Pulled Pork (AIP/Nightshade Free)

When I figured out that foods from the Nightshade family inflamed my already inflamed gut, it was traumatizing.  Gone were normal fries, Margherita pizza and spaghetti bolognese.  And perhaps most traumatically…most pulled porks were off the list.  People hold strong opinions on pulled pork, not all of them good.  Many just associate pulled pork with tough meat drenched in a mediocre barbecue sauce at family cookouts and buffet lines.  Some people scoffed at the “poor man’s sandwich” (pork shoulder is so inexpensive). I must admit it was one of my favorite foods at such events.

Even served on mass produced sesame seed buns, I often found myself going in for seconds.  The buns were really just vehicles for more pulled pork, so this past Tuesday I had the idea for a deconstructed taco Tuesday.  I picked up some of my favorite tortilla chips, lucked out on a bunch of perfectly ripe Avocados (this never happens) and had a couple extra minutes in the morning to get the pork into the slow cooker.

So tender!  After 8 hours in the crockpot on low–and about a million different errands in between–it was so nice to come home to such a delicious dinner.
This pulled pork is also perfect marathon training food.  In the summer the best running time (other than early in the morning) is at dusk.  So it is perfect to have dinner waiting for me when I get back from an evening run (I even have my tongue out in anticipation).  Check out my crowd rise page for why I’m running the NYC Marathon on behalf of the Women’s Sports Foundation and to donate!

Heavily spiced with things you probably already have in your spice drawer (but no nightshades!), this pulled pork will fit seamlessly into your summer schedule.  Thanks to the slow cooker technique, while I was bustling away helping with Val’s graduation week, dinner was just cooking away.  When 5:30 came around and it seemed right to have a glass of wine with chips and guacamole on the screen porch, I was able to do that without darting into the kitchen every five minutes.  When it seemed right to have dinner, all that was left to do was shred the tender meat with two forks. And then when it came time to clean up, it was just one dish.  And because of how much a slow cooker can handle, dinner for tonight is also all prepared.

Guacamole pro-tip: Use a little garlic powder in place of real garlic.  I find that garlic powder more seamlessly blends into the flavor profile, and doesn’t overpower the semi-delicate taste of avocados.  Mix in some cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper and honestly this could be my dinner
What 5:30 looked like on deconstructed Taco Tuesday.  If you’re in Minnesota, get this tortilla chips.  They are simply the best.

As such, this is what summer weeknights, and for that matter weekends, are for.  You can relax and get outside knowing that you have a delicious and nutritious dinner awaiting you, whenever you get around to it.  This pulled pork is nothing like the sugary pulled pork of yesteryear.  It is pulled pork of 2018.  You can pull (haha) it off without adding any sweat to the hot summer heat.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Pulled Pork (AIP Diet)

Serves 8-10

4 lb bone-in pork shoulder roast

1 tablespoon EACH garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, black pepper, fine sea salt

1 teaspoon EACH dried cilantro, ground oregano, ground turmeric, ground coriander

2 tablespoons high-heat neutral oil (I use Avocado Oil here)

1/2 cup molasses

1 lime

  1. Combine all the dry spices in a small dish.  Using your hands, massage the spice mixture into the pork.  Let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile combine molasses, juice from lime, and 1/2 cup water in a bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Heat two tablespoons neutral oil in a cast iron pan.  Sear pork on all sides (I set a timer for 10 minutes and every 90 seconds to two minutes flip the pork) until crusty and brown.
  4. Place half of your molasses mixture in the bottom of a crock pot.  Place pork on top, and pour the rest of your molasses mixture on top.  Set crockpot to low and cook for at least 8 hours, or until the meat is fall off the bone tender.
  5. Shred with two forks, and serve however you see fit!  We did deconstructed tacos–my favorite cabbage slaw with chips and guacamole. I see this working beautifully in burritos, as a sandwich, on a pizza, or in a pasta (ooooo in a pasta with corn sauce like this one from the NYT  but with cilantro instead of basil…definitely doing the pasta next)

**I feel fairly confident given the fat content of pork shoulders and subsequent liquid release that it would be almost impossible to dry this recipe out, so don’t be afraid to start the crockpot as you leave for work.  It should be just fine even after 10 hours!**

These are the muffins I posted on my instagram earlier this week.  I’ve been keeping them in the freezer, and I actually think they taste better slightly frozen.  Because of the coconut flour I think the slight frozen texture helps them stick together!
Combined some leftover cabbage slaw with greens, carrots, and Bilinski’s chicken sausage.  I normally really hate chicken sausage, but these are actually really good.  No weird ingredients (and no nightshades in some varieties), free range chickens, and a lot of healthy protein.  Perfect for lunch alongside some homemade gluten free bread I’ve been working on!
And the Ugly Delicious award for the week goes to this date-sesame chicken.  Heavily altered from a NYT cooking recipe, I’ll be posting my version soon with hopefully some more appetizing pictures.  Stay tuned!

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