Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pulled Pork Apple Sliders with Bacon Ginger Balsamic Reduction

Pulled pork is absolutely one of my favorite Paleo meal-prep foods. A 4-5lb pastured pork shoulder/butt will yield a hearty portion of meat that our family of 4 eats for days, and pastured pork is loaded with healthy saturated fats and tons of flavor! The key to delicious pulled pork is in the rub. Since Paleo barbecue sauces can be expensive, and can be time consuming to make, using a rub adds lots of flavor with very little effort. As a stay at home homeschooling mom, convenience is KEY! These sliders are a delicious way to use your prepped meat for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Here I'm including both the directions for these sliders AND my recipe for pulled pork. I promise, this pulled pork recipe will leave you happy. The seasonings are flavorful, but neutral enough that the meat is still versatile. My husband swears it's better than anything he's every had at a barbecue restaurant--and he's been to a lot of barbecue joints!

Laura's Pulled Pork

4-5lb pastured pork shoulder/butt (depends on what your butcher likes to call it)
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs ground coriander
1/2 Tbs ground allspice
1/2 Tbs turmeric
1/2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs sea salt
Dash or two of pepper

Preheat oven to 250*F. Mix all spices in a bowl (I have used only a Tbs for measuring so you only need one measuring spoon--less clean up & convenient). Place pork shoulder in a deep roasting pan. Spread dry rub over on pork, covering all sides with a thick coating. Cover with foil. Place in oven and let it cook low and slow for up to 8 hours. 5lbs usually takes a full 8. If you get two smaller cuts (i.e. 2, 2lb cuts) it will only take about 5-6 hrs. The meat should fall easily away from the bone, and the pan should be full of juices. You can also cook this in a crock-pot/slow-cooker on the low setting. Remove bone from meat. Shred meat by pulling it apart using two forks. Mix it in with the juice to allow the meat to soak up all that flavor!

Pulled Pork Apple Sliders with Bacon Ginger Balsamic Reduction (for 2 sliders)

3 slices of bacon
1/4 yellow onion sliced
1 liquid cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp ground ginger
2 granny smith apples (best apples for cooking) cored and sliced horizontally in medium thick discs
Ghee for cooking (I prefer Omghee's brand available online)
2 separate non stick pans

In one pan, over med-low heat cook up bacon to your preferred level of crispiness. When bacon is done, remove from the pan and leave the grease. Turn the heat down a bit & add the balsamic vinegar & ground ginger to the hot grease--it will splatter a bit so be careful! Mix well with a non-stick safe spatula or wooden spoon. Cook the liquid down until it has started to thicken (this is called reducing). Remove from heat. Keep in mind, the sauce will thicken a bit more once it starts to cool.

In the other pan, add some ghee over medium heat and caramelize the onions. When onions are done, remove from pan. Add a little more ghee to the pan if necessary. Place apple slices in the pan. Allow to cook on both sides until they reach your desired doneness. I like mine a bit al dente. Remove from pan when done. Add some leftover pulled pork to the pan to reheat (or you can reheat it in a mircrowave if you use one).

You can have both pans going at once if you're comfortable with that. If not, make bacon & sauce first so your onions, apples & pork are still warm when you assemble the sliders.


Place two apple slices on a plate. Top with pulled pork. Break bacon slices in half to make 6 smaller pieces. Place three pieces on each slider on top of pork. Add some onions & top with another apple slice. Drizzle sliders with Balsamic reduction & ENJOY--with a fork!

Note: You will have sauce left over. It will keep in the refrigerator. It will harden, but you can reheat it to soften it. I love using it over different veggies!

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