A common misconception of paleo and primal lifestyles or just eating healthily in general is that it is prohibitively expensive.
“Healthy” foods like nuts, seeds, oils, organic vegetables and meat (especially if it is sustainably sourced) are stereotypically expensive ingredients and can quickly blow out your weekly food budget. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be costly if you’re smart about it! I’ll be posting something more detailed in future about ways you can save when shopping for healthy foods, but for today I am sharing one tip that saves you both time and cash without sacrificing on flavour – Cooking in Bulk!
If you’ve read my about me you’ll know I come from a large family. I grew up cooking for at least 6 people, often with enough food for leftovers, and this style of cooking has stuck with me over the years. Why? Because cooking large dishes is cost and time effective! Instead of having something different with multiple ingredients every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can bulk cook a (zucchini noodle) pasta sauce or roast a large tray of in-season vegetables or prepare a large cut of meat or a whole chicken and then use this in multiple dishes throughout the week.
Today’s recipe of Pressure Cooked Pulled Pork with Sticky Orange BBQ Sauce takes a large cut of pork for $18.00 and you end up with 15 serves of meat! That’s $1.20 per serve! When was the last time you went out and ordered pulled pork for $1.20? Just come home, grab out some of the pork, quickly crispy it up in a cast-iron pan and have it with steamed veggies, salad, stuff it into a sweet potato, mix it through some scrambled eggs, wrap it in a tortilla or stir-fry it with some cauliflower rice. You can even add your favourite herbs and spices to change the flavour. Quick, easy and delicious! Cooking at home and in bulk is one of the most important skills you can cultivate to stick to a healthy lifestyle while keeping within your budget.
A note on sustainable meat sources – just do your best. I can’t always afford grass-fed / free-range meat but eating real whole food is always better than processed chicken nuggets. Purchase what and as much as you can afford depending on your personal circumstances.
Start by removing the rind and fat from the pork (set this aside to make crackling! Recipe coming super soon!). Chop the pork shoulder into roughly 2~3 inch square chunks and place them into a bowl.
Sprinkle the herb and spice mix over the pork a teaspoon at a time. Use your hands to move the pieces around and make sure every surface is evenly coated. Cover the bowl of pork in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight to marinate.
The next day, wash and peel your oranges, making sure to only peel off the rind and not the white pith. A shout out to Michelle Tam from Nom Nom Paleo for the idea of using orange peel! She recently used this in her Carnitas recipe and I was dreaming of a non-spicy way to flavour my own hunk of pork and this was perfect!
Place the pork into your pressure cooker (my favourite appliance!), layering the orange peel strips amongst the pork. Juice the two peeled oranges and pour the orange juice and ½ a cup of water over the meat. Cook on high pressure for 90 minutes.
Once the cooker has de-pressurised, test the pork with a fork. It should be easy to pull apart. If it isn’t, cook on high for a further 10 minutes and test again.
Using tongs, gently pull the meat out of the pressure cooker and place into a bowl. Use a pair of forks to shred the meat.
For the Sticky Orange BBQ Sauce, drain the leftover pressure cooker juice / liquid by pouring it through a sieve and into a small saucepan. Any leftover bits of meat, rind and spices in the sieve – add them back into the bowl of shredded meat.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens.
Spoon the sauce over the pulled pork, mix and consume immediately! Or if you want to keep the pork and sauce separate, transfer each into containers and use as desired.
I prefer to keep my pork and sauce separate so that I can crisp the pork up or add different flavours depending on what I am cooking. It’s totally up to you!! Both are freezer friendly so place any leftovers into containers and save for a lazy day.
Enjoy all the porky goodness!
Pressure Cooked Pulled Pork with Sticky Orange BBQ Sauce
- Chop the pork shoulder into roughly 2~3 inch square chunks and place them into a bowl
- Mix the salt, parsley, paprika, garlic powder and white pepper together in a small bowl
- Sprinkle the herb and spice mix over the pork a teaspoon at a time. Use your hands to move the pieces around and make sure every surface is evenly coated
- Cover the bowl of pork in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight to marinate
- The next day, wash and peel your oranges, making sure to only peel off the rind and not the white pith
- Place the pork into your pressure cooker, layering the orange peel strips amongst the pork
- Juice the two peeled oranges and pour the orange juice and ½ cup of water over the meat
- Cook on high pressure for 90 minutes
- Using tongs, gently pull the meat out of the pressure cooker and place into a bowl. Use a pair of forks to shred the meat
Sticky Orange BBQ Sauce
- Drain the leftover juice (in the pressure cooker bowl) by pouring it through a sieve and into a small saucepan. Any leftover bits of meat, rind and spices in the sieve – add them back into the bowl of meat
- Into the saucepan; add in the honey, fish sauce, vinegar and tomato paste, mix together and then place on high heat to bring to the boil
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens
- Spoon the sauce over the pulled pork and mix or transfer it to a container and use as desired
- Place any leftovers into the fridge or freezer