This Paleo Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder recipe includes prunes and has an Asian flair. It is a great make ahead meal that feeds a crowd on a budget.
This recipe is inspired by one that I found on eatingwell.com. I adapted mine it for a slow cooker, added some Asian flavors, and made it more paleo friendly.
For this recipe you could use a pork shoulder or a pork butt a.k.a. Boston butt. A pork butt actually comes from the shoulder of the pig, not from the behind. The name Boston butt makes me giggle, I imagine something like this…
I got this monster 8 lb. pork shoulder from Whole Foods. The netting on it sort of reminds me of the lunch-ladies from high school, you can just cut it off since we are not roasting it whole.
This dish fed a crowd of 10, including 5 teenage boys. If you do not have a hungry army to feed, you can follow my directions for a 4 lb. pork shoulder.
Trim away the fat and the fascia, (fascia is the tough white membrane of connective tissue). You’ll want a sharp knife for this job. Mine are due to be sharpened, but I still haven’t figured out how to work my sharpener, (it’s 8 years old). I usually wait until my husband is so disgusted with the state of our knives that he sharpens them for me. Love you honey!
Trimming, dicing, and browning the pork are the most labor-intensive parts of making this recipe. It took me 10 minutes just to trim my 8 lb pork shoulder, (it may not take you as long if you have sharp knives). All in, it took me about an hour to do all of the prep work, before I was able to turn on my slow cooker. The prep for a 4 lb. shoulder would obviously go more quickly.
Dice the meat into bite-size pieces, (about 1’), and season it with salt and pepper. To save time, you could begin browning the meat as you continue to dice the pork, and then chop the shallots.
Transfer the browned batches of pork right to your slow cooker, but do not turn it on yet.
Once all your pork is browned you can sauté the chopped shallots. I chose not to deglaze my pan. I had to brown the pork in so many batches (eight), I was afraid the browned bits would taste burnt.
Add the sautéed shallots to the slow cooker and then added the remaining ingredients, and stir.
Cook an 8 lb. pork shoulder for 7-8 hours on high or for 10-12 hours on low.
Cook a 4 lb. pork shoulder for 5-6 hours on high or for 7-8 hours on low.
The pork should be “fork tender” when it is ready to serve.
Garnish with chopped parsley.
This is a great make ahead recipe. It freezes and reheats well, in fact it's better the next day . You may need to add a bit of water when you reheat it.
If you are not familiar with Paleo ingredients you may wonder about the coconut aminos. It is often used as a replacement for soy sauce, and has an earthy flavor. You can find coconut aminos at Whole Foods, or online, and you might find it in the health food aisle of your local grocery store.
Many ancestral diets recommend avoiding soy, although some allow tamari, which is a wheat free fermented soy sauce. You can use whichever option works with your diet, but I recommend using half as much soy sauce or tamari as coconut aminos, since their flavors are more intense. I also recommend adjusting the salt, since coconut aminos is much less salty than soy sauce and tamari.
I serve this dish over jasmine white rice for my kids and company, and I serve it over cauliflower “rice” my husband and myself. It would also be good over mashed potatoes, or cauliflower mash. I bet wide zoodles would be good too; I’ll try that next time!
I love adding a whole, unprocessed and healthy twist to classic recipes. My food is often grain-free, usually gluten-free, and always unprocessed.