Porketta- some brainstorming

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nicefly

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Apr 9, 2016
191
133
Houston, Texas
Hi All,

I have decided I am going to blend a blast from my past with my newer experiences with smoking.  I am in brainstorm mode and thought it cannot hurt to get some input from the forum.

The past- I worked in a small grocery store/butcher shop in high school back in PA.  While the owner was Polish there were many Italian neighborhoods around.  We would bone, grind and stuff soperesatta with their proprietary blend of seasonings but that is a discussion for another time.

Anyway, I remember making porketta from pork butts.  I do not remember the exact seasoning but it definately had dill, garlic, onion, probably some Italian seasoning and oregano.  After doing some of the google it probably had fennel seed too. I have seen some recipes with lemon pepper but I do not really think ours had lemon pepper so I will probably stick with good old black pepper and keep it to a minimum.   My rub recipe will probably be in flux until I actually mix it up.  

If anyone has a porketta rub recipe with dill and fennel feel free to post it and guide me.

The present-other mental struggle is what IT to hit.  Do I keep it closer to 170F and slice?  Do I do a complete fusion and go for pulled?  Do I butcher the butt and make sliced from the money muscle/ tubes and take the bone side to pulled?  That last one would greatly reduce my cook time which may be a good thing to reduce smoke the first time around.  I will not wrap so that is out. 

Ah the angst.  I am working out of town and have a few days until I have to decide.

Comments welcome.

Oh yea, COS with Oak and Pecan will drive this smoke.

Thanks,

John
 
Can't help with the rub recipe, but will follow your progress. I have a porketta on my radar this weekend and plan to stuff with sweet Italian Sausage.

You didn't mention if you planned to stuff anything or just roll up with spices. I found a spice blend on Honestly Yum website I plan to use. Fennel and rosemary are two of the ingredients other than the norm.
 
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Hi John, here's my rub recipe that I use. Where in PA did you work? Sounds like you're close to me with all the small ethnic communities around.

2T Fennel seed
2T Dill
2t Oregano
2t Garlic Powder
1t Onion Powder
1/2t Crushed Rosemary
1/2t Thyme
1/2t Black pepper

Note: This has a strong fennel taste. Use less as a rub or decrease the amount of fennel seed if you plan to apply a lot.

If I were to use the rub on a pork butt, I would double the amount of Dill, add more garlic and add salt to the rub.

Maybe experiment with a pork tenderloin first. They're relatively quick to make and then tweak the rub to your liking (different strokes for different folks).

If you use the rub on a pulled butt, let me know how it turns out. I tend to not go crazy on different seasonings with pork butts, that way I'm not committing myself to a specific flavor and my vacuum sealed left overs are more versatile. Pulled porketta nachos anyone!!?
 
Thank you Xray.  I will take your advice and go light on the fennel first time around.  I will eat it but we will have to see what the wife and kid think.

I have been working out of town and bringing my own food for lunches and dinners so it will not go to waste.  Plus it is a pork butt from the freezer from when they went on sale for 99c/lb.  Not really the point, I do not like wasting food but you get the idea.

Looking around the internet it seems what we made back then was maybe not traditional porketta but whatever, it is what I fondly remember making.

Now, do I bone it and tie it up or just rub the outside or cut it beforehand and do half and half.  Decisions decisions.  Plenty of time between now and Sunday to agonize over it, haha.

I will be smoking a ham (7lbs or so) at the same time so I am giving serious consideration to cutting it and doing the porketta seasoning on just the money muscle and tubes and my regular pork rub on the bone side.  Cook times will be similar, and quicker, and I can pig out earlier.
 
Wow, I can't wait to see this materialize...... I have not heard of this and you have piqued my interest now...... Keep us in the loop and pics to plz..... 
 
Oh by the way it was Northeast PA.  I grew up in a small town called Waymart about 30 miles north of Scranton.  Most of the Italians were "on the other side of the mountain" in Carbondale.

I lived in Dunmore during college, an Italian enclave.  Very relaxed rules.  So long as you were not hurting anyone or stealing and the like you could basically do whatever you wanted.  Stop signs and some traffic lights optional if nobody else was coming, bars open well past closing with the cops not caring (I was much younger then haha). Mob rules if you know what I mean.
 
With your pork butt I would cut the money muscle off like you would for coppa and use that for your porketta. For an IT I'd probably shoot for the 160 range.
 
Oh by the way it was Northeast PA.  I grew up in a small town called Waymart about 30 miles north of Scranton.  Most of the Italians were "on the other side of the mountain" in Carbondale.

I lived in Dunmore during college, an Italian enclave.  Very relaxed rules.  So long as you were not hurting anyone or stealing and the like you could basically do whatever you wanted.  Stop signs and some traffic lights optional if nobody else was coming, bars open well past closing with the cops not caring (I was much younger then haha). Mob rules if you know what I mean.

I'm 20 minutes south of Scranton, right in between Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre

As for the porketta, Dirtsailor has a good plan. What my grandmother used to do was debone and butterfly a roast. Then she would season both sides with fennel, rosemary, Oregano, salt and pepper. Then she would roll it up with loose sausage and roasted garlic. Once rolled, it was tied together.

I haven't had true porketta in a long time. I have just rubbed tenderloins and pork chops...and then either grilled or smoked them. I'm lazy like that.

I'm very interested in how your's turns out. Keep us posted.
 
popcorn.gif
got me on this looking for finish.

Warren
 
Here we go.

Took dirtsailor's advice and cut out the coppa.  Used this video for guidance.



Took Xray's advice on the rub.  Pretty close to what is listed with the adjustments suggested.  I did not have oregano so I subbed some Italian seasoning.

Here are some pics. More to follow tomorrow.

I stand corrected 88c/Lb haha.


Cut up. Coppa on left bottom.  Fat on left top.  Arm roast middle.  Cubed stuff and bone for stew on right.


Banging the fennel and other associated seasonings.


Seasoned coppa.  Wraped in plastic and back in the fridge.

 
Three hours and about 45 minutes on the smoker at around 250F with oak and pecan we hit160F IT.  Pulled it off, wrapped in foil and in a cooler unitl we are ready to eat.

Porketta on top left, shoulder ham on bottom right.  Plate pic to follow.

.
 
Here are some pics to finish this off.  It is tasty but next time I will go a little heavier with the seasoning.

Thanks to everyone for the advice and for looking.

Only 3.75 hours of smoke so the ring is a little light.


And the plate with some hand mashed little red potatoes.  Look forward to making some sandwiches.

 
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Turned out nice... I would love to sink my teeth into it..... Point for the work and food. 
 
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