Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pull My Pork

Most think pulled pork means BBQ. Traditionally pulled pork is the slow smoked upper section of the front shoulder cooked for hours. After shredding or 'pulling' it apart it is mixed with the BBQ sauce of regional choice.

Some will forgo the Weber and cook the roast in an electric slow cooker. After hours of slow cooking the same procedure is applied but the results, not so good.

Today, kiddies, I will relate to you a recipe for the porcine version of the Chicago Italian beef sangwich. It's roots are in the Iron Range area of Minnesota and it is referred to as Porketta. In this recipe use of that great Italian seasoning known as fennel is prominent. Fennel is that flavor you taste most in Italian sausage. Fennel is a plant that looks like celery with whiskers. Plant leaves and stalks are used as herbs while seeds are known as spices. We will use both to make our porketta.

First take three tablespoons of fennel seed combined with one tablespoon salt, one tablespoon granulated garlic and cracked black pepper and place it all in a mortar. Ground it all up using the pestle.

Next I took a pork shoulder (aka pork butt) and cut in half, since there are only two of us living here now.

(Sidebar: I bought the butt as two 7lb sections in a cryopak for 99¢ per pound - an excellent value)

Then cut cross-hatch scores on top of the roast and then butterfly it. The ground fennel spice mixture is then rubbed into the center, folded back and also rubbed into the cross-hatches. Wrap up the roast in plastic wrap and allow to sit refrigerated for 24 hours.

Set the oven for 325. Place roast into large dutch oven fat side down. Add 1 chopped bulb of fresh fennel. Cover pot and roast for 3-4 hours.

Transfer to board and let rest uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain particles from liquid and reduce for about ten minutes. Shred pork, add to liquid then enjoy on a bun.

I like to add melted mozz cheese to the bun and toast in toaster oven. The leftovers make great quick sangwiches too.

I give this four tongues up!

1 comment:

Carl from Chicago said...

That looks fantastic. Maybe we can have it at a Bears game some time.