Pulled Pork with Apple Chutney (Whole30 Compliant)

Pulled Pork

I was at the store last week and found an awesome looking pork butt roast (bone-in) for an equally awesome price.  No, we don’t get all of our meat locally, but we try to get as much as possible.  This was exceptional though–I got an almost 3-pound roast for less than $5.  Can’t beat that!  I decided to braise it all day in the slow cooker and mix it with an apple-tomato chutney, rather than the traditional barbecue sauce.  Sound good?  That’s because it was!

The lovely-looking butter lettuce leaves made a great vehicle for the pulled pork.  And speaking of pulling pork, have you learned the easiest way to pull pork yet?  Remove any bones, cut into big hunks, and toss into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Turn it on and within a couple minutes: pork is pulled.  Voila!

Pulled Pork with Apple Chutney (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 4-5

2-3 pound pork butt roast

salt and pepper

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

4 C broth

2 bay leaves

2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 Tbsp tomato paste

6 slices bacon, cooked to crispy and chopped

 

1.- Heat coconut oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Salt and pepper both sides of the pork butt roast.  When pan is hot, brown meat on all sides until a crust starts to form (about 2-3 minutes per side).  Place roast in slow cooker and cover with onions, broth, and bay leaves.  Cook on low for 5-7 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours).  Remove pork (and any bones), pull, reserve broth, and return pork to slow cooker on the “warm” setting with 1/4 to 1/2 C of reserved broth.

2.- Meanwhile…add apples, cinnamon, salt, and 1/4 C of reserved broth to a medium saucepan, covered.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and let simmer until apples are soft.  Once soft, remove lid and allow most of the remaining liquid to cook off (2-3 minutes).  Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher (or in a blender/food processor).  Stir in tomato paste and bacon, and season more if needed.

3.- Pour apple mixture into slow cooker with pulled pork, mix well, and allow to heat through if needed.  Serve alone or on lettuce.  Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.

Wonky Chili (Whole30 without Dairy Toppings, Primal with Dairy Toppings)

Wonky Chili

I’ve been going through the refrigerator this week, using up what we have so that I can get a new crop of food in the upcoming weeks.  That means that basically toward the end of the week, we were down to the slim pickings when it came to the meat.  What did I have thawed today?  Chicken thighs (which I’m making tomorrow) and ground, hot Italian sausage.  I have about 300 cans of tomatoes in their various forms (as always), a handful of staples (salsa verde, onions, etc), and my newest fun thing: the ingredients of a couple TRY THE WORLD BOXES.  Have you heard of them?  It’s one of the box subscription services where you pay for a subscription and every two months you get a box of food from a specific country.  I’ve received two boxes so far: Marrakesh and Paris.  In the Marrakesh box, one of the items was a jar of kefta rub.  Traditionally, this is used in, well, kefta.  Kefta is the name for Moroccan meatballs (and they are delicious).  But I wanted chili tonight…so I added the kefta rub to the Italian sausage as I was cooking it.  DELICIOUS!

Kefta Rub

For the record, if you can’t get your hands on a jar of kefta spice blend, it contains a mixture of cumin, paprika, morita pepper, mint, coriander, cilantro, and cinnamon.  I’m not sure what ratio they’re in; however, from the smell of the spices, it seems heavy on the cumin and paprika…so mix it at will!

Wonky Chili (Whole 30 without the Dairy Toppings, Primal with the Dairy Toppings)

Serves 4-6

1 pound ground meat (I used hot Italian sausage)

2 Tbsp kefta rub

42 oz diced tomatoes

1 large onion, chopped

16 oz salsa verde

4 oz diced green chile

 

1.- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground meat while crumbling.  When the meat starts to brown, add in the kefta spices and continue cooking until fully browned, stirring frequently.

2.- Add meat to the bottom of the slow cooker.  Top meat with onion, tomatoes, salsa verde, and green chile.  Stir, cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours (or on high for 2-3 hours).  Top with your favorite chili toppings.

Beet-Braised Beef Ribs (Paleo) and Parsnip, Cauliflower, and Potato Mash (Primal)

Beet-Braised Beef

I enjoy making any recipe that is versatile with the type and/or cut of meat used.  I don’t always have one specific cut of meat, so if I can use another cut, that’s great.  With this recipe, you can use any type of beef ribs you want: short ribs, regular ribs, spare ribs, whatever.  I would guess that you could also use stew meat if you wanted (because of the way it’s cooked), but I’ve never tried it that way, so don’t take my word for it.  These are really good served over a mash.  I combined a couple potatoes, parsnips, and cauliflower.  You don’t have to include the potatoes; however, I find that when you include one or two potatoes, the texture (and stability) of the mash is superior.

A note about the red wine: this is an ingredient of contention in the strictly paleo community.  Some people say “well, the alcohol is cooked out” (and after 6-8 hours in the slow cooker, it definitely is).  Other people say “the alcohol doesn’t matter–it just turns into a more concentrated fruit sugar.”  Ultimately, it’s your choice as to whether you feel comfortable using the wine.  If it were a small amount, I would say that if you don’t want to use it, just omit it and add a little red wine vinegar.  This is a large amount though–so if you don’t want to use it, I would suggest using the same amount (or slightly more) of a really strong beef broth.  What do I mean by a “strong” beef broth?  You want a beef BONE BROTH that you’ve cooked for at least two days.  Use the best bones you can and cook all the good stuff outta those suckers until the bones are so soft that you could engrave them with your fingernails.  Additionally, if you use broth instead of wine, this becomes Whole30 compliant.

That being said, if you use the broth, the beets will have more of an earthy flavor than if you use the wine.  For some people this isn’t a problem.  I’m not one of those people.  I don’t enjoy the taste of beets all that often; however, when they’re cooked in wine, all that dirt flavor goes away, HA!

Beet-Braised Beef Ribs and Potato, Parsnip, and Cauliflower Mash

Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp olive oil

4-5 pounds beef ribs

salt and pepper

3 red beets, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice

1 onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

6 thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

3 C dry red wine

20-oz (or close) can diced tomatoes

 

1.- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Season ribs with salt and pepper on each side.  Cook until browned on each side (about 10 minutes, give or take).  Remove to slow cooker.

2.- Reduce pan heat to medium and add beets, onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Stir in wine (or broth) and deglaze the pan.  Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for a couple minutes and pour over ribs in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours).

 

Potato, Parsnip, and Cauliflower Mash

Serves 4-6

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped

1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets

6 Tbsp cold butter, divided

1 C half & half

salt and pepper

 

1.- In large pot, cover potatoes, parsnips, and cauliflower with water by 1/2″.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until vegetables are fork tender (about 20-30 minutes).

2.- Drain and transfer to food processor or large blender.  Add butter and pulse until pureed.  Slowly pour half & half in and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Braised Beef (Whole30 Compliant)

Slow-Braised Beef

When I was talking to a friend the other day, she asked about how to make a basic braised beef dish.  I went to point her to a recipe on here and realized that I don’t have a recipe on here for that!  That somewhat shocked me, as I make braised beef (or pot roast, when I add a ton more vegetables) pretty frequently.  How could I have missed putting it up on here?  I’ll tell you how:

I’ve never written down the recipe.

Well, until now.  When I usually make it, I just dump whatever into the slow cooker, set it on low, and go about my day.  I rarely make it the same way twice (probably because I’ve never written down what I usually put in it), so the taste changes slightly each time.  Sometimes I use wine, sometimes I use coconut milk, sometimes I just chop up every vegetable in the fridge and dump it in.  That means one thing: it’s pretty versatile.  You can literally add whatever you want (within reason) to this dish.  Whatever goes with it, that is.  Don’t add Twinkies or Hershey’s syrup…just don’t.  If you do, I’ll be forced to nominate you for that show on Food Network, “Worst Cooks in America.”  You know, the one that had the lady who put vanilla in everything.  Yes, that includes fried chicken.

Color me gagging.

Braised Beef (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 4-6

2 pounds beef stew meat

1/2 C tapioca or arrowroot starch

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

6-8 C beef BONE BROTH (or beef broth, but you’re totally missing out if you haven’t jumped the bone broth train)

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper

 

1.- Mix Arrowroot (or tapioca) starch with salt and pepper in a large resealable bag.  Add stew meat and shake to coat.

2.- Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot, add beef in small batches and brown for a few minutes.  Do not overcrowd the pan–you want to brown the meat, not steam it.

3.- Once browned, add meat to slow cooker.  Turn pan heat down to medium and add onions.  Saute for just a couple minutes and then add to slow cooker.

4.- Over meat and onions, add bone broth (enough to basically cover the meat) and bay leaf.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours (I prefer cooking this on low–the meat comes out more tender).

* At this meal, the meat (with a little broth) was served over a mash that was a mixture of cooked potato, parsnip, cauliflower, and garlic–of course mixed with some delicious Kerrygold butter!

Smoky Shrimp (Whole30 Compliant)

Smoky Shrimp

There are very few places that I’ve found around here that sell shrimp with the heads on.  I know, I know, most people don’t want to deal with the heads because they’re gross or whatever.  Let me tell you about shrimp heads: they make the MOST AMAZING shrimp stock!  This recipe doesn’t require it, but it’s a bonus byproduct.  I was so excited when we went to HEB last weekend and not only did they have shrimp with the heads on, but it was on sale for just over $5 a pound!  Color me stoked.

I’ve been working on a shrimp recipe recently and decided this was the perfect time to test-drive it.  The fact that I ended up with over a half pound of shrimp heads out of the deal was a surprise that is currently sitting in my freezer, awaiting a soon-to-come time where its fate will be that of broth.  I served these with a cauliflower-potato mash, but you could serve them with pretty much anything you wanted to.  Of course in traditional New Orleans style, they would be served with rice, but that is up to you!

Smoky Shrimp

3 Tbsp coconut oil

1 large shallot, diced fine

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 C white wine

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

2/3 C Worcestershire

1/2 C bone broth

2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter

1/2 C scallions, sliced thin

 

1.- In medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil.  Add shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring until softened.  Stir in wine, thyme, and paprika.  Cook until reduced by half (about 3 minutes).  Add Worcestershire and broth.  Cook about 15-20 minutes (until reduced to 1/2 to 2/3 C).

2.- In large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil.  Season shrimp with salt and pepper.  Cook a couple minutes, flipping sides, until shrimp has turned pink.  Pour sauce into shrimp pan and cook a couple minutes until thickened.  Stir in butter until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve, garnished with scallions.