Iron Range Porketta
From Cook's Country
Not to be confused with Italian porchetta, Iron Range porketta is a fennel-and-garlic-seasoned pulled pork hailing from Minnesota. Butterflying the pork butt sped up cooking, and cutting a crosshatch in the surface ensured that the seasoning—a mixture of granulated garlic, crushed fennel seeds, salt, and pepper—penetrated. Before roasting, we topped the meat with sliced fresh fennel for a second layer of flavor.
Pork butt roast is often labeled Boston butt in the supermarket. This recipe calls for granulated garlic, which has a well-rounded garlic flavor. It is golden and the texture of table salt. Garlic powder is paler, with the texture of flour, and can be acrid. Don’t confuse the two or substitute garlic powder in this recipe. To crack the fennel seeds, spread them on a cutting board, place a skillet on top, and press down firmly with both hands. The porketta tastes best when the raw meat sits for a full 24 hours with the spices.
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