Easy pulled pork with the flavors of fall
Since going back to eating (humanely raised) meat last year, I’ve become a huge fan of the slow cooker and pulled pork. Pork was always my favorite meat as a kid. For this dish, I was playing around with the pumpkin spice trend but looking to create a more savory dish. I also wanted a sauce that was free of nightshades like tomatoes. So I thought about unsweetened applesauce as the base for the pulled pork sauce instead of tomato sauce or paste.
Buy the best quality pork you can afford, as it makes a huge difference in both the quality of flavors as well as in how those producers treat the planet.
I put this together more quickly by buying a package of pre-cut mirepoix (diced celery, carrots, and onions) at Trader Joe’s. If you are following the migraine diet, you’ll need to make your own using green onions; regular onions can be a migraine trigger. Thinly slice one bunch of green onions, then dice 2 stalks of celery and 2 carrots for your mirepoix and use as directed below.
low-sodium, migraine, gluten-free, reduced-sugar, paleo, Whole30®, grain-free, nightshade-free diets
vegan or vegetarian diets
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Pumpkin apple spice pulled pork with sweet potatoes
- 3 pounds pork shoulder boneless, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- 2 cups mirepoix pre-cut (see notes for migraine diet options)
- 1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
- 1 cup wine (white) or unsalted stock (use stock for migraine diet)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (omit for nightshade-free diet)
- 1 tsp cumin (dried)
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (check to make sure pumpkin pie spice does not contain lemon peel if on migraine diet)
- 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper (omit for nightshade-free diet)
- Take the pork out of the refrigerator to begin to warm up. Turn the slow cooker on to low to preheat.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast iron pan, swirling to coat.
- Sauté the mirepoix for 10 minutes until golden brown.
- Add the cooked mirepoix to the slow cooker with all the other ingredients except the pork, stirring well.
- Add the pork, turning to coat well.
- Cook 4 hours on low.
- If desired, dice 1 or 2 sweet potatoes or other root vegetables. Pour over the pork and close the lid. Cook one more hour, checking after 45 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender but not mushy.
- Turn off the cooker. Remove the pork carefully with tongs or large spoons to a cutting board. Let rest 10 minutes, then shred with two forks.
- Serve pork with the vegetables and a side salad.