Sunday, March 18, 2012

357- Paleo Recipe Review(s)

Yesterday was a jam packed day of Paleo cooking.  Being St. Patty's Day and all, I scored an awesome deal on a whole head of green cabbage, I had some pork shoulder, a pot roast, and there was a "cornbread" muffin recipe I have been dying to test out.

My plan was to cook the pork shoulder traditional carnitas style on the stove top for my lunch, make the muffins, then do the pot roast and cabbage for an Irishesk dinner.  

In reality, the carnitas got done, the muffins got done, and the cabbage got done.  I realized I just didn't have enough time (cabbage recipe called for 2.5 hours of cooking time) or oven space for it all.  

The carnitas hands down were the best batch I've made so far.  In fact, once they were done, I literally could not stop grabbing little bits to snack on.  I violated my measuring rule.  Oops.  Whatever, they were THAT good.  Recipe:
2-3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
7-8 cups water (maybe more)
1 cup orange juice
1 onion, chopped into big chunks
2 cinnamon sticks
2-3 bay leaves
1-2 tsp Kosher salt
pepper to taste
fat of choice

Chop pork into 1 inch cubes.  In a large dutch oven or heavy saucepan heat fat of choice over medium high heat, add chopped onion and cook hot and fast until little brown bits from onion stick to bottom of pan.  Add pork chunks.  Add water, OJ, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Turn heat down to medium and bring mix to a boil.  Reduce heat so mixture stays at a low rumble.  Cook until liquid has evaporated and pork falls apart (about 2 hours?).  If liquid evaporates before pork is done cooking, add a cup or so at a time until pork finishes.  You want to eventually be out of water so the pork can crisp up a little in its own fat (or alternatively, you can spread pork out on baking sheet and broil for a few minutes to get the crispy bits.  Whatever you like.  Personally, I like the crispy bits, but this time, when I was checking the pork for 'doneness' it was so good I couldn't keep my hands out of it.  Just a warning.  

As the carnitas were simmering away on the stove, I decided to try this recipe for paleo "cornbread" muffins.  Now, remember how I have said in the past I have had little luck with paleo baking?  This was no exception.  The only thing about these that resembled corn bread was the color.  Mine were so dang yellow from using our ladies eggs and grass fed butter, I REALLY wanted to believe they would taste something like cornbread.  But, I should have been tipped off by the fact that none of the ingredients included corn, therefore, there was no corn taste.  Instead of tossing these weird eggy muffins in the trash, I'm going to attempt to turn them into a "cornbread" dressing, and if it works, this Thanksgiving will be my bitch.  Yeah.

Finally, once the no-way-not-even-close "cornbread" muffins were in the oven, I began chopping the cabbage and other ingredients for Worlds Best Braised Cabbage.  NOW that title is no lie.  The cabbage was amazing, and I'm not really a huge cabbage person.  At least, I didn't think I was, but lately I've found myself eating tons of it.  Red cabbage and onions sauteed in bacon grease, deglazed with vinegar, all sorts of slaws- I've always loved slaws.  But now, this braised cabbage will be a regular at our table.  After all the pork I snacked on, I ate only a large plate of the cabbage as my dinner.  

So, I didn't get around to the pot roast, but its currently cooking away in my oven right now, and the smells are pretty amazing.  Thank you Pioneer Woman for the suggestions, and having a pot roast recipe that I can proudly make paleo without altering a single ingredient.  I'll let you all know how this one turns out tomorrow.  

And, btw, if I want to have a taco truck cater my wedding, I'm going to fucking do that.  Ok?  

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