| Baby Got Back

Author / John

Pork that is.

Whenever I have a weekend full of chores and commitments one of my favorite no fuss meals is a big ol’ pork butt.  It ensures leftovers for at least 1-2 more meals.  A little prep in the am and that baby can slow cook the rest of the day with minimal effort/attention from you.  Long and slow is the key to melt in your mouth flavor and tenderness.

1, 6-10# pastured bone in pork butt or shoulder
2 tbs freshly rendered leaf lard (or other healthy fat such as coconut oil)
1 large or 2 small sweet onions, sliced
1 cup unpasteurized apple cider (chicken stock may be substituted)

For the rub
(the proportions are what’s important, scale to your needs depending on the amount of meat you’re using)

1 tbs maple or coconut sugar
1 tbs paprika
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp dry mustard

Early in the morning mix all spices together in a small bowl and rub on the butt.  Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest until ready to use.  Make sure meat sits at room temperature for at least 1 hour prior to going in the oven.

In a large cast iron skillet heat fat until hot but not smoking.  Sear pork butt well on all sides; remove and transfer to a plate.  Turn down the heat and cook the onions until very soft, scraping all the yummy brown bits up.  Place pork in a large roaster or Dutch oven fat side up and top with the onions.  Pour apple cider or broth over and cover.  Place in a 275 degree oven and set the timer for 4 hours.


Go about whatever it is you need to do or just chill with one of John’s cocktails.  Check it in 3-4 hours to see how tender it is and continue to cook for 2 to 3 hours longer until fork tender and meat easily pulls away from bone.  I used an 8# butt and it took about 7 hours.

After removing from oven, let cool slightly. Place roast on large platter and “pull” with a fork, removing any large clumps of fat.


Serve as is with a little of the delectable juices or some prefer barbecue sauce. . .

Tangy Barbecue Sauce

2 tbs gf butter
½ cup finely chopped celery
3 tbs finely chopped sweet onion
1 cup organic ketchup
2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-3 tsp unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (to suit taste)
1 tbs yellow mustard
freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the celery and onion and cook until tender, stirring constantly.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

I served with Turnip Slaw and cooked up the greens. . .


2-3 large turnips, peeled and julienned
2 carrots julienned
1/3 cup red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup homemade mayo
OR 1 ½ tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard and 4 tbs olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut off the roots and peel the turnips.  I prefer to cut into julienne strips for a better crunch although you can shred or use a processor.  Do the same with the carrots and bell pepper.  Place into a larger bowl and gently toss.

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup whisk the mayo until smooth and add sea salt and pepper to taste.  If using the other option; whisk apple cider vinegar and mustard together, slowly drizzling in the olive oil until incorporated.  Add salt and pepper.

Pour either dressing over the slaw and gently toss.  Adjust seasonings if needed.  Allow the slaw to rest for about 1 hour to heighten the flavors.  Serve chilled or at room temp.

If you’re fortunate enough to find turnips that came with the greens still attached cook those up for your second side.  If not you can easily find turnips, mustard or collard greens at your local market.


1 bunch turnip, mustard or collard greens (or blend)
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ small onion, diced

Cook up the bacon until nice and crisp in a large saucepan, drain, crumble and set aside.  Sauté the onion until soft.  Add in the greens, turn up the heat and watch carefully adding a small amount of water if needed.  Stir until slightly wilted and then turn down the heat,  add the bacon, cover and cook slowly for about 45 min or until tender, checking and stirring every 10-15 min.

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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.


  1. johnny beers on April 11, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Damn Paula, you do takeaways to aus?

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