Humble pork shoulder is a favorite cut for the budget minded paleo cook, but in this dish it gets dressed up for dinner as it is braised in a rich sauce of pancetta and red wine, accented by the food trinity of flavor and some fresh herbs. With a couple simple substitutions, it can even be made paleo autoimmune friendly (AIP).
This recipe is actually my husband’s creation and he originally made it as a pasta sauce (what can I say… his Italian roots run pretty deep!). While it is excellent tossed with some gluten-free rice noodles or served over zucchini noodles, it is also thick and rich enough to stand on its own as a complete main dish, perhaps accompanied by a simple salad or other vegetable side dish.
The key to making a nice thick sauce is to use a food processor at the beginning to finely chop the vegetables and then to allow plenty of time for the pork to braise in the sauce as it reduces at the end. Using a food processor is also helpful for “hiding” the vegetables in the sauce if you have any picky eaters in your house (not that I know anything about that!). We use this mini processor for this task.
Also, don’t be tempted to skim off the fat that will render from the braised pork shoulder – it is key to the rich flavor and fat from pasture raised pork is a great source of vitamin D and healthy fats.
Notes for healing diets:
- Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) – The Paleo Approach: Use a quarter cup of either canned pumpkin puree or cooked and pureed beets for the tomato paste option. The pumpkin has a more neutral flavor but will keep the color of your sauce more muted while the beet option will provide a red tomato-like color but may add an unwelcome earthy flavor.
- Low-FODMAP: Use only the green part of the leek, omit the onion, omit the garlic (or use garlic infused olive oil).
- Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD): Use a very dry red wine.
Braised Pork Shoulder with Pancetta and Red Wine Sauce RecipePrint
Shared on Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.