Slow roast pork on The 30 day Paleo Detox Challenge – Day 26

Slow roast pork - paleo style

I really enjoy my food, it’s important to me that I eat well, and if there’s one thing that’s gong to brighten my detoxing day, it may well be…

Slow Roast Pork

Not the roast pork specifically, but the fact that it’s slow roast, and that’s a new culinary adventure for me.

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Bored by my paleo diet

I’ve been getting a little irritated by the lack of anything nice to eat of late, not cravings exactly, more boredom and frustration. Hardly surprising, as my paleo diet had become very very repetitive.

Bring on the slow roast pork!

Slow roast shoulder of porkGood food

If good food is important to you, and I understand that for some people food is simply fuel. Well understand is a little strong, but I’ve heard it said!

Anyway, if you like your food then it’s important not to give up on that while detoxing, else you’ll make yourself miserable and not want to do it.

A major principle of the Whole30 is breaking the habits that keep you emotionally, as well as physically, addicted to certain foods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you’re eating!

Try something new

The chances are you’re going to have to try something new when you’re detoxing or you’ll simply not be getting enough nutrition. But don’t be afraid to experiment too.

Slow roast pork with crispy cracklingThere’s a limit to how much broccoli you can eat, for example, at least if it’s boiled or steamed, but have you tried roasting it? Try tossing it in a little olive oil and lemon juice and seasoning with smoked paprika, sea salt and black pepper – bang it in a hot oven for 20 minutes and be delighted, it’s a whole different thing!

Try roasting sweet potato or butternut squash instead of potatoes, and swede or celeriac for mash. Celeriac, boiled and mashed with ghee, salt and black pepper, has just become our new favourite veggie, we had it last night with the slow roast pork, and speaking of that…

Slow roast pork recipes

Rather than repeating the recipe for slow Roast Pork here I’ll link to a couple that I’ve tried with great success. The first was from River Cafe and involved large amounts of garlic and fennel – absolutely delicious and the one I’ll be going back to next time.

>> Aromatic slow roast pork with fennel seeds recipe

Alternatively, if you don’t like fennel, there’s a similar offering from Nigela Lawson. Plenty of garlic again, but this time with ginger. It was nice, the pork was fantastically tender, just falling apart, but I missed the fennelly crust!

>> Slow roast pork with garlic and ginger recipe

Anyway, the real secret is not in the flavouring but in the cooking method.

Don’t be scared!

Dogs like slow roast pork tooThe key to the slow roast pork is not to be scared of the oven temperatures or the timings. The first one I did was a little dry – it didn’t get cooked for anything like the 24 hours recommended, but the temperature was too high I think.

Last night’s roast got a full 18 hours. It was only a smallish half shoulder of pork, but it didn’t dry out at all in that time. 30 minutes as hot as the oven would go, followed by 17 hours at about 100 centigrade / 220 Fahrenheit, then another half hour blast as hot as it would go (230+c).

The river cafe recipe said 120c / 250F but that seems too much for such a slow roast, especially with a small joint.

So, I’d say super-heated for 30 minutes, 100c for at least 12 and up to 24 hours and then a further 30 minutes at super hot to get the crackling crispy.

For the overnight bit Nigella said turn the pork skin side down, so I did. Not sure what that would do for the fennel seeds, they might just fall off! Maybe that’s why the River Cafe recipe for slow roast pork kept it right way up. I’m not sure if that makes a difference to the moistness, but it seems to make more sense basting it upside down without the skin to protect it.

More experimenting called for I think. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!

New favourite foods

Slow roast pork recipeSo out of this detoxing adventure we now have at least two new favourite foods – slow roast pork and celeriac mash. Even if we went right back to eating a non-paleo type diet (unlikely) we’d still be making those regularly.

And I think it’s important, while detoxing like this, to find things that you really like and want to eat just because you like them so much. At the end of the day if I’m going to be craving it’s probably better to be craving celeriac and pork than chocolate and cheese!

That said I’m still looking forward to that nice piece of Stilton that’s waiting for me. I wonder what it’ll be like. Will I still like it? And will it like me?

What have I eaten today?

Scrambled eggs, chorizo, mushrooms, spinach

Cold roast pork, tomatoes
Banana, apple

A fish curry I think…

An apple, probably

Black coffee

And that’s it!
IanB is raving about slow roast pork today

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Slow roast pork paleo recipes!


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