Click here to hear Judith Finlayson discuss paleo cook and her new book.
This recipe is so easy to make you can dish it up as a weekday meal, but it’s also delicious enough to serve to guests. A platter of stir-fried bok choy makes a perfect accompaniment. If you’re offering wine, a cold Gewürztraminer is a perfect fit.
Requires a medium (3 to 4 quart) slow cooker and rimmed baking sheet.
6 cloves garlic, puréed (see Tips)
1 tbsp/15 mL finely minced gingerroot
1 tsp/5 mL cracked black peppercorns
1 tsp/5 mL dry mustard
1/2 tsp/2 mL sea salt
3 lb/1.5 kg pork shoulder or blade (butt) roast (see Tips)
1/2 cup/125 mL gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/4 cup/60 mL dry sherry (see Tips)
2 tbsp/30 mL coconut sugar
3 star anise
1/4 cup/60 mL chopped green onions
1. In a small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, peppercorns, mustard and sea salt. Rub all over meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours, turning several times, if possible.
2. When you’re ready to cook, preheat broiler. Transfer pork to rimmed baking sheet and broil, turning, until skin and sides brown evenly, about 15 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
3. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, sherry, coconut sugar and star anise. Pour over pork. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until pork falls apart. To serve, cut pork into chunks, spoon pan juices over and garnish with green onions.
If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (approx. 1 1⁄2 to 3 quart) slow cooker.
To purée garlic, use a fine, sharp-toothed grater, such as those made by Microplane.
If the whole piece of pork won’t fit in your slow cooker, cut it in half and lay the two pieces on top of each other.
Pork shoulder can be very fatty. If your pork shoulder isn’t trimmed of fat when you purchase it, I recommend removing the string and trimming off as much fat as possible before using. Broiling will render some of the fat.
I prefer to make this with dry sherry rather than traditional Chinese Shaoxing rice wine as, in her experience, the North American offerings of this product are extremely salty and combine with the soy sauce to produce a result that tastes overwhelmingly of salt.
Published by WholeFoods Magazine Online, 7/7/2014.