Posted in News on August 15, 2014
Readfield Meats & Deli
In 1960 John Ruffino and his wife Virginia opened the Readfield Meat Company in Bryan, Texas. By 1968 Readfield Meat Company was a neighborhood full-service butcher shop and deli. In 1970 After John R. Ruffino passed away, his sons Richard, Larry and Roland took over management of Readfield Meats. Present day, Readfield Meats and Deli is still serving the Brazos Valley with their gourmet shop with a hometown feel.
SOURCE: Brazos Valley Insight
August is the month of Pork Butts! Below is information, recipes, tips and ideas for you and your kitchen in the month of August… Enjoy!
Looking for recipe ideas for cooking up a delicious pork butt? Click Here for the Food Network’s website for 12 different flavorful fun recipes!
Pork Butt Defined
Despite the name, pork butt does not come from the rear end of the hog–it is cut from the shoulder.
The pork shoulder weighs 12-18 pounds and consists of two portions: the butt, which is the upper portion of the shoulder, and the picnic, which is the lower portion.
The whole pork butt is a rectangular roast weighing 6-10 pounds and containing a portion of the shoulder blade bone. It is sold bone-in or boneless; if boneless, a whole roast may be cut into half portions.
The whole picnic weighs 6-9 pounds. It contains a portion of the foreleg and is usually sold with some skin attached. The picnic is sometimes cut into an upper arm portion (the meatier portion, usually sold skinless) and the lower foreleg portion (containing more bone, skin, and connective tissue).
Other Names For Pork Butt
Pork butt is also know by the following names, or some combination thereof:
- Boston shoulder roast
- Boston roast
- Boston butt
- Shoulder butt
- Shoulder blade roast
Why Pork Butt Is Preferred For Barbecue
You can make great-tasting barbecue with either pork butt or picnic. Both portions contain a lot of fat and connective tissue, which results in moist, succulent meat after many hours of “low and slow” cooking. However, most people use pork butt because it is more commonly available in stores (especially at wholesale warehouse stores) and because it has somewhat less waste than the picnic. Both portions, however, are quite inexpensive.
Prepping A Pork Butt
The most basic way to prep a pork butt for barbecuing is to simply remove it from the Cryovac packaging, pat it dry with paper towels, and apply a heavy sprinkling of rub to all sides. Some people will cook untrimmed pork butts with the fat-side facing up, believing that the fat “bastes” the meat during cooking.
The preparation method I learned is to remove the fat cap and any large areas or pockets of external fat that can be easily trimmed away, then apply the rub. The logic behind this method is that:
- Smoke and rub won’t penetrate the external fat.
- It takes more time and fuel to cook a pork butt with all the fat intact.
- Unlike a brisket flat, which is quite lean and benefits from the protection that a layer of fat offers, a pork butt contains a tremendous amount of intramuscular fat, so the roast essentially “self-bastes” from the inside out.
- After many hours of cooking, much of the external fat renders away, and you’re not going to eat the fat that’s left–you’re going to cut it away and discard it.
- Removing the external fat allows for the formation of more dark, flavorful outside meat that people enjoy so much.
You’ll need a large, sharp knife to trim a pork butt. Don’t try this with a paring knife, a utility knife, or any knife that is dull. You may wish to invest in a butcher’s knife, but a large, very sharp chef’s knife will do.
Seasoning The Pork Butt
After trimming a pork butt, apply a generous amount of dry rub to the meat and cook immediately, or apply the rub, wrap the meat in Saran Wrap, and refrigerate overnight. The rub does not penetrate the meat during refrigeration, at least not deeply, but it does form a moist layer of seasoning that adheres well during cooking. You can also apply a bit more rub before putting the meat in the cooker.
Grilling on a wooden plank is a lot like using a pan, except the plank has the ability to produce smoke. This method is great because it provides a stable surface to put food on while giving an authentic smoke for flavor. This is particularly good if you are grilling something delicate like fish fillets. In fact, this method was developed to accommodate fish, though you can cook a wide variety of foods using a plank.
Start with a clean untreated piece of wood, about 1 inch thick, making sure the length and width is sufficient to hold the item being grilled. Typically people use cedar, but many woods like alder, oak, maple, cherry or apple are acceptable. However, make sure the board is not chemically treated. You can buy cooking quality wood planks either online, specialty food stores, and grocery stores.
Before placing the plank on the grill, make sure to soak it in water for at least an hour. This will allow the wood to absorb as much moisture as it can, giving the time needed to get the fish completely cooked before the board starts to burn. If you notice that the board has caught fire on the grill, spray it down with water to staunch the flames, but keep in mind that it should burn a little. The smoldering of the wood is what creates the smoke and helps flavor the fish. You just don’t want the board actually on fire.
To prevent your fish from sticking to the board, very lightly brush it with cooking oil on the side that the fish will sit. There is no need to flip the fish. Plank cooking is indirect because the food is insulated from the direct heat. You do want the board exposed to the direct heat of your grill so that it can smolder. This style of grilling is a very basic process and since you won’t be flipping the fish or really doing anything to it while it cooks, this offers the opportunity to prepare other meal components like side dishes, sauces, and appetizers.
Once you have the grill burning and the planks soaked, place the fish on the board, season and place the whole thing on the grill. Because the fish is being cooked indirectly it will take longer than if it’s grilled directly. Plan on about 50% more cooking time versus regular grilling when cooking on a plank. During the cooking time you can baste the fish with lemon juice, butter, or just about anything that isn’t flammable. You don’t want to inspire the flames.
Once the fish is done, either remove the whole plank and fish with a pair of grilling mitts or slide the fish off onto a platter using a spatula. You get one use out of each plank. If using a gas grill, try to get the plank off the grill quickly because you don’t want a lot of ash falling into the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill you can just let it burn off and clear out the ashes later.
Plank grilling really is a convenient and easy way to grill. The flavors and the ease have always made this a popular method. Once you’ve given it a try you will want to grill lots of dishes on a board. You can plank grill roasts, poultry, particularly those things that require a longer grilling time. Quick items won’t gain much from the plank because they won’t be exposed to the smoke long enough to get the flavor. Also, it’s best not to plank cook items that need to be grilled hot and fast, like steaks or chops.