I had a pulled pork recipe to test recently for Cook’s Illustrated. While I can’t post anything specific about the recipe, other than it takes a hell of a long time but is goooood, I am completely free to say what a pain it was to find the pork itself. CI said to use 5 pounds of pork butt (shoulder) for a recipe that made 6 to 8 servings. Since there’s usually only two of us eating, I made the decision to cut the recipe in half. I figured, how hard could it be to find a small pork butt?
Harder than I imagined. I checked my usual grocery stores and struck out. Giant? No butts. Safeway? Everything but. I even called a small butcher shop that everyone always raves about. Yes, they had them. But the smallest one was 7 pounds and they would not cut it down. What kind of butcher won’t cut a piece of meat to order? Not one that I’ll be going to in the future…you hear that Treuth and Sons? And I won’t have to. Because I found exactly what I needed at an old school meat market.
Usually, when I hear ‘meat market’ I think of College Night at some bar. Booming bases and dark corners for your ‘shopping’ experience. Thankfully, the only butts waiting to be picked up at the Laurel Meat Market were of the pork variety. There were also ribs and loins and just about every other cut of meat you could want. Their sign in the window promised meat cut to order. And that’s exactly what they did. They cut me three pounds of pork that would be transformed into moist, sweet, pulled pork ‘que.
While I was there, a nice rump that caught my eye. So maybe my days of avoiding the meat markets are over.
Laurel Meat Market – 347 Main Street, Laurel, Maryland 301.725.5855.
My thanks to HowChow for the post that brought LMM to my attention.