I know that you’re probably used to making pulled pork with a shoulder joint, but hear me out.
Firstly, pork hock is cheaper – by around £4 per kilogram. Yes it could be a little tough, but (and this is the second point) cooking it slowly transforms it into soft, shreddable pulled pork. It’s probably not the first cut of pork you’d think of for a recipe like this but I think it deserves to be given a chance. Plus if we’re going to eat meat more sustainably then we need to make use of more unusual cuts like this I think. Besides pork hocks, as well as being economical, are seriously full of flavour.
It might look like it took ages to make but a burrito bowl like this is our family’s ‘lazy’ dinner. The pork goes into the slow cooker (which takes about 10 seconds of actual work) and you forget about it all day until dinner time.
And one of the best ways to eat any kind of pulled pork, for me, is in a burrito bowl.
It might look like it took ages to make but a burrito bowl like this is our family’s ‘lazy’ dinner. The pork goes into the slow cooker (which takes about 10 seconds of actual work) and you forget about it all day until dinner time. All that’s left is to mash up some guac, stir-fry some cauliflower, and chop up some veggies for the salsa. Everyone can serve themselves and it’s all healthy and fun for the kids. You can also prep everything in advance if you need to making it perfect for mid-week family meals.
This recipe includes a crunchy salsa with red pepper, onion, cherry tomatoes and garlic – and on the side, shredded, sweet Romaine lettuce. I love to serve fennel with pork because the fresh aniseed-flavour cuts some of the fattiness and adds crunch.
I’ve purposely left the pork hock un-spiced because it usually comes with the skin on, which is removed before eating. You do get a sweetness from the cider though and if you have any thyme sprigs then these would be good strewn over the meat while it cooks too.
The traditional white rice in a burrito bowl has made way for garlic and parsley flavoured cauliflower rice. But if you’ve included white rice as part of your diet then feel free to use this instead. It’s all finished with a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of olive oil.
So. The Paleo burrito bowl. Easy to make, full of veggies, healthy, and pretty cheap. What’s not to like?
- 1kg pork hock
- 300ml dry cider
- 1 Romaine lettuce, leaves shredded
- Half a small fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced thinly
- A few lime wedges, to serve
- Half a small cucumber
- 1 small red onion
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander
- Couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes
- 1 small red pepper (I used Romano pepper)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 ripe avocados
- juice of half a lime
- 1 tbsp mild, unflavoured coconut oil
- Half a medium cauliflower
- Pinch of garlic salt
- 1 tsp freshly chopped parsley
- First, get the slow cooker on and place your pork hock into it. Pour over the cider and replace the lid. Leave it to cook on high for 5 and a half hours, or until the meat is soft and shreddable.
- Once the meat is cooked, leave it in the slow cooker to keep it warm, while you make the salsa. Chop the cucumber, onion, garlic and coriander and place in a bowl. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and trim, de-seed and chop the red pepper. Add the veggies to the bowl, along with the olive oil, cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. Give it all a stir and put to one side.
- For the guacamole, peel the avocados and remove the pit. Mash the flesh in a small bowl, using a fork and squeeze in the lime juice. Put to one side.
- To make the cauliflower rice, wash and trim the cauliflower half and blitz it in a food processor (or chop very finely by hand) until it resembles fine grain-like crumbs. Melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan and stir-fry the cauliflower with a pinch of the garlic salt. Once the cauliflower starts to become tender (about 4-5 minutes), add the parsley and cook until the cauliflower is cooked and fluffy.
- To serve, take the hock out of the slow cooker and place on a plate. Pull the meat off the bone using a couple of forks and shred it into small pieces, removing the skin as you go. Build the salad up in the bowl, adding the Romaine and fennel, the salsa, cauli rice and the pulled pork hock on the side. Finish with a big spoonful of guacamole. Season with a little salt and have extra virgin olive oil on the table for drizzling over.