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We used an unconventional cooking method to make this fantastic Beer Braised Barbecue Pork Butt recipe! Read more about it below.
Like everywhere else around the country, here in New England, we’ve been sweltering under a ‘heat dome’ that the meteorologists on the news broadcasts keep talking about! With daytime temperatures in the 90’s – the last thing we want to do is heat up our kitchen by turning on the oven.
At the same time, Jack and I have been on a “freezer cleanout” – with the goal of cooking with and eating all of the random ingredients we’ve gathered over the last few months. In the bottom of our freezer, I found a frozen pork butt – a meat that lends itself to low and slow cooking. After searching online, we landed on this delicious Beer Braised Barbecue Pork Butt recipe.
Our recipe today is very slightly adapted from this recipe by Dave Lieberman on The Food Network. I’ll be honest – we didn’t set out to share this Beer Braised Barbecue Pork Butt recipe here on A Family Feast (we were just cooking some dinner for ourselves)! But this came out so delicious, tender and flavorful – we decided to share it here after all!
The original Beer Braised Barbecue Pork Butt recipe has you braise the pork butt in the oven for three hours – but to avoid heating up our house, Jack had the great idea of using our outdoor gas grill instead!
Like you typically would – we first seared the pork butt – but on the grill instead of in a skillet. Then we placed the pork and beer (used for both flavor and as a braising liquid) into a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven that could withstand the heat from our gas grill.
Three hours later – this Beer Braised Barbecue Pork Butt was fall-apart tender! A simple, sweet sauce of ketchup, stone ground mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar plus the juices from the pork gets added to the pulled pork at the end – and dinner is served!
A few last notes: You can of course, make this recipe in the oven as was done in the original recipe. I also know that some of you will ask if this recipe can be made in the slow cooker – and the answer is yes. (The cooking time will vary.) But I will note that braising meat in a Dutch oven lends an additional level of caramelization to the meat (thanks to the very hot heat of the pan) that a slow cooker can’t replicate. Having said that, the choice is yours!
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons hot Mexican chili powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 5 pound pork butt
- 1 large red onion peeled and sliced into six large thick slices
- 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 12-ounce bottle dark ale beer
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, ground coriander and mustard powder.
- Rub this mixture all over the pork and then place in a gallon zip lock bag. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
- Three hours before serving, heat grill to high on one side and the lowest burner setting on the other.
- Place the onions and garlic in a 5 quart Dutch oven that has a lid. Place that on the cool side of the grill.
- Once the hot side is hot, place the pork butt on a plate and brush all sides with the oil. Then place on hot grill and sear all sides, about 10-15 minutes total. The char on all sides should be nice and dark, even black in spots.
- Lift the meat with tongs and place in the Dutch oven on top of onions and garlic.
- Pour the beer over the top of the meat and place on cover.
- Shut off all burners except the one under the meat and set that to as low as it will go and close grill cover. Our one burner on low maintained a temperature inside the grill of 275 degrees F.
- After three hours, remove lid with pot holder and check for tenderness of meat by pulling off a small piece and trying it. Meat should be fall apart tender.
- Remove the meat to a clean platter to rest.
- Take the liquid left in the pan and skim off any fat floating at the top and discard.
- To the remaining liquid, add catsup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.
- Increase the burner to bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a medium simmer and simmer between 10 and 20 minutes or until thick. (This step can be done indoors on your stove top if you wish).
- Once the sauce is done, shred the meat with two forks and add back into the pot with the sauce.
- Stir and serve over rolls or as an entrée alongside coleslaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and corn on the cob.
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