A couple of years ago Stefania and I were shopping early one Saturday morning at our local market. They had a special on pork butt. I think it was 99 cents a pound.
I stood in the market for a long time wondering what to do. This same market will have prime rib on sale from time to time at $7-$8 a pound. Once they even hit $5 a pound. That's an easy buy. A prime rib I can cut up. I can make steaks or I can cut it into smaller roasts and freeze it for later. Pork butt though really should not be cut up. It's best cooked long, slow and whole. Our freezer is small, and mostly used for cocktail equipment, so freezing a pork butt isn't really a good idea.
What to do, I wondered? "Pork Emergency, Pork Emergency"!! That's what we did. We bought it and sent out a message to a few friends - "Pork emergency, come help us eat this thing."
Well it happened again on Saturday. The market had good looking butts and St Louis Style ribs at 2 for 1. It was time for a Pork Emergency.
Sunday morning Stefania and I broke up an old barrel to use for smoke and we put the pork on about 9AM. This was at about 1PM when I took the ribs off the smoke.
I like to let ribs stay on the smoker for about 4 hours, then remove them and finish them on the grill. I find the fat does not render down to my liking on the smoker alone. I do the same with pork butt, but don't feel like I've got in down 100% yet. I did 6 hours on the smoker, then three in the oven at higher temperature. I would have liked to get the fat rendered down a bit more. Maybe next time I'll do it Carnitas style and return the meat to the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes after chopping it up to get it slightly crispy.
In the mean time, watch your emails and texts for the next Pork Emergency!
Seems like we drank more wine than that...or we're starting to slow down a bit. :-)