"Pork butt" is a cut of meat from the upper part of the shoulder. It is also known as "Boston butt" in the US, or "pork shoulder on the bone" in the UK. It is the cut of meat traditionally used to make the (Mexican?) dish carnitas.

See Boston butt, where it is actually marked as "blade shoulder".

However it is not easy to find it in normal supermarkets where I live, and I saw a suggestion online that I might find it more easily in Hispanic bodegas.

So what would you call this cut of meat in Spanish? (And most likely with a Mexican slant.)



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  • 1
    In fact it really doesn't matter what portion or part of the pork is used into the recipe, the term Carnitas is used to mean how the pork is cooked, in fact the whole pork can be immersed into an boiling oil pot, and every portion served is called "carnitas style".
    – Ingejony
    Dec 31, 2014 at 17:17

2 Answers 2


I think that the term is espaldilla or cabeza del lomo, but can also be known as aguja

(source: lasrecetasdelaabuela.com)


You may also find this document interesting for more parts of the animal (it also translates the shoulder butt as cabeza de lomo ). Please, notice that there may be more than one way to cut the poor animal (when trying to find a proper diagram I noticed that the cerdo ibérico is cut differently from regular pigs).


I checked google with the words carnitas receta and looked at six sample recipes. The procedures were rather different in all six, and so were the ingredients. Here's what I collected:

lomo y pulpa de cerdo

carne de cerdo surtida (bofe, panza, cuerito, hígado, lengua, nana, oreja, trompa)

carne de cerdo (preferentemente pierna)

Espinazo de puerco y costillar de puerco

costillas de cerdo estilo campestre sin hueso

carne de cerdo surtida

What I would probably do in practice, if I wanted to try to get authentic results: I'd tell the butcher in the bodega that I'd like to make carnitas, and see what he comes up with.

(The recipe I think I might try involved a turkey roasting bag! Which makes me wonder if a slow cooker could be used....)

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