Ninety-nine cents per pound. I walked into the grocery store with the intent of buying beef brisket for a recipe I saw on a morning news show. The special of the day at the meat counter was bone-in pork butt roast for 99 cents a pound. The brisket was $5.99 a pound. Gee, let me think …
I walked out with 8 pounds of pork butt (No, I don’t know why it’s called that, as it comes from the shoulder area) and the ingredients for stone-ground mustard coleslaw and cheesy jalapeno corn. Eating this meal while watching our beloved Cyclones earn their way into the Sweet 16 was pure bliss!
The potential for the leftovers from this enormous pile of tender meat is unlimited. My editor/son made a burrito out of it with some of the leftover coleslaw and some bottled Szechuan stir-fry sauce. It was amazing! I plan to try some of it with fresh cilantro and fresh cabbage in a taco. My graphic-designer/son took a bunch back to college with him. I’m guessing part of it will get eaten straight out of the container, and some of it will end up with eggs for breakfast.
Do not be afraid of cheaper cuts of meat. Just know that they need to cook low and slow.
This was the first time I made this recipe and, of course, I made modifications. The recipe is written for a 3-5 pound roast. If you are using a bigger roast, just increase the spice rub and braising liquid ingredients proportionally. It is not fussy and does not have to be exact. Do not let the fruit and fruit juice in this recipe throw you off. My husband does not like fruit flavors on meat, but this one is so balanced with the spices that he was truly impressed.
Pomegranate Braised Pork
1 3-5 pound pork butt (or other pork roast)
2 tablespoons ground chili powder
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3-5 teaspoons kosher salt (1 teaspoon per pound)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1-2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 apple, quartered and cored
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3-5 cups pomegranate juice (1 cup per pound)*
1 bottle beer (recommended: Bent River’s Jalapeno Ale)
*Feel free to substitute juices (apple, pineapple, cranberry, etc.) and a juice blend could also be used.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix chili powder, paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, and brown sugar.
Place pork in a roasting pan and rub on all sides with chili powder mixture. Scatter quartered onions and garlic cloves around the sides.
Whisk together pomegranate juice and tomato paste, and pour in around brisket. Add beer and enough water to the pan so that the liquid comes 1/2 way up the side of the meat. Cover pan tightly with foil and braise in oven for 5-7 hours (depending on size of roast), or until meat is tender. Carefully remove roast to another dish (like a 9×13 pan). If using a bone-in roast, the bone should release cleanly and easily from the meat when fully cooked. Discard bone, bay leaves and any large apple pieces. Shred pork with two forks. Allow braising liquid to cool and skim excess fat off the top. Ladle liquid, a cup at a time, over shredded meat just until lightly coated. Reserve extra liquid for leftovers or heat in a saucepan to reduce to a thicker sauce.
Servings: 4-5 per pound of pork
I will let you experiment with your leftovers but I will not leave you hanging on our favorite sides … cheesy jalapeno corn and stone-ground mustard coleslaw. We’ll talk about those later this week!
And don’t forget to leave comments on this blog … especially when you find your favorite ways to repurpose your leftovers!
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