Brown Sugar & Apple Roasted Pork Butt

Brown Sugar & Apple Roasted Pork Butt

I was recently faced with the dilemma of having to cook for 15 people while keeping the cost down as much as possible. In the end my solution to the problem was a roasted pork butt… When done right it’s tender and has tons of flavor. It’s a great crowd pleaser that won’t injure your wallet or purse!

So here’s my recipe for a Brown Sugar & Apple Roasted Pork Butt… Enjoy!

Serves 12-16 people

Ingredients (brine):
7-8lb Pork Butt
1/2c Salt
1/4c Ground Black Pepper
3tbsp Garlic Powder
3tbsp Onion Powder
3tbsp Dried Basil
2tbsp Dried Thyme
Cold Water

Ingredients (roast):
1c Dark Brown Sugar
1tbsp Salt
1tbsp Ground Black Pepper
2c Apple Sauce
1/2c Chicken Stock

Ok, so this is at least a two day process. You’ll need to brine the butt for at least 18 hours, and can go as long as 48 hours. The longer you brine it, the more tender and flavorful the end product will be.

Use a thin, sharp knife to poke holes in the pork at 2-3″ intervals, on both sides. This allows the brine to get into the meat itself. Combine the dry ingredients in the brine section and thoroughly coat the pork butt on all sides. Place the pork in a very large bowl or pot (I used an 8qt sauce pot) and fill with cold water until the pork is completely submerged. Cover with a small plate to keep the pork under water, then wrap the top tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18-48 hours.

Alrighty, the butt is brined and we’re ready to start roasting!

Heat your oven to 425F.

Remove the pork from the brine and rinse off with cold water. Try to wash off as much of the brine as possible, otherwise you could end up with a very salty roast. Place the butt in a 9×13″ baking dish, with the fatty side facing up. This is very important because as that fat renders the juices will soak down into the meat. If the fatty side is on the bottom it’ll just pool up underneath. Combine the brown sugar, salt and pepper and evenly coat the top and sides of the roast. Then carefully spread the apple sauce over the dry rub… Don’t rub the apple sauce in because you could wash off the dry rub. Pour the chicken stock into the baking dish, NOT OVER THE PORK you’ll wash everything off. Take a square of aluminum foil and crease it into a tent, place the tent on top of the roast.

Place the roast in the oven and bake at 425F for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 225F and roast for an additional 3 1/2 to 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the juices collecting in the baking dish. The internal temperature of the roast should be 150F… The 3 1/2-4 hours is a good guideline, typically 30 minutes per pound after the hot sear, but I would recommend starting to periodically take the internal temperature around the 3 hour mark. Let’s face it, everyone’s oven is different. Some run hotter than they’re saying, some cooler.

Once you’ve hit an internal temp of 150F remove the roast from the oven and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing. This allows the natural juices to reintegrate into the meat. If you slice the pork too soon all of the juice will run out all over your counter, and you’ll be left with a moderately dried up roast.

There you have it, beautiful, tender, delicious, juicy, roasted pork butt that will feed a small army without emptying your bank account! Serve it with your favorite sides and chow down… Maybe some Garlic & Parmesan Mashed Potatoes and Maple Glazed Vegetables!



Published by Derek Martin

Husband, dad, home cook, wine snob... lover of bacon. I have spent my entire adult life surrounded by fine food and fine wines, starting with fifteen years working at, or running, some of New Jersey's top restaurants, and now the last two years working for one of the top fine wine distributors in the United States. I have absorbed a ton of information on food, wine, pairings and techniques during those seventeen years, and I'd love to share what I've learned with you!

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