Thursday, May 14, 2009

"NOT your Moma's Pork Chops!"

Pork w/pomegranate-apricot sauce & roasted rutabagas ... and you thought paleo food was boring! Pork CAN get boring - you know this if you've bought the "family pack" at Costco. I've eaten this meal 3 times in the last week, dialing it in, and I'm still not tired of it. I'm a little obsessed about combining fruits/nuts/meat and it comes out in this recipe. The key is - not too sweet. Rutabagas - when's the last time you had one? Never? I like buying them at the store - the checker never knows the code. No one eats them. Why? They're too busy gobbling up all that extra corn, and it's byproducts, which fill up most of the supermarket because we had to do SOMETHING with all that corn (Read Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan) . Ounce for ounce, rutabagas have the same amount of potassium as bananas at 1/3 the carbs. "Hey, you should eat a rutabaga before that ride so you don't cramp." The amount of calcium in 10 oz (which is nothing really - 102 calories) is equal to that in 1/2 C milk. Surprised? Where do you think cows get all that calcium that ends up in their milk? From eating plants of course. Not rutabagas, that i know of, but you get the idea. Enough ranting... here's the recipe. It's a little high on fat so if you want to exactly zone it, be skimpy on the walnuts and bacon fat. Also, U might do this on a weekend - the rutabagas roast in the oven for 55 minutes...

Pork w/pomegranate-apricot sauce & Roasted Rutabagas

Your ingredient list for (2) 5 block meals:
~12 oz pork chops - boneless, trimmed of any fat (10 oz) - 70g P, 8g F
2 Tablespoon pomegranate juice - 5g C
4 dried apricots halves (unsulphured, unsweetened, chopped) -8 g C
1/4 cup walnuts - chopped - 20g F
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil - 5g F

2 med rutabagas - peeled ~10 oz each - 44g C
2 med pink lady apples (or substitution) - 36g C
2 slices uncured bacon - 30g F, 6g P
fresh organic spinach - 4g C
spices: celery salt, onion flakes

1st preheat the oven to 450. Next get the bacon slowly cooking in a pan. Now we're going to get the rutabagas in the oven because they take the longest. Slice the ends off so they will "stand up" then score the top as you see in the picture - like you're making one of those potato stamps. Wrap some foil around them leaving the top exposed - put 1 teaspoon of bacon fat on top of each one then add some spices. I like celery salt and onion flakes. Close the top of the foil and put them in the oven. Set timer for 55 minutes. You can easily relax for 15 minutes now before you start the pork/pom sauce/apples.
Put small amount of olive oil in saute pan and toast the walnuts - don't burn them! I do this every time - smells like burnt popcorn... when they're just browned, add the pomegranate juice, water, pepper, and chopped apricots and let simmer.
Next we'll prepare the pork and apples. The apples are fried in any remaining bacon fat - this was in my first post - sounds crazy but apples pan fried in bacon fat are the best!(Remember, within reasonable limits, you're not going to get fat by eating fat. Why? no blood sugar spike, no insulin response, no fat storage trigger - it's hard to accept this after so much brain-washing but get over it. It's been proven) Cook the chops any way you want. When they're about half way done, start the apples. Hopefully the rutabagas are ready about the same time as the pork and apples. Put the apples on top of the spinach. Put the pom sauce on top of the pork. Unwrap the rutabagas - salt and pepper to taste - then add bacon pieces to the rutabaga and spinach/apple salad. Enjoy! Your comments are encouraged :-) Steve "Paleo"


  1. Wow. Fantastic. I thought it would be hard to top the tandori, but this is amazing. Love the apples. You are right, the bacon fat makes it. Keep it up...

  2. I liked the combination of flavors. So, I had the butcher cut up the pork chops into cubes, pan-fried those in bacon fat, set aside. Cut up rutabagas into the same size cubes, pan fried those w/ onions in the juices from the pork. Sliced dried apricots into longish pieces. Tossed it all together, added small amount of pomegranate juice, put everything together in a cast iron covered pot in the oven (salt & pepper). On the side had raw apples w/ celery and walnuts. (and side of spinach). Thanks so much for the inspiration! Loved it, had leftovers for lunch during the week. Thanks! Nice combination of flavors.

  3. Wow Jen - thanks for sharing that. I'll bet the rutabagas came out really good being exposed to all those flavors. I'll give it a try :-)

  4. This recipe was delicious! I made the rutabagas over the weekend for some of my guests, and they loved them. I had a lot left over, so I put them in the food processor and cooked them up like hash browns the next morning with my eggs. YUM. Even my 10 yr old daughter asked for seconds!