07 August 2009

Recipe: Boston Butt Braised in Coke

Boston buttAnother version of Boston Butt - Image by leshoward via Flickr

From Denny: This is one of those super easy slow-cooking recipes people just love, both for the ease of cooking and it's a crowd pleaser. That and I'm getting hungry just loading this recipe into the online editor! :) (Shameless, I know...)

People in Louisiana love to cook with soft drinks, usually it's Dr. Pepper or Coke, used for meats that smoke or slow-cooking like this in the oven or a slow cooker. Dr. Pepper is a popular favorite when it's Thanksgiving time to smoke a turkey for 12 hours. There is something about the dark syrup soft drinks that makes magic for meat dishes. It could be the high fructose corn syrup that tenderizes the meat and sweetens the taste. Whatever it is the taste is divine! The ultimate is cooking a dish that is low maintenance in labor and is a big hit at the table. Works for me!

Boston Butt Braised in Coke

From: John Kessler, published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Serves: 6-8

Note from John: The biggest investment in this delicious dish is time. To prepare a Boston butt for dinner, you'll have to start soon after lunch. You need only sear in oil, put in a pot with a little liquid in the bottom, cover it tightly and let it simmer for hours, turning every now and then. This recipe is similar to one I published once before but much, much better. That can of Coke — a new addition — does strange wonders for the flavor.

Hands on time: 14 minutes
Total time: 4 hours and 15 minutes


4 pounds boneless pork shoulder or Boston butt

Salt and pepper

1 Tablespoon cooking oil

1 medium onion, peeled, halved and sliced thinly

1 (12-ounce) bottle or can of Coke

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 ounce fresh ginger, scrubbed and cut into thick coins

2 pieces star anise

1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish


Trim thick fat from the pork and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven with a heavy fitted lid, and brown meat on all sides, finally turning so the fat side is down. Spoon out any excess grease.

Fry onion in bottom of pot until it wilts, then add the Coke and soy sauce, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Add the ginger and star anise. Bring to a simmer and cover.

Braise meat until very tender, about 4 to 4 1/2 hours, turning occasionally. Remove meat to a heated serving platter. Collect braising liquid in a measuring cup and spoon off fat. Press juice and soft onion through a strainer over meat, and discard the spices that collect in the strainer. Garnish with green onion.

Notes: To make the meal, serve with rice, noodles or potatoes

Per serving (based on 6, using boneless pork shoulder): 298 calories (percent of calories from fat, 40), 34 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 13 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 110 milligrams cholesterol, 829 milligrams sodium.

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