Slow Cooked Pork Roast

WP_20140813_17_47_15_Pro

This was so simple and flavorful, makes a big batch and it’s so versatile. We’re using this pork for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, but you could use some in one of my favorite macaroni dishes or these amazing taquitos. I don’t cook pork often enough, but after trying this recipe out, I’m sure add it to the rotation. If you follow the recipe link, you’ll see that there are a few different ways to season this up, but I chose the “plain” version so the leftovers would be easier to use. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

WP_20140813_18_42_56_Pro

**Potato Bun Recipe Here and Creamed Corn Recipe Here**

Slow Cooked Pork Roast – adapted from The Kitchn

  • 4 to 6 pound boneless pork shoulder or butt (or 5 to 7 pounds bone-in), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a rack on the lower-third of the oven. Pat the pork dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear all sides of the meat, add the vegetables and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Once it simmers, cover and place in the oven. Bake for 2 to 4 hours, checking after the first two hours for “fork-tenderness” – My 4 pound bone-in roast was fall-off the bone tender at 3.5 hours. Transfer the pork to a large container. When cool enough to handle, use two forks or your fingers to shred the meat into pieces. Remove any large pieces of fat or bones. For more moist and flavorful pulled pork, you can mix some of the cooking liquid back into the pork. Start with a little, mix, then add more until the pork is as wet or dry as you like. Alternatively, for barbecue pulled pork, you can mix in barbecue sauce. Pulled pork will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Advertisements

Bacon Apple Smothered Pork Chops

WP_20140617_16_55_03_Pro (1)

I’m really enjoying the paleo way of cooking! I have been going strong for two months now, and have maintained (without regular exercise), my 15 pound weight loss – all without counting calories or fat. One of the greatest benefits of the change is that I haven’t had a migraine or headaches! Also, food just tastes better and I’m never hungry:)

I rarely cook pork, let alone chops, but I really wanted to try out this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo. If I had cauliflower at the time, I would have made mock mashed potatoes. That would have gone perfectly with the chops because this dish makes a good amount of gravy. I was really pleased with the flavor, but next time I’ll probably add more apples to it.

WP_20140617_15_55_31_Pro

I used three huge pork chops for this that were each about one inch thick!

WP_20140617_16_15_59_Pro (1)

It smelled amazing! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Bacon Apple Smothered Pork Chops – adapted from Nom Nom Paleo

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 TBSP arrowroot powder
  • 1 1/2 cups bone broth or chicken stock
  • 2 pounds of bone-in pork chops
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 TBSP ghee
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs

Directions – 

Fry the bacon in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the bacon is crisp, scoop it out and place it on a paper towel-lined dish.

In the same saucepan, add the arrowroot powder into the drippings to form a smooth roux. Keep whisking until browned, then pour the broth in and stir until incorporated. Increase the heat to med-high, and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook until thickened, then cover the pan and set it aside.

Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chops and cook on each side for a minute or until golden brown. Transfer chops to a plate. Toss the apples and onions in the same skillet, season with salt and cook, stirring constantly. Continue cooking until the apples and onions brown on the edges. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, then add the chops back into the skillet. Pour the reserved sauce over the chops and add the thyme sprigs. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the pork is fork tender.

Plate the chops, and top them with gravy and reserved bacon bits.

 

 

Breakfast Sausage

 

WP_20140427_19_27_02_Pro (1)

 

This Whole 30 kick has forced me to make just about everything from scratch – not a problem on most days, but sometimes I want a break. This change has definitely been a huge lesson in discipline for me, but I can tell you that the results are completely worth it. In less than three weeks, I lost 9 pounds and haven’t counted a single calorie or fat gram, and I am not starving myself! I have more energy, sleep better, I feel stronger, my clothes fit way better and have much more confidence than I did a few months ago.

Anyway, back to the recipe – these are super quick and easy to make. I serve them with fried eggs, roasted sweet potato and some avocado – all Whole 30 approved! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

WP_20140428_07_23_18_Pro

Breakfast Sausages – adapted from Primal Palate

  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 tsp Fennel
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Sage
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper

Directions –

Process Combine pork, garlic, and all spices in a mixing bowl, mixing until it reaches an even consistency. Form pork mixture into 2-ounce patties (approximately 8 patties). Heat a skillet to medium heat with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per 4 patties. Cook the patties for approximately 3–4 minutes per side. Each side should be golden, and the center of the patties should no longer be pink.

Super Simple Chili

chili

I was hesitant to try this one because there are so few ingredients, but all the reviews reassured me that this would be worth making. I decided that it wouldn’t be seasoned enough for my taste so I added a few extras to bump up the flavor. I used one pound each of ground beef and pork, sauteed onion and garlic with the meat, added a six-ounce can of tomato paste along with the tomato sauce. I also had a couple of cups of homemade chicken stock that I didn’t want to waste, so I used that instead of water to loosen the chili up. I didn’t modify the spices (although I should have – there still wasn’t much flavor in this). This is not a “soupy” chili at all but it would be perfect for hot dogs, hamburgers or nachos. Overall, this was as I had predicted – too bland for my tastes! Although, it’s a good jumping off point for those who like to tweak recipes anyway. Thanks for stopping by!

**Click the link for the original recipe.

Super Simple Chili – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • homemade chicken stock for thinning, or water
  • 1 – 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 – 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded Cheddar, for serving
  • Chopped onions, for serving

Directions –


Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic and onion. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water or stock at a time as needed. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded Cheddar and chopped onions.

Pork Carnitas

carnitas

Quick Post: My son loves taco night, and these definitely hit the spot.  I made the meat on a Friday and didn’t end up using it until a Monday. The advantage to letting it sit, is that the fat will rise to the top so you can remove it. The meat also tasted even better, and I was able to pull off even more fat off of the pieces of meat. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pork Carnitas – adapted from My Kitchen Escapades

  • 4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 Tb fresh lime juice
  • 2 C water
  • 1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves

Directions –

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the spent orange halves and juice.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered.  Once it simmers, cover pot and transfer it to the oven.  Cook until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours.
2.  Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid.  Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.  You should have about 1 C of liquid remaining when it is finished.
3.  While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces.  Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot.  Try not to break up the pork any further.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper.
4.  Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat.  Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.  Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.

Chile Verde

Quick Post: I love this dish – seriously it’s one of the best things I make. The house smells amazing right now! It’s not something that can be made quickly, but it is so worth the effort it takes. I thought I posted this recipe here already, but I found out that it has been at least two years since I last made it. I found this recipe about three years ago, but I have combined two different recipes to make this just the way I like it. We enjoyed this over rice that  I cooked with chicken stock instead of water, and these tortillas. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chili Verde – loosely adapted from Food Network and For the Love of Cooking

Tomatillo Salsa:

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1 white onion, peeled, sliced, quartered or whole
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapeno
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Directions –

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapeno for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.
For the Pork:
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of pork loin (or shoulder), trimmed of excess fat and cut into to 2-inch cubes
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock

Directions –

Season the pork cubes generously with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and oregano, to taste. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat then brown pork chunks on all sides. Remove pork from Dutch oven and set aside. I had just a little grease in the pan so I didn’t add olive oil but if you have no grease, add a bit of olive oil. Place the onions in the Dutch oven and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 60 seconds. Add the pork to the onion mixture then pour your chile verde sauce on top. Add enough chicken stock to cover the meat. Taste and re-season with salt, pepper and oregano to taste. Be careful not to add too much because the chile verde will continue to cook down and concentrate a bit. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender.

Meaty Meat Sauce (aka Man Pasta)

I tweaked The Pioneer Woman’s recipe just a little to use what we had here and to enhance the flavor. I tried this once a couple of years ago and I remember that M really enjoyed it because he’s not much of a tomato sauce fan. He is a big meat fan of course, so this one made it to repeat status. I like the addition of Italian sausage and I get mine from a local specialty food store. They make their own sausages and these are so much better than any brand I have tried. Pair this simple sauce with a hearty pasta shape, serve with garlic bread and if you’re feeling a little guilty – a green salad. You can’t go wrong with this dinner, and the men in your life will thank you 🙂

Pasta alla Marlboro Man – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (I used a combination of hot and mild)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 1 teaspoon (generous) Ground Thyme
  • 1 28 ounce can San Marzano whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 8 ounce can no salt tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 – 1 1/2 pounds Rigatoni

Directions –

Heat olive oil in large skillet or pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook a couple of minutes, until starting to turn translucent. Add garlic and stir, cooking 1 minute, making sure not to brown the garlic.

Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of excess fat. Add salt, pepper, and ground thyme. Stir to combine. Dump in canned tomatoes with their juice, and tomato sauce. Stir, reduce heat to low, and cover pot. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Uncover the pot and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Cook rigatoni according to package directions—don’t overcook! Drain and pour over top the meat sauce. Cook and combine over low heat.  Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan into the sauce. Check and adjust seasonings.

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Oh, TG leftovers, how I appreciate you! It’s so nice having leftovers that are easily turned into a whole new dish. Take the ham bone for instance – it doesn’t seem like much, but it lends rich flavor to this soup. I chopped up some leftover ham and added it to the pot towards the end of cooking right after using my stick blender to puree some of the soup. The flavor is warm and comforting and this may become a new Thanksgiving leftover tradition for my family 🙂 It’s so cheap to make too, and all I needed to buy was the navy beans because I had all the stock, veggies and herbs I needed for this. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Navy Bean and Ham Soup –

  • 1 pound navy beans, soaked for 6 to 8 hours
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • thyme, rosemary, bay leaf – tied with kitchen string
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 2-3 cups diced ham
  • 8 cups chicken stock or water

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven combine the beans, herb bundle, ham bone, onions, and garlic with the water. Bring to a boil, cover, and adjust the heat so the soup cooks at a gentle simmer, about 1-1/2 hours.

Add the chopped vegetables and beans. Cook for another hour, until the vegetables are soft, the beans are completely tender, and the ham meat easily pulls away from the bone. Pull the meat off the bone and discard the bones.

Turn off the heat and remove the ham bone. Cool slightly. Remove the meat from the ham bone, discarding the bones, fat, and skin. Cut the meat into small cubes. Remove the herb bundle and discard.

Puree about 3 cups of the beans with a some of the liquid in a blender or use your stick blender. (For a smoother soup puree all the beans.) Stir the puree and diced meat into the soup along with the chopped ham. Heat the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.

Honey Ham

I have been making this for at least five years now – it’s always a hit! My husband loves this and would probably disown me if I didn’t make it – even when it’s just the four of us. Thankfully the leftovers are amazing – especially fried up the next day with a side of scrambled eggs 🙂

Years ago before I was bold in the kitchen, we used to buy Honey Baked Ham, but that is expensive. I was determined to have those flavors at a fraction of the cost. I found the recipe at Allrecipes, but modified it slightly to suit our tastes. First, I omit the corn syrup and substitute it with brown sugar. Then up until a couple of hams ago, I left out the cloves because I wasn’t very daring with my seasonings. Now I always add them and it really adds a nice flavor to the ham. Last year I tried cooking this – or warming it through, in my crock pot. I needed all the oven space for the turkey and I was pleased with how the ham turned out. It’s nice not to have to watch it closely and open the hot oven to baste it every 15 minutes. I just keep the glaze on a double boiler and brush the ham with it every 15 or 20 minutes. It wont caramelize nicely like it does in the oven, but you can always place it under the broiler for a few minutes when the oven becomes available. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Honey Glazed Ham – adapted from Allrecipes

  • 1 (5 pound) ready-to-eat ham
  • 1/4 cup whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups honey
  • 2/3 cup butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Score ham, and stud with the whole cloves. Place ham in foil lined pan.

In the top half of a double boiler, heat the corn syrup, honey and butter. Keep glaze warm while baking ham.

Brush glaze over ham, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Baste ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the honey glaze. During the last 4 to 5 minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. Remove from oven, and let sit a few minutes before serving.

Chunky Beef Chili

This one is an old favorite. I don’t make it very often, but the weather promises to be much cooler tonight, so I had to take advantage of it! It’s not a quick meal but the flavors are worth the wait. The addition of the cinnamon stick is noticeable, but it is probably my favorite flavor note in this chili. The cinnamon’s sweetness/spiciness makes this dish so unique! Please don’t shy away from it 😉

Yum! This was so good and my husband was very appreciative of this dinner. It makes the house smell wonderful – so good, there should be a candle in the scent! 😉 The long simmer makes the meat fall apart tender and there is a pleasant kick to it. It’s not the tongue burning type, but the kind that you feel in the back of your throat. I used two jalapenos, one I left with the seeds and membrane and the other I scooped out to guard against the taste bud searing heat. Thankfully, the sour cream cools it down nicely and the cornbread I made for this (to be in a later post) is perfect crumbled over top the chili. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chunky Beef Chili – adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 12 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), diced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Toppings, such as shredded Monterey Jack cheese, pickled jalapeno chiles, sliced red onion, sour cream, fresh cilantro leaves, or hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a Dutch oven (or a heavy 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid) over high heat until a drop of water sizzles upon contact. In three batches, cook sirloin until no longer pink; remove each batch with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
  2. Add sausage, breaking it up into small pieces; add onion and jalapenos. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage and onion are browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Return sirloin to pot. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomatoes (with juice), cornmeal, cinnamon, bay leaves, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover; cook until sirloin easily breaks apart with a spoon, about 2 hours.
  4. Stir in beans; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon and bay leaves. Serve.