Originally Posted by Finney
Just go to your butcher and tell him you want this: (this is THE Boston Butt specification)
Item No. 406 - Pork Shoulder, Boston Butt, Bone-In - This item is as described in Item No.
403 except that the picnic is removed as described in Item No. 405. Skin, neck bones and
related cartilage shall be removed. At least traces of false lean (M. trapezius) shall be
exposed. When specified, the neck shall be removed by a straight cut approximately parallel
to the loin side, immediately anterior to the half moon muscle (M. pectorales profundus).
Except tell him you don't want the cut specified in the last sentence. The one that starts, "When specified". ("when specified" are key words)
100% legal, and you get meat you wouldn't if they made that cut.
Actually this is the correct way:
The shoulder is separated from the side by a straight cut that is approximately perpendicular to the length of the side. The cut shall be made posterior to (so as not to expose) the elbow, but not more than 1.0 inch (2.5 cm) from the tip of the elbow. The outer tip of the subscapularis muscle shall not extend past the dorsal edge of the base of the medial ridge of the blade bone. The foot shall be excluded at or slightly above the upper knee joint by a straight cut approximately perpendicular to the shank bones. The jowl shall be excluded by a straight cut approximately parallel with the loin side which is anterior to, but not more than 1.0 inch (2.5 cm) from the innermost curvature of the ear dip. The neck bones, ribs, breast bones, associated cartilage and breast flap (through the major crease) shall also be excluded. The fat and skin shall be beveled to meet the lean on the dorsal edge. The exterior fat thickness at the dorsal skin edge, measured at the center of the cut, shall not exceed that indicated in the schedule shown.