Northland Porketta Sandwiches

imageIn the late 1800s to early 1900s, immigrants from all over the world moved to the Northeastern (aka Northland) Minnesota in huge numbers to work in the iron mines. Sheer numbers of Germans, Swedish, Norwegians, Canadians, Italians, Danish, English, Irish, Finnish, Austrians, and Russians moved in and learned to adapt their recipes to the ingredients found in the area. Several recipes that have stuck in the area are porketta, potica, and pasties (a meat pie). My favorite of them is the Porketta sandwich. Hope you enjoy my version!

Porketta Sandwiches

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Makes 6 sandwiches

3-4 lb. Pork Butt/Shoulder
½ T. Salt, plus 1 tsp for after cooking
2 T. Smoked Paprika
2 T. Onion Powder
2 T. Italian Seasoning
1 T. Sugar
12 Peeled Garlic Cloves (various sizes, chopped)
⅓ cup Fresh Fennel greens (chopped)
2 T. Fresh Fennel Bulb (chopped)
¼ Vegetable Oil
Mixed Potatoes
1 cup Chicken Broth
6 ct. Favorite Bakery Buns

Butterfly Pork Roast by making a vertical slice and then slicing on the left and the right bottom sides to open up roast. (If your not comfortable with butterflying ask your butcher to do it for you.)

In a bowl combine salt, paprika, onion powder, Italian seasoning and sugar. Rub on all sides of the pork.

Stuff pork with chopped garlic, fennel greens and fennel bulb. Then tuck up roast and tie with kitchen twine.

In a large pan heat vegetable oil, Brown meat for two minutes on each side.

Line bottom of Crock Pot with potatoes and chicken broth. Place roast on top. Cook on low for 8 hours. Salt with remaining 1 tsp of salt after cooking.

Remove from crockpot and let rest for 15 minutes and then shred the pork.

Serve on a bun slathered with horseradish mayo and pickled onions.
Easy Pickled Onions

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1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ teaspoons Kosher salt

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together until sugar and salt is fully dissolved.

Place onion in a jar or bowl (I like to use a mason jar). Pour vinegar mixture over the onions and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour if you’re in a rush. Preferably, cover jar or bowl and place in refrigerator for at least 1 day. Pickled onions will last for a few weeks stored in the refrigerator.

Use pickled onions to top tacos, nachos, sandwiches, salads, and more!

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