Pulled pork is something I discovered late in life. Due to a totally destroyed digestive tract for most of my life, I couldn’t tolerate anything with fat. So when I discovered pulled pork, after healing my gut, oh man was I in heaven! Not only does it taste incredible, but it’s full of connective tissue (read why that’s awesome here), it’s super easy to make if you have a slow cooker, and it’s a great way to serve a bunch of people or have lunches for the entire week, with very little work!
My go-to recipe for pulled pork is from The Lucky Penny Blog – she has a simple homemade BBQ sauce, but it’s her method for making the pulled pork that I love. Pork shoulder (or pork butt roast) can take forever to thaw, to throwing it only partially thawed in the slow cooker overnight with broth, is a great way to thaw it, while adding flavour and starting the whole melt-in-your-mouth process that you achieve with really good pulled pork. Then drain, add BBQ sauce (my recipe can be found here), cook all day and done!
The only problem with most BBQ sauce recipes is the fact that they are tomato-based. While most people are absolutely fine to consume tomatoes – in fact they’re incredibly healthy for many – the clientele I see are often unable to consume them. Why? Because they belong to a family called:
What are nightshades? Well they’re a group of plants that can be very problematic for anyone with an autoimmune condition. The main culprits are tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant and any spicy pepper (chili, paprika, jalapeño etc.) We see it time and time again, especially with arthritis. It isn’t uncommon for people to say that nightshades cause a greater flare up than even gluten! Want to know why? Check out this incredible post explaining exactly why nightshades are so problematic, by The Paleo Mom.
So when I recently attended a book signing, by none other than The Paleo Mom herself (along with her awesome podcast cohost, Stacy Toth of Paleo Parents), I made sure to snatch up a copy of her new cookbook, which contains over 100 recipes to support an autoimmune dietary intervention. That means no grains, dairy, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds or nightshades. If you are living nightshade free, this cookbook is for you. It is simply genius! (Side note, I have her textbook as well – stay tuned for a book review in the future!) Sure enough, the cookbook contained what looked like an incredible recipe for BBQ sauce. So last weekend when I went to make my standard pulled pork, I changed it up and made a night-shade free version!
This recipe is adapted from The Paleo Approach Cookbook. It is not 100% autoimmune protocol, since I did add some seed-based spices, but it is definitely nightshade free. If you are following AIP, then I strongly recommend purchasing her books. It’s definitely worth it! I made a triple batch, because if I’m putting the effort in to make my own sauce, I definitely want to enjoy it more than once! I would absolutely serve this to anyone – not just people who are unable to eat nightshades. The flavour was amazing – rich, a little acidic, just the right amount of sweetness – simply delicious.
Step 2 – In the morning, remove pork from the slow cooker. Dump off all the liquid. Store for later or discard – your choice!
Step 3 – Return pork to slow cooker. Cover with 1-2 cups of BBQ sauce, depending on size and desired sauciness.
Step 4 – Chop up 1-4 onions, sprinkle around pork.
Step 5 – Set on low for 8-12 hours.
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp grassfed beef tallow (or substitute another fat)
- 3 onions, chopped
- 3 apples, any colour / flavour
- ¾ cup date paste / syrup
- 1 piece of ginger, the size of your entire thumb, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup fish sauce (make sure there's no junk added)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp mustard powder
- 1½ tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- Sautee onions in tallow, in a pot over medium heat for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them and make sure they don't burn. Stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile, peel the apples. Using a cheese grater, grate the apples all the way to the core.
- When onions are caramelized, add apples and remaining ingredients to the onions.
- Simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Puree using a hand blender, or let cool slightly and dump into a blender.
- This is a triple batch, so use what you need and store the rest in small glass jars in the freezer for later!