This is one of the most delicious recipes and the meat can be used in so many ways after the original meal. You can make pulled pork and porcini gravy over grits/polenta, pulled pork sandwiches with BBQ sauce, tacos, as a topping for fresh pasta, empanadas, tostados and tamales among other things. The spices in the porchetta filling are distinctly Latin and permeate the meat along with the smoke. Keep in mind that “Latin” includes Italy as well as Latin America. If you do not have a smoker, you can get the flavor by Braising the butt with liquid smoke and beer in a slow cooker or oven before you add the bourbon and do the second braise.
I have not posted in several weeks. I had a knee injury that kept me from doing a lot of cooking. It is getting better or at least the cortisone injection is making it feel that way. It is good to be able to stand for more than a few minutes again. Meanwhile the Low Country is in it’s early summer glory after we suffered through an unusual plant killing winter. It is so great to see green and blooms again.
Smoked Butt Porchetta Style
- A large, well marbled pork butt (shoulder) with the fat on one side. Bone in is fine.
- 1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup corriander seeds
- 12 cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- 1 Cup of Bourbon for braising
- Put the seeds in a dry non stick pan and toast till you start to hear them pop. Remove and allow to cool
- In a food processor place the parsley, garlic, cooled seeds and a drizzle of olive oil. Pulse till a thick paste is developed. You may need to add more oil to make a paste.
- Place one inch deep and wide slits all around the meat about 1″ apart.
- Fill each slit with the paste. If there is any paste left, rub it all over the meat.
- Place the butt fat side up in the smoker on lowest temperature. I used apple wood this time, but I often use maple or cherry.
- Smoke for 8 hours do not let the heat get higher than 250.
- Remove to a dutch oven or slow cooker pour the bourbon over the meat and cover. Bake on lowest temperature the oven will go to for another 8 hours or if using a crock pot, leave the lid slightly ajar. Cook on low for 10 hours.
I made a gravy using porcini mushrooms the drippings from the meat (removed fat by chilling) and some cornstarch. For the first meal I served it with polenta/grits and it was delicious. Then on the next day we had pulled pork sandwiches and a few days later, we are having pulled pork tacos!