I included this pulled pork recipe (made in a slow cooker) in my free Summer Newsletter (see here) and have been very heartened by its popularity. Did you miss it or be slow on the uptake? I have to admit to cooking it at least once a month and making many bariatric perfectly-portioned meals from it. So much so that I think it is worth repeating here as a blog – this time with
a cauliflower mash topping, as a pie. It’s just the thing for a family meal, dish to come home to after an arduous day, and a welcome addition to the freezer for when you just can’t face cooking from scratch of an evening. I have made quite a few, portioned them into small baking dishes, and frozen for later use. They are just the ticket when we return home after watching a sporting fixture and prove most comforting or celebratory whatever the score!
The recipe for the pulled pork is below with a quick and easy way to make cauliflower mash – you could of course use potato (white or sweet as liked) or any other root potato mash or combination – try carrot, swede/rutabaga or parsnip for example. Serve with a simple green vegetable like courgette/zucchini, shredded cabbage, peas or broccoli for seasonal freshness and great nutrition.
SLOW COOKER PULLED PORK MEXICAN STYLE
I’m fortunate that I don’t have a problem with meat post-surgery but recognise that some do. I have come across a few patients who haven’t touched meat again after a painful or regrettable episode which I find sad. I often recommend that they give it another go and opt for a meat dish that is cooked meltingly tender. When pressed to suggest one I often say a slow cooker cooked casserole, pot roast or stew. This is one of them – a slow cooked pork shoulder (trimmed of fat so as lean as possible) cooked in a fabulous sauce that really does deserve the moniker of being ‘pouch-friendly’.
We sometimes have it with mashed potatoes (as you can see loaded below in the right proportions on our bariatric portion plate); occasionally in a bun like the American classic; as a filling for tortillas; and also often without the carb on the side as a one pot dish topped with avocado and seasoned yogurt. If you leave out the chilli powder you will have a basic BBQ sauce pulled pork, so you have the choice of two options. We don’t always use all the sauce for serving with the meat, it’s generous in quantity – any leftover can be mixed with canned beans to make a side dish or with extra stock and beans or vegetables to make a soup. I guarantee once you’ve made this dish you’ll make it again … and again.
Pulled Pork on the Bariatric Portion Plate (details here)
500 g/1 lb passata (smooth crushed tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp mild chilli powder (optional and to taste)
3 tbsp granulated sweetener
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.7 kg-2 kg/3½ lb shoulder of pork, trimmed of all visible fat, leaving a piece of meat weighing about 1.5 kg/3 lb
- Mix the passata with the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard, chilli powder if used, sweetener and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Place half in the base of a slow cooker.
- Add the trimmed pork shoulder (in one piece) and pour over the remaining sauce mixture. Cover and cook on MEDIUM for 8 hours. Alternatively, cook on HIGH for 2 hours and then on LOW for 6 hours.
- To serve, remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Allow to cool slightly then shred into bite-sized pieces with two forks or slice thickly with a knife into thick chunks, as preferred.
- Serve hot, drizzled with the sauce from the slow cooker.
VARIATION: I find I am quite happy with the colour and flavour of the meat without searing prior to putting in the cooker but go ahead and sear in a hot pan until brown on all sides if you prefer. Likewise, if you would prefer a thicker sauce then simmer the sauce ingredients in a small pan for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly, before adding to the pork. Your choice.
WLS PORTION: ½
So simple to make and just as good (if not better) than the ‘real thing’. Cut 1 medium head of cauliflower into small florets (you get about 6-7 cups). Add to a pan of boiling salted water and cook until very tender – about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving about 3 tbsp. of the cooking liquid. Place in a food processor with 1 tbsp. extra virgin oil or 2 tsp butter and reserved cooking liquid and puree until smooth. Alternatively mash with a potato masher or hand-held mixer. season to taste with salt and pepper to serve or use. Add chopped herbs if liked.