Pomegranate "BBQ" Pulled Pork

February 3, 2016

True confessions: pulled pork is my guilty pleasure. In my opinion, it's delicious with, well, pretty much everything. My transition to a nightshade-free life has been made so much more difficult by my cravings for that yummy, tender, slightly sweet pork paired with salad, apples, veggies...the list goes on.

 

The other day I set out to make a nightshade free "barbeque sauce", using rhubarb instead of tomatoes, with this recipe. I swear I had seen rhubarb at my neighborhood grocery store only a week (two weeks? three?) prior, but it was nowhere to be found. Panicked (and with a three pound pork shoulder sitting in my fridge), I cast my mind about for possible substitutes and landed on some delicious-looking pomegranates. 

 

 

 

I often avoid purchasing pomegranates, because even though they're delicious and full of health benefits, I hate hate hate deseeding them. I've tried the trick with the water but dislike the hassle and the mess that it makes. I found this great youtube video showing the trick of deseeding with just a wooden spoon and a bowl. (Hint: If you want to cut to the chase, start the video at the 1:26 mark.) 

 

Pomegranates are great for promoting blood circulation, reducing inflammation, and as a source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants. In east Asian nutrition, they are astringent and can be used to help relieve diarrhea, and are also used to help nourish the blood and fluids. Pork is used in Chinese medicine for its sweet flavor to nourish the organs, benefit digestion, and bolster the qi.    

 

I made this pulled pork in my Instant Pot, but you could just as easily cook it in a pressure cooker or a slow cooker. With a stovetop pressure cooker, you'll cook it for about 75 minutes, and with a slow cooker, you'll cook it on 'low' for 7-10 hours. 

 

This pork will go well with anything -- here I served it with some wilted kale and delicata squash, but it's remarkably diverse. My partner used it in tacos, and later in the week I made a delicious omelet with it. It's a great thing to keep in your fridge for a few days in case of meal emergencies!

 

Ingredients:

 

For the pomegranate bbq sauce:

 

3-4 C pomegranate seeds (about 2 pomegranates, deseeded)

2 T apple cider vinegar

1/4 C filtered water

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 t ground ginger

3 T molasses

3 T maple syrup

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

1 T smoked sea salt (or whatever salt you have on hand)

 

For the pulled pork:

 

3 strips bacon

3 lb pork shoulder 

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 C pomegranate bbq sauce

2 t smoked sea salt (or, again, whatever you have)

 

Steps:

 

For the pomegranate bbq sauce:

 

1) Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, until the onions are translucent and tender.

 

2) Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and mix until liquid. You will have some pomegranate seeds that resist blending, but try to get as many as you can. (Note: At first I tried to do this with my immersion blender -- it didn't work. The pomegranate seeds are too small and slippery and all that happened was that I made a mess. Whoops.)

 

3) Strain the mixture through a seive or cheesecloth to separate out any remaining seeds.

 

4) Transfer to a bowl or mason jar and set aside. (It will make about twice as much as you need, so freeze the rest for a future date.) 

 

For the pulled pork:

 

1) Set your Instant Pot onto the saute setting. When it reads 'hot', lay the bacon slices on the bottom of the pan. While those are cooking, chop the onion and set aside. Check on the bacon every once in a while and make sure you flip them to cook both sides.

 

2) Slice the pork shoulder into three equal pieces and place in a bowl. Add the salt and pomegranate barbeque sauce and toss them until they are covered evenly.

 

3) Once the bacon is done cooking, lay the pieces of pork shoulder into the bottom of the pot, trying to get them to lay flat evenly. Cover with the chopped onion.

 

4) Set your Instant Pot onto the 'manual' setting, making sure that it is on high pressure. Set the timer to 90 minutes and double check that your release valve in the 'sealing' setting (seriously, I cannot count how many times I've accidentally left it on 'venting'). 

 

5) Once it is done cooking and the pressure has released, you'll be able to transfer the pork to another bowl and shred. After you've done so, scoop whatever onions you can and add them to the pork, along with a few spoonfulls of the sauce. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrea Lane i​s a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and certified Pilates instructor in Portland, Oregon. Her practice particularly focuses on treating allergies, autoimmune disease, and women's health. She is passionate about maintaining good health through a whole-food diet, mindful movement, and meditation. When she is not practicing, she loves to cook, listen to podcasts, read her way out from under the small mountain of books she's accumulated, and cater to her cat's every whim.

Please reload

"Andrea's treatments helped decrease, and in some cases, completely eliminate my PCOS symptoms. In addition to helping my symptoms, Andrea's treatments also addressed the root problem by working on my hormonal imbalance. Andrea is personable, knowledgeable, kind, and truly passionate about what she does."

 

Jessica S, patient

"Andrea's knowledge and confidence made me brave enough to explore herbal remedies. I loved getting to know her on a personal level and appreciated her commitment to my care. My diet has completely changed for the better and since she became my healer, I know much more about my body and what it needs to heal and feel good."

 

Cheri C, patient