Weekend Recipe: Iron Range Porketta

The name of this recipe seems like some sort of unfortunate spelling error, and perhaps at some point it was, but now porketta is something different than porchetta. It's a Minnesota original, simple and delicious. And really do seek out granulated garlic, rather than fresh or powdered, for full flavor.America's Test Kitchen

Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen
Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen

Iron Range Porketta
Serves 8

3 tablespoons fennel seeds, cracked
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 (5-pound) boneless pork butt roast, trimmed
1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and chopped
8 crusty sandwich rolls

1. Combine fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, and garlic in bowl. Butterfly pork and cut 1-inch crosshatch pattern, ¼ inch deep, on both sides of roast. Rub pork all over with spice mixture, taking care to work spices into crosshatch. Wrap meat tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 or up to 24 hours.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Unwrap meat and place in roasting pan, fat side down. Spread chopped fennel evenly over top of roast. Cover ­roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil. Roast pork until temperature registers 200 degrees and fork slips easily in and out of meat, 3 to 4 hours.

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3. Transfer pork to carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Strain liquid in roasting pan through fat separator. Shred pork into bite-size pieces, return to pan, and toss with ½ cup defatted cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide meat among rolls and serve.

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