Most people do not think of pork as a health food. They think that pork is bad and clogs the arteries. Let’s put that to rest.
Good Pork/Bad Pork
First of all, there is good pork and there is bad pork. I eat only the good pork. By this I mean that the animal is raised humanely on land where they can roam and root around with their nose and get sunshine on their skin. Good pork is from an animal raised on pasture – truly free-range.
Bad pork comes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). These are inhumane operations that keep the animals in unspeakable conditions and are downright disgusting. These are entirely for-profit operations and have nothing to do with nutrient value and/or sustainability.
Good pork yields fat (lard) that is full of vitamin D and is approximately 47% monounsaturated fat, just like the fat in olive oil. Monounsaturated fat has always been viewed as healthy – and it is. Lard is also made up of 40% saturated fats and of that, 1/3 is beneficial stearic acid. Let’s not forget that it gives food a wonderful savory flavor as well.
Lard is perfect for high heat cooking because of the stability of the saturated fats. Saturated fats have been unfairly denigrated in favor of vegetable oils. However, it’s the rancid, processed vegetable oils that are the dangerous fats, especially when heated.
Traditional Preparation of Pork
It has been suggested to marinate the pork overnight (or at least for a few hours) in apple cider vinegar for added digestibility and to kill potential pathogens. Frankly, there is very little chance of pathogens in pork that has been raised humanely, but marinating fresh pork is a traditional way of preparing it. Cured pork (bacon) does not need to be marinated.
Adding root vegetables, including radish, compliments the savory softness of the meat with a mild spiciness that is truly satisfying. This meal sticks to your bones.
For further discussion about other issues with pork see my previous post and recipe here.
To find a local source of humanely raised pork find your local WAPF chapter and ask for recommendations.
Here is another trusted source for humanely raised pork.
- 3 pound ham roast (where to buy pasture raised pork)
- 2 large apples (organic)
- 3 carrots
- 1 large onion
- 3 stalks of celery (organic)
- Radish root of any kind (1 cup chopped)
- 3 clove garlic
- 1 - 2 cup water or chicken stock (where to buy bone broth)| (how to make chicken stock)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse and pat dry the roast - you can add the salt and pepper to the meat at this point or later
- Heat the dutch oven on top of the stove
- Add some bacon fat or lard and brown the roast on both sides (about 4 minutes a side)
- Take the roast out of the dutch oven and add all the chopped vegetables except the apple chunks
- Cook the vegetables until softened (about 6 minutes)
- Place the roast over the vegetables and add the water (or chicken stock) and apple chunks
- Cover and place in a 325º F oven for 2 hours or until the internal temperature is 160º F.
- When done, let the roast rest for ten minutes and then slice and serve with the cooked vegetables, apples and juices from the pot.
- Dutch oven (Where to buy)
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These recipes are suitable for Paleo, SCD, GAPS and all grain free eaters.