Saturday, January 12, 2013

SUPER EASY recipe for Paleo Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Oy vey.  This week has been a little rough.  I got seriously worked this week!  Me, along with the rest of the country it seems, is plagued in a major way with either a cold, a virus, or some god-forsaken horrible strain of the flu.  Thankfully I only got a cold, but yikes getting sick is no fun is it?  So pardon me for not posting this week.

However, this post is a revelation.  Pulled pork in the slow cooker?  We've all seen and heard about it.  But really, can it be just as good as the pulled pork from the barbecue joint?  How could it be?  Without a smoker, rotisserie, or hours and hours spent marinating in a secret rub.  But it's true.  You can make incredible pulled pork in your slow cooker or crock pot.  It will be delicious, it won't take you ages to prep, it doesn't cost a fortune, you don't need any sophisticated gadgets, and you'll get quite a bit of delicious broth out of it too.  Still a skeptic?  Look at this pic of gorgeous, glorious, dark, shredded porky goodness.

Now do you believe me?  No?  Well, pork shoulder, or pork butt, is super cheap.  So try it anyways.

Paleo Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Easy and Delicious! (serves 2-4)
2 1/2 lb pork shoulder or pork butt
1 yellow onion, sliced
enough veg of choice to cover bottom of your pot, carrots, brussel sprouts, peppers, etc (just keep in mind they will cook for quite awhile and become quite mushy)
Garlic Powder
Kosher salt

Toss your sliced onions and vegetables into the bottom of your slow cooker.  Trim excess fat from your roast (trust me, there is enough fat as it is, you won't miss it) and then cover with generous amounts of garlic powder and kosher salt.  You want the roast to be thoroughly covered.  I purposely did NOT marinate the roast because I wanted to see if it would be good without it.  It was.  Feel free to skip that extra step too!  Place the roast on top of your sliced onions and veggies, and turn your slow cooker on to high.  Let your roast cook for about 5-6 hours on high.  At this point, carefully pour off all the stock (it will probably be about 1/4 to 1/2 way full of juice) and put it in the fridge so you can skim the fat off later.  I think this step is crucial to creating a nice crunchy outer layer on the roast.  It will be super moist even so, so don't worry about it drying out.  Put the pot back in the slow cooker and set it to low for another 5 hours.  When it's finished, remove all the veggies and use forks to shred the pork.  It will be falling apart at this point.  I ate mine sprinkled with a bit of sea salt, but if you have some paleo bbq sauce, go for it!  It is sooooo freaking good peeps.  And you've got your veg and protein all in one pot, no extra work required!  Can't complain about that!?

Most recipes I saw for pulled pork called for roasts about twice the size.  As it is, this amount could have fed 4 people, or three very hungry people.  But if you want to use a larger roast for lots of delish leftovers, you will need to cook it longer.  About 14-16 hours total.

I know changing the temperature halfway through might be a pain.  But IMO it really helps get a nice sear on the outside.  It probably would not matter much if you cooked it on low the entire time, but again, you'll need to increase the cooking time by about two hours or so if you're going this route.  Who cares though?  It's in the slow cooker.

Many of the recipes I found took the extra time and care to stuff garlic cloves into little slits in the meat. Again, not necessary.  Get some good quality garlic powder and coat it liberally and you're good to go.

Need a good paleo bbq sauce recipe?  Here you go!

In non-pork, non-illness related news, S hit a major milestone this week, all by herself and without me even in sight!  She used the potty at preschool!  This came totally out of left field.  We have been working on going potty for months and she sits on it all the time but has never used it.  Not only did she use the potty, but she specifically asked the teacher to take her to the potty first.  Unreal.  Of course, the event has not been replicated, but I am overjoyed and full of pride nevertheless.  I wish I had been there to see it.  Does that sound idiotic?  I'm sure any mom reading this would share my excitement!

Lastly, after falling off the bandwagon last week pretty badly with off-limits food choices, I am finally now, a week later, feeling back to normal in terms of digestion.  Cutting out sugars/sweeteners has really helped.  Yup, it seems being on some kind of permanent detox is what works best for me.  I wonder if I will ever be able to have fruit or treats again.  sigh.  I guess in the grand scheme of things there really is no comparison between feeling your best and eating a little sugar.  

I'll bet a bunch of you are doing detox/diet clean ups right now too.  How's it going?  Any tips or recipes to share?


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