Tuesday, April 15, 2014


       Pork is truly an underused meat. Now, don't go crazy on me here---I am not a big fan of pork chops.  When I was a kid my dad used to make "chicken cutlets",  but really they were pork cutlets that he paraded around as chicken.  They did nothing for me.  Bland, fatty, and porky.  In my older age I've had some good pork---but nothing as good as Porkette. 

       Something disturbing happened to me recently.  Someone said they didn't know what porkette was.  Then another person said it.  Then another. Then another. WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM?  No,  it's not BBQ.  No, it doesn't have any kind of sauce on it.  IT'S PORKETTE.  Maybe because I grew up in Gibbstown,  the home of the St. Mike's Porkette.  Like the land of the free home of the brave,  except in Gibbstown it's the home of the porkette the land of the broccoli rabe and provolone. 

Porkette is traditionally served on a roll with sharp or mild provolone, broccoli rabe (known to Italians as "broccoli rabb-e"), and/or roasted red peppers.

This recipe is for a party porkette that would serve about 15 people 1 sandwich each.  You can modify this recipe as needed.  I've made 5 pound pork shoulders and just halved the spices, oil, and cooking time.


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes per pound, or 8-10 hours
Serves: 15

1 9-10lb Pork Shoulder or Butt, bone in
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp parsley
6 garlic cloves, cut in half
2 pork gravy packets
3 cups water

1. Take your beautiful pork shoulder out of the wrapping and discard paper.
2.  Cut 12 deep slices in the fat, about 1 inch wide.
3.  Place garlic cloves in the cuts.
4.  Heat a cast iron skillet, dry,  over medium high heat until very hot.
5.  Rub the outside of the pork with olive oil.
6. Mix all spices together.
7.  Pat the spices into the pork shoulder well.
8.  Sear meat on all sides for about 5-7 minutes per side (be careful of burning).
9.  While your meat is searing mix both packets of pork gravy with 3 cups of cold water and pour into crock pot.
10.  Turn the crock pot on low and once the meat is finished searing, place inside of crock pot FAT SIDE UP.
11.  Cook on low, covered, for about 20-25 minutes per pound....an average of 8-10 hours.  Mine cooked just shy of 10 hours because I overslept.  Traditionally a good porkette goes in the crock about 3am and finishes by 4pm.  But---I overslept!  When you remove the pork shoulder the bone should slide right out and the fat should have melted away.  THAT'S AMORE!

12.  Place shredded meat back in crock pot to absorb the juices.

This is my broccoli rabb-e.

The trick is to boil it first for 10-12 minutes, then saute it with garlic and oil.  If you do not boil it first it has a tenancy to be really bitter.