opposite the shank bone. Open along the cut. You should now have one long 2 to 3 inch piece of pork shoulder”. Mark hadn’t done this before but as an expert butcher he was more than happy to sort me out.

I ordered 3 pork butts from Mark and 1 of them was butterflied, it was hard to work out which one was butterflied but I had a feel of them all and one didn’t have a bone in so I knew that was the one! This was the first pork butt I have had from Mark but as with the other Sherwood Foods meat (St Louis Ribs, Babyback ribs and Beef ribs) it looked top quality and an absolute bargain at £4.25 per kg.

The night before the cook I made the Classic Kansas City Dry Rub: Turbinado sugar (I used demerara), kosher salt (I used fine sea salt), sweet paprika, chilli powder, ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, mustard powder, celery salt, lemon pepper (I couldn’t get this, I used lime pepper instead) and cayenne pepper. You can add MSG as well, I didn’t as I never sleep well if I have MSG! I mixed this all up and stuck it in a tupperware pot ready for the next day.

I then made Kansas City Tribute Sauce: The spice mix is up first – Chilli Powder, paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt (sea salt), ground black pepper, thyme, chipotle powder, mustard powder, mustard seed, celery seed and ground cloves.

Once that was made I fried some minced onion and garlic in a pan before adding the spice mix plus white vinegar, blackstrap molasses, brown sugar and American mustard. I gave it a good stir to mix everything up and took it to the boil then reduced the heat to simmer before adding plum tomatoes, water, tomato ketchup, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce. I simmered it for 10 minutes then let it cool and blitzed it with a hand blender then poured it into a bottle.

On the day of the cook I set the smoker up for 275F and then trimmed the fat cap off the pork butt and any extra fat so the rub would stick and create a nice bark. I left the pork for an hour as the smoker settled at 275F then I put it in to cook along with some oak and cherry chunks from Smokewood Shack.

Appreciate there are a lot of words and no photos so far. I was cooking a few different things on the day and was in quite a rush but I also had gloves on which were covered in rubs and didn’t want to get it on the camera or keep taking the gloves off to take pictures!

After 6 hours the pork was at 85c internal so I took it off and left it to rest for half an hour. 

burnt ends

The bark had formed well and there were some nice reddish parts breaking through. There was also a fair bit of juice visible.

burnt ends

burnt ends

burnt ends

burnt ends

I sliced the pork into cubes aiming for 1 to 2 inches in size. I placed the first lot into a cheap roasting tray I use in the smoker and the rest went into some aluminium trays.  

burnt ends

burnt ends

I covered them with the Kansas City Tribute Sauce, sprinkled on the Classic Kansas City Dry Rub and then topped them with Demerara sugar:

burnt ends

burnt ends

I put the trays back in the smoker for 2 hours and then pulled them out. They were looking and smelling amazing!

burnt ends

burnt ends

burnt ends

burnt ends

burnt ends

I really enjoyed this cook. As I said at the start I haven’t seen anyone do burnt ends with a pork butt so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it was a really easy cook and the end results were fantastic. I was impressed with the quality of the pork, it had a great taste, was very juicy but also really tender.

The burnt ends themselves were very, very nice. Big chunks of tender meat with a nice bark then covered with a cracking rub and sauce combination. I ate loads when they were done and had 5 bags for the freezer which is the great thing about cooking these from a whole butt!

I wouldn’t change a lot for the next cook, maybe cook them a bit longer up to a slightly higher internal temperature before cubing them just to soften them slightly more but they really were fantastic like this. The rub and sauce combination from the book was one of the tastiest I have made so far. It was really simple to make but tasted awesome. I might make them again for some other pork cooks!

Cook Equipment: Weber Smokey Mountain
Cook Method: Low and Slow
Charcoal: 2x 4KG Heat Beads (other stuff was cooking longer)
Smoking Wood: Smokewood Shack Oak and Cherry
Cook temperature: 275F
Cook time: 8h20m including a 20m rest
Internal temperature: 85c then cubed
Notes: 1: Cook longer and take internal up to 90c

 

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