Just finished reading an online article in The New York Times Sunday magazine about a product called Porkette. Despite the fact that my step-granddad raised hogs on his farm and our family was fortunate enough to benefit from this at butchering time (for Bruce Bilmes & Sue Boyle, we got it from the Farmland, IN Locker) I have never heard of this product. Below are a couple of descriptive quotes from the article (I'd post a link but it requires registration.)
"Porkette," the label reads. "Pork shoulder butt. Boneless. Smoked." It is, the J. Freirich company says, "the Taste of New York."
And Porkette is one of the underappreciated results: shoulder meat injected with brine, inserted into netting and "smoked" with burned-hickory mist. Porkette is an industrial food product (and so's your hanger steak, pal), but a few months of cooking with it suggests it's a more than decent one, well worth keeping in mind as the days turn long.
Upon reading the article it occured to me that when I first moved to St. Louis, I was unfamiliar with another pork product, the pork steak. After living here for nearly 30 years I have come to appreciate the modest pork steak. The local grocery ads before the 4th of July (and throughout the warmer months) always have pork steaks on sale. The best pork steaks I ever had were the first (actually, the second) ones I ever had. It was at an all day picnic which began around 11:00 AM with lunch at 12:00. The lunch pork steaks were pretty good. After an afternoon of softball, volleyball, and beer drinking we sat down to eat the leftovers which had been simmering in a stock pot filled with BBQ sauce on a Coleman stove all afternoon. They were fabulous, melt in your mouth delicious.
I guess all of this leads me to ask about porkette in general. Are you familiar with it? Have you eaten it? How do you serve/prepare it? Are there other regional examples of this product?