Sometimes when it's been rainy and cold, it's nice to transport to a warmer location through food. Don't get me wrong, I love the Northwest ... but sometimes there's not enough coffee to make the gray go away.
On the flip side, when there's the uncommon sun break, I honestly don't know how to handle it. Again, I react with food.
Just like a beef pot roast, pork butt can be made into fall-apart mouth watering pieces. And with all of the flavors packed into this dish, you'll feel like you're at a warm sandy beach. I do anyways.
Here are the ingredients: pork butt, onions, celery, garlic, mustard, red wine vinegar, mustard, bay leaves, whole cloves, cumin, chili flakes (I'm using gochugaru), black pepper, salt and water.
We're going to create a couple of flavor bombs with the cloves and celery sticks. Cut one celery stalk in half, then push each clove into the celery stick. This will make it easier to pull out when all the roasting is done.
Prepare the veggies. Peel and quarter the onions, leaving as much of the core as possible. Smash the garlic to release flavor. Then rough chop the rest of the celery stalks into one inch pieces.
Brown the onions to get a little bit of caramelization and flavor. This step is optional, but encouraged.
Grab the cumin, chili flakes, salt and pepper and combine. Reserve about a teaspoon worth, to season the vegetables.
Massage the spices all over the pork butt. Use your hands, there's nothing else that will do the job. Wash your hands, then use a spoon to slather the mustard on top. Whenever I do this step without the spoon, the seasonings transfer back onto my hands, but do what you prefer.
Transfer the roast in the middle of the dutch oven or large pot that we browned the onions in. Put the celery and onions around the roast. Then, add the clove bombs, bay leaves and smashed garlic.
Pour in the vinegar over the vegetables. Then, season the vegetables with the rest of the spices. Fill the pot with water, barely covering the veggies and clove sticks.
4.5 hours later ...
It's tender pork butt time!
At this point, you can super shred the pork or do large chunks like I did. Either way, remove some of the fat and toss the bay leaves and clove sticks.
Put the pork back into the pot to soak up some of the juices.
Serve with seasoned rice, beans, and tortillas with some lime and cilantro. And of course, don't forget the tequila.
Tender Pork Butt Roast | 4-6 servings
3-4 lb. pork butt
7 celery stalks, large rough chop with 1 stalk cut in half
3 onions, halved then quartered
7 garlic cloves, crushed
3 TBSP Dijon mustard
3 bay leaves
20-30 cloves, whole
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili flakes
3-4 cups water
Peel then quarter the onions. After cutting the ends off of the celery stalks, cut one in half then the rest into 1 inch pieces. Smash all garlic cloves.
In the same dutch oven or large pot that the roast will be in, brown the onions for about 3-4 minutes, on medium high heat.
Push the whole cloves into the two large celery pieces.
Combine the spices, reserving about a tsp. Massage the seasoning into the pork. Then with a spoon, smoother the pork with mustard.
Add the meat, in the middle of a dutch oven or large pot. Then add the onions and celery around the sides. Put the bay leaves and smashed garlic with the vegetables.
Pour in the vinegar and sprinkle the rest of the seasoning on the vegetables. Pour in the water, almost covering the vegetables.
Roast for 4.5-5 hours in a 300°F oven.
- Shred into large pieces while removing any unwanted fat. Remove the bay leaves and clove studded celery sticks. Serve with rice and beans.