Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Best AIP Pulled Pork and Garlic Fried Tostones (aka Burrito Night)

So. Before I stopped eating wheat and dairy, we would have what we called Burrito Night at home - pulled pork, rice, coriander leaves, lime, grated cheese, salsas and beans - all rolled up in a big fat tortilla wrap with a generous blob of sour cream.

And when I stopped eating (most of) those things, I still missed Burrito Night. 

So I started to make this: 

This is my favourite dinner to cook, because it looks like you've made a real effort, but you haven't even really tried. Just 10 minutes before you wanted to eat you just chopped up an avocado and fried some green plantain slices. 

This is how you do it.

Pulled Pork
I almost always make my pulled pork in the slow cooker because it takes care of it all for me without me needing to worry about burning it. Here's the method I use - and here's the recipe for this pulled pork, cooked with fresh thyme and sea salt

I've only recently been able to get hold of plantains from one of the local supermarkets, and immediately I fell in love with them. Frying them while they're green gives you crispy on the outside but fluffy in the middle tostones that remind me of the best roast potatoes (before I gave up potatoes). YUM. I slice them up, fry them in coconut oil and then plunge them into cold water with chopped garlic floating about in it. Then I squash them flat with the bottom of a saucer and give them a second frying. When they're crisp and hot I lift them out and dredge them with salt. Here's the method for the tostones, here (I don't make the beans, by the way). 

Chunky Guac
Peel, de-stone and chop a ripe avocado into chunks and plonk it into a bowl. Squeeze over a good pinch of salt and the juice from half a lime. Give it a stir and add freshly chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves. Job done. 

I use whatever salad I have handy in the fridge, but this one was a combo of watercress, rocket and spinach leaves with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over. 

What do you reckon? Fancy a pulled pork dinner like this? 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Thyme and Sea Salt Pulled Pork Shoulder

Some people, they say to me: 'I don't know how you do your diet - there's just so much cooking. I couldn't do it.'

And I say: 'Well, it's a good job I have little recipes like THIS up my sleeve.'

Pulled Pork. 

With fresh thyme and flaky sea salt.

Done in the slow cooker.

Three ingredients. 

Took 30 seconds of actual work.

Yep, you can chuck this lot in the slow cooker at lunchtime and it'll be ready for dinnertime (in our house that's about 6pm). You won't have to think about it, stir, check on it, NOTHING. The only thought you'll give it will be as it cooks and its aroma wafts beautifully around your home. 

This would be lovely with some old-fashioned, traditional gravy and apple sauce or you could dish it up as part of a salad or what we call 'Burrito Night' (even though there are no beans or, um... burritos). Tuck in!

Thyme and Sea Salt Pulled Pork Shoulder
Serves 6
1.4kg bone-in pork shoulder joint
4-5 fresh thyme sprigs
good pinch of sea salt

Get ready, because this is going to be short. 

Plug in your slow cooker and set it to 'high'. Dump the pork shoulder into the crockpot. Sprinkle with salt and give the thyme sprigs a rinse under the tap. Shake them off and strew over and around the pork. Replace the lid. 

Leave to cook for 5-6 hours, or until the pork is fall-apart tender. Lift out of the crockpot (watch out as there will now be meat juices in the pot) and onto a large serving plate. Shred with two forks and then pour over a little of the cooking juices over the top add moisture and flavour. Serve straight away. 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Lemony, Buttery Pork Chops

Nowadays, my husband doesn't regularly cook. 

But he used to.

When we were first together, he would cook me one particular dish every week, with a big pile of fluffy, buttery mashed potato. It's our anniversary at the end of the month (11 years - cripes!) and this got me thinking about what we used to do together at the beginning of our adventure. And one of those things was to sit down together in the evening and eat buttery pork chops. So I asked him to show me how to make it. 

And he did. 

The first thing you need to know is that as this only has four ingredients in the whole recipe, it's good to get the best quality pork chops you can. These chops are from free-range pork from Farmer's Choice - an online butcher in the UK specialising in free-range meats as well as fish and game. It helps to have a little fat on the chop too - as it'll render down a little bit while cooking and add FLAVOUR...

This recipe is paleo (hello, butter) but not AIP (you could always use ghee though to keep it AIP-compliant). It's also primal, grain-free, gluten-free and just plain flippin' gorgeous. 

Four ingredients and 10-15 minutes is all you need to recreate this for yourself. Do it. You'll be glad you did. 

One bite in, and you get tender, buttery pork with a fresh lemon flavour. The darker bits, especially near the fat, the bits that caught a little in the pan - are full of the most intense flavour, too. Just saying.

I knew there was a reason I married this man. 

Lemony, Buttery Pork Chops
Serves 2
2 pork chops, I used thick, bone-in chops from Farmer's Choice
Good pinch of salt
1 tablespoon salted butter (use ghee to keep it 100% strict AIP-compliant)
juice of half a lemon

Right. First, heat up a griddle or frying pan and melt the butter in it, over a low heat. Season the pork chops with the salt on both sides and then place them gently into the foaming butter. 

Squeeze in the lemon juice and leave to cook on one side, for about 5 minutes - keep it on a low heat so it doesn't burn on the outside before it's cooked in the middle - and then flip it over and fry on the other side. Check it's cooked - cut a little pocket into the thickest part of the chop just to make sure - and then lift it out and leave to rest on a plate. If you still see any pinkness or blood, put it back in the the pan and cook a bit longer. 

After the chops are thoroughly cooked, and have had a 2-3 minute rest (this will keep them nice and juicy) serve them, with some of the pan juices spooned over the top.

I received a contribution towards the ingredients for this recipe from Farmer's Choice. 


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