Tuesday 2 April 2013

Perfect Pork Prep - Are you doing it right?

Happy post-Easter all! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and indulged in a little healthy chocolate!

Just a quick post on pork today - yes, delicious pork! Are you preparing it properly for perfect health and tastiness? Or are you just wacking it on the barbie willy-nilly? By the way, sorry to those of you who either do not like pork or do not eat it for religious reasons - you can probably stop reading now unless you simply like to read my waffle. 

Tasty pork ribs, marinated in the same way I did the pork shoulder (recipe below)
What is the preparation I speak of and is it really necessary? Well what I learned recently, both from my friend Soulla and from my own readings of some research done by the Weston A Price Foundation, is that if improperly prepared, pork can actually do some pretty gnarly things to your body! Like what? Like lead to a shorter blood coagulation time. A what now? This basically means it makes your blood more sticky, less fluid - making it harder to flow smoothly around your body delivering oxygen to where it is needed. So what? Summarised dot points will ease your reading and learning on why this coagulation is gnarly (haven't used that word since about 1996 so I thought I should make the most of it in the one paragraph):
  • It can increase systemic inflammation, which is widely acknowledged to be at the root of all disease
  • Increases likelihood of blood clot formation (hello stroke and heart attack)
  • Increases risk of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease and cancer
Takeaway message: sticky blood is no good! 

A little history

Back in the day, before refrigeration and modern processing methods were available, peeps had to figure out a way to preserve their meats in order to extend their "shelf-life" ("cave-life"???). You see, meat for them might only come about once in a while, and it wasn't delivered in individual portion sizes wrapped in cling wrap. For them it would be the whole animal - and that is what they would eat - nose to tail! The muscle meat was often an afterthought as all of the other parts (liver, kidneys, skin etc) were the more nutritious, bang-for-your-buck bits. Don't look so surprised - I talk about this in almost every post and at least 3 times a week on my Instagram (shameless plug: follow me on Instagram - kate_callaghan). 

A story from yesteryear on food preservation (may or may not be an accurate depiction of how things went down):

One day Heman and Shera (remember them) were hanging out around the campfire with their friends feasting on the pig that they had caught that day. 

Heman & Shera. Image via comicvine.com
After they got through all of the nutrient-dense organ meats, Heman said to Shera "I'm pretty stuffed! What are we going to do with all of this muscle meat?" to which Shera (the brains of the two) replied "we'll preserve it, silly!". And the conversation went on and basically they came to the conclusion that in order to preserve said meat, they would marinade it in an acidic medium for at least 24hrs. And lo and behold - a bottle of Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar happened to be sitting in their cave-cupboard. Perfect!

OK but seriously now, you should marinate your pork for 12-24 hours before you cook it to avoid some of these adverse health effects. And if you think this is all a load of bollocks (what, you don't think my story was an accurate depiction??!!), at least acknowledge that marinating the meat tenderises it, making for a much more delightful culinary experience. 

So I guess you'd like a recipe, huh? 

Slow-roasted pork shoulder with sautéed apples

I made this recipe for Az for his birthday dinner. 


1 pork shoulder (bone in)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (Bragg's)
2 tsp sea salt
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Drizzle maple syrup 

1 red onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped

Extra sea salt

2 red apples, cored and chopped
2 T coconut oil
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon


  • Place pork in a stainless steel bowl and cover with all other ingredients. Allow to marinade in the fridge for 12-24hrs, turning the pork once. 
  • Line the base of your slow-cooker with the onion and carrot. Throw pork and other marinading ingredients into slow cooker. Cook on low for 10-12hrs. 
  • Once the pork is about an hour away from being done, slide the fat layer off the meat (this should come off quite easily). Lay it on a baking tray and cover it with sea salt. Blast it in the oven at high heat until nice and crispy. Enjoy as an appetiser.
  • For the apples: add everything to a pan over medium heat and stir until apples slightly soft. 
P.S: bacon is all good! No need for marinating - just make sure it's soy, sugar and gluten-free and preferably from pastured and humanely raised animals

For more on the study done by Weston A Price, go HERE


  1. Liked this recipe.. very nice..

  2. Hi Kate

    I cant wait to do this recipe :)
    can you recommend me a slow cooker?
    I want to buy one this week but I don't know which brand is best?

    thank you!

    1. Hi there! My favourite is the Morphy Richards 6.5L digital slow cooker, which I bought online at oo.com.au! Are you in Australia?

  3. This is a great post. I am really bad at remembering to pin articles I liked or were helpful but I do have a board started.

  4. It was a good read for me! The idea is awesome and definitely worth a try :)

  5. Great recipe! I had never try this type recipe at my home. Thanks for adding one more new recipe in my list of foods!