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Boston butt is a cut of pork that comes from the upper part of the shoulder from the front leg and may contain the blade bone. Boston butt is the most common cut used for "pulled pork," a staple of barbecue in the southern area of the United States. Pulled pork is prepared by smoking at lower cooking temperatures (typically 200-250 degrees) and is then pulled from the bone and served with or in a barbecue sauce.
In the United Kingdom, Boston butt is known as pork shoulder on the bone as regular pork shoulder normally has the bone removed and then rolled and tied back into a joint.
In pre-revolutionary New England and into the American Revolutionary War, some pork cuts (not those highly valued, or "high on the hog," like loin and ham) were packed into casks or barrels (also known as "butts") for storage and shipment. The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston area became known in other regions as "Boston butt". In the UK it is known as "pork hand and spring", or simply "pork hand".
In Spanish the cut is known as paleta de puerco, and is the main ingredient in the famous Mexican dish carnitas. In Mexican Spanish, this cut is known as the espaldilla (literally "little back").