Nom Nom Paleo

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew

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[UPDATED October 10, 2012: This ain’t a new recipe (it’s from over a year ago), but it continues to be popular and the old photos were all kinds of horrible, so I updated this post with new pics. Enjoy (again!)]

Here’s a quick and satisfying stew that I throw together when I’m uber lazy and tired. In other words, this is a dish I cook on a typical day in the life of Nom Nom Paleo. I don’t brown anything and all the ingredients are dumped into the slow cooker to simmer on low for 8-10 hours. Poof! Dinner is ready in less than 10  minutes of prep time!

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

Important caveat: Try to use the best ingredients you can find because when you’re just chucking stuff into the slow cooker, you’ll end up with crap if you start with bad ingredients.

Here’s what I toss into the slow cooker to feed 4-6 people:

  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced 
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ½ pound baby carrots
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds of pork shoulder, cut into 1.5 inch cubes or a 4 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon Sunny Paris seasoning (or your favorite seasoning blend)
  • 1 tablespoon Red Boat Fish sauce
  • 1 small cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 cup Rao’s marinara sauce (or any other Paleo-friendly marinara sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley (optional)

Here’s how you make it:

Slice up the onions and smash the garlic cloves…

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

…and add them with the carrots to the slow cooker liner. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

Grab some high quality pork…

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

…cube it (if you’re so inclined)…

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

…and toss with Sunny Paris seasoning and fish sauce.

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

(No Sunny Paris? No problem. Just use an herb blend you like.)

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

Add another sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

Pile the seasoned pork on top of the onions and carrots…

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

…and tuck the cabbage wedges on top.

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

Drizzle on the marinara sauce and some more salt and pepper.

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

Put on the lid and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When the pork and veggies are fork-tender, adjust the stew for seasoning with  balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

If you’re feeling fancy, top the stew with fresh Italian parsley.

Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew by Michelle Tam

I love it when meals cook themselves!

Looking for recipes and resources? Head on over to my Recipe Index or my Resources page. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).

Paleo Eats: 5/24/11

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Here’s another day of Paleo eats…

My first meal at work was some leftover roast chicken, Asian cauliflower fried rice, and roasted bacon and broccoli.

I’ve been meaning to eat this lunch for several days but it was languishing in my work fridge because I was either too busy to nuke it or I wasn’t hungry enough.

For snack, I gobbled up a package of grass fed jerky chews and a small container of strawberries.

Right before I got off work, I ate some leftover frittata made with Full of Life Farm ham steak and frozen broccoli.

While I waited with my mother-in-law to get checked out by her physicians, I snacked on a Primal Pac – half of which I spilled on the floor. Argh! I also chitchatted with Fit Daffy who was visiting my MIL for the second time(!) within 12 hours. She brought my MIL a big container of oxtail stew which she happily chowed down for breakfast.

I didn’t get home until close to 11:00 a.m. and I was tired and emotionally fried. Luckily, my dear hubby vacuum packed the sous vide Turkish slider burgers in the freezer…

…heated up the water oven

…and volunteered to come home early from work to make dinner so I could sleep in a little bit.

When I finally woke up in the evening, dinner was basically finished. Yay! Hubby washed some lettuce…

…baked a batch of Fatted Calf bacon

…doctored store-bought guacamole (by adding fresh avocado chunks)…

…and sous vided and fried the sliders.

My half-assed contribution to dinner was a spigarello, shredded carrot, and calcot onion stir-fry…

…AND I also cracked open a jar of Farmhouse Culture smoked jalapeno sauerkraut.

Here’s two shots of my dinner plate:

Our dinner tonight was a tribute to one of my favorite Paleo bloggers, Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites. Lettuce wrap! Bacon! Sauerkraut!

There’s been lots of talk about bacon lately in the Paleo blogosphere. Read about it here, here, and here. What’s my take on it? I love bacon but I won’t eat it every day. If you buy the good stuff, it’s too dang expensive to eat all the time. ‘Nuff said.

After dinner, I eschewed exercising and went to Phil’z Coffee to fuel up on coffee (Sooo Good with heavy cream). I brought in my own gigantic thermos from home and it got filled to the brim for the price of a small coffee. Oh yeah.

On another note, thanks for all the well wishes about my MIL. She’s doing much better and was discharged home Tuesday morning. She’ll be evaluated by her oncologist Wednesday and may or may not have another chemotherapy infusion in the afternoon depending on her status.

This week has been pretty challenging to say the least. I’ve tried to hang tough but I’ve cracked a few times this week. The three things I’m supremely grateful for are:  

  1. Fitbomb is a super supportive partner. I know the situation is way harder on him than it is on me and he’s been my rock.
  2. My parents are preternaturally accommodating, helpful, and understanding — even when I’m an irrational raging bee with an itch.
  3. My kids’ jubilation when I finally get home. Hugs and kisses from my boys make everything okay. 

I’m relieved that my work week is almost over!

Paleo Eats: 4/19/11

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Only one more day of vacation…Argh!

This morning I fried up a scramble with leftover emergency protein and served it with leftover sautéed broccoli and shiitake mushrooms.

After my class at CrossFit Palo Alto, I came home and chowed on some Fox Point seasoned sous vide chicken breast and a baked yam.

Post-workout meals have made me a much nicer mommy.

Before we picked up Big-O from school, I seasoned (Tabil seasoning, salt, and pepper) and vacuum-sealed six pork chops from my ½ hog. I plopped them in the SousVide Supreme set at 134 F for two hours.

I iced the cooked swine since I’ll be serving it during my work week.

For lunch, I formed some mini grass fed beef burgers (seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and coconut aminos)…

…and fried them up for my boys and me.

I ate mine with some lettuce and shredded carrot, leftover winter squash puree, and sautéed broccoli and shiitake mushrooms.

Yes, my lunch looks like another wacky Vegas buffet plate.

My afternoon snack consisted of mini burgers and a sliced bell pepper:

Oncology appointment + T-ball practice = late start making dinner. Not a problem with my trusty SousVide Supreme!

When I got home at 6:15, I immediately dunked 4 FROZEN pre-cooked sous vide chicken thighs into the water oven (set at 140 F) and set to work making the sides. I roasted a delicata squash seasoned with Sunny Paris seasoning in the toaster oven and I nuked a dish of sugar snap peas with butter, salt, pepper, and Sunny Paris seasoning.

I took the thighs out of the water after about 30 minutes and I fried them up in some coconut oil.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Instead of making a fried egg for picky Little-O, I decided to follow Sarah Fragoso’s advice in her new book and serve him what the rest of the family was having (albeit on a Star Wars plastic plate). Although he did protest initially, I stayed cool as a cucumber (per Sarah’s advice) and he ended up eating some chicken and snap peas!