By Kevin Williams
Eating something called “pork shoulder butt” would be enough for anyone to switch to vegetarianism. My parents prefer the more elegant sounding, “cottage ham.” What do you call it? Cottage ham or butt? Bluegrass Meats splits the difference and calls it a “Cottage Butt.” I’m not sure that’s much more appealing sounding. At least with beef, they sort of take the butt part out of the vocabulary and call something a “rump roast.” But I’m not so sure a “Cottage Rump” would sound a lot better.
I grew up eating this Cottage Butt on occasion, I suspect many of you did. My Mom would prepare it with potatoes and green beans.
My Dad says that when he was growing up it was always “pork shoulder butt” and that “cottage ham” is either a regional term or a newer term. Weird because when I really dig into this online it appears that the butt is actually the shoulder. You know, it’s easy to get thrown off by the term “butt”, but “butt” also has other meanings, like the “end”, such as a cigarette “butt”, so perhaps the shoulder butt is the end of the shoulder. Mystery solved?
The Amish, by the way, fix this dish. Most Amish – not all, but most – butcher their own pork and this cut of meat would be saved and served in a simple way with potatoes and green beans. Of course most Amish cooks would use home-canned stuff. Interestingly, Rhodes IGA in Millersburg, Ohio, heart of Amish country, had a special this past week on shoulder butts, so it shows the popularity of the meat in Amish country.
Bluegrass Meats has a recipe on their website for cottage butt the way my Mom fixes it. Click here.
And if you just want to say “heck with the butt”, I want pork chops, here is a great Amish recipe for superb pork chops.