The following recipe and photography is courtesy of Graham R. and his dog, Carl. For more of their delicious food ventures, visit them on Instagram @cookingwithcarrrl.
Hut! Hut! Hike!
It’s that time of year and although tailgating will look a bit different this season, there is no excuse to miss out on all those tailgating treats that help you cope with your team losing… again. Frankly, this recipe is a trick play you will want to keep in your playbook no matter what the season. It’s that good.
Pork Butt Burnt Ends is the name of this trick play. Burnt ends are the holy grail of BBQ. They are traditionally made from pork belly or the point end of a brisket. These slow-cooked morsels turn fatty cuts of meat into tender, smoky and sweet bites that will have you howling for more. The trick comes into our play today, because we are using a pork butt. This is a fatty cut full of flavor and is a perfect substitute for pork belly or brisket. I promise you that these will be the first-round pick on everyone’s plate at the tailgate.
This recipe is really foolproof. If you get sidetracked (it happens to the best of us), you will end up with delicious pulled pork. Five ingredients is all you need. So don’t stress, we paid off the refs!
Now huddle up team! While Frank is warming the bench with his veggie sticks and dip, you’ll be scoring touchdowns left and right with your tailgate winning snacks. BREAK!
- 1 pork shoulder (at least 3 lbs.) or country style ribs
- 2 Tbsp. of your favorite pork rub
- 1 bottle of Two Brothers honey BBQ sauce
- 4 Tbsp. of butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup root beer
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (Only required if using a Crockpot.)
- The first step to creating these meaty treats is to separate the meat from the bone. Use a boning knife to carefully remove the bone. Don’t worry about leaving the pork in one piece, we will be quartering it once removed from the bone. If you are using country style ribs, ignore this step.
- Slice deboned pork into 4-6 equal-size slices. This will help reduce the cooking time and make the meat easier to work with.
- Season the pork heavily with your favorite pork rub. Anything with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika will do just fine! You can season the pork right before cooking, but I prefer to let it rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
- This is a perfect cut of meat for the smoker/grill or your slow cooker. Both have their pros and cons. You can’t beat the ease of this recipe when using a slow cooker. At the same time, the smoky flavor added by fire takes this snack to the next level!
- If using a slow cooker, place pork inside and slowly pour in the chicken broth. If using a smoker or grill, you’re looking to get to 200˚-225˚F of indirect heat.
- Both methods will require you to check the internal temperature of the meat. After 2 ½
hours, check on the pork for an internal temperature of 160˚- 170˚F.
- Remove carefully and place on a cutting board. Using tongs and a knife, cut the pork slices into 1-inch x 1-inch cubes. (No need to be exact!)
- Add the pork back into the cooker or a grill-proof container if using a smoker. Add the root beer, BBQ sauce and the cubed butter. Cover with foil and cook for at least another hour.
- After an hour, check the pork. You want to use a fork, toothpick, sword, whatever is available – to check the tenderness. Temperature doesn’t matter at this point, you simply want to see that the meat is nearly falling apart. If a toothpick can easily penetrate the pork, then it is ready to be removed.
- Leave covered until you reach your tailgating destination. Serve with chips, pickles and plenty of cold beverages!
Pro Tip: Disposable foil containers are perfect for grabbing off the grill, heading straight to the tailgate, and throwing away after demolishing their delicious contents. Who wants to do dishes while watching your team lose?!