Each year in ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue, we feature each of the species used for barbecue to talk about nomenclature and carcass anatomical locations. This week, we covered pork so the theme would be different styles of pork in cooking in addition to demonstrating where the major and minor cuts were on the pork carcass.
Pork cuts featured
The three items used this week were Boston butts to make pulled pork, Boston butts to make pork steaks, and bone-in pork loins to make Hawaiian-inspired pork loins. Using Boston butts to make pulled pork is relatively easy and may be one of the most common sources of pulled pork around. We got the idea of using the Boston butts to prepare the pork steaks from Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Texas. The Hawaiian-inspired pork loins are made by using bone-in loins so that the pineapple rings can be placed around the ribs and the pineapple juice can be used as a glaze. All were smoked using the Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers using hickory for the pork butts and pork steaks and orange wood for the Hawaiian-inspired pork loins.
Pork carcass and cut demonstration
Brogan Horton used an intact pork carcass, a cut-up pork carcass, and a pork skeleton to describe to the students where the major cuts come from and the terminology used to describe them. Brogan talked about the four lean cuts — ham, loin, Boston butt, and picnic shoulder — and the remaining cuts — belly, feet, and neck bones.
Slaw and pulled pork go hand in hand. Jackie demonstrated how easy it is to make slaw for the students this week. Most of the students raved about how good it was compared to the cole slaw they have had in traditional casual or quick service restaurants.
- Package of pre-cut slaw
- Apple cider vinegar
- Celery salt
Empty package of slaw into a large bowl- sprinkle with sugar and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
Prior to serving, add mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar to taste. Add celery salt and pepper to taste.
Students pulling pork
It is always fun to get some of the students to come to the front of the classroom and pull the pork. It is easy to do, and it gives them a sense of ownership when they eat the barbecue that they did some of the preparation for it. We had eight students come down to pull eight Boston butts.
Students were able to make pulled pork sliders with slaw and to have sliced pieces of the pork steak and a bone-in chop. All three forms of the pork were enjoyed by all.