If you love lemon, you’ll love this. Boneless pork pieces stewed in broth which is impregnated with the tang of lemon flesh, the freshness of its zest, and the cleansing fragrance of just-picked sage.
Pork is delightful in winter. When I was edging away from vegetarianism, pork in winter was one of the foods which would entice me. Maybe it’s in my genes. The fattened pig would be slaughtered at end of autumn, and the fatty sopressa, the slabs of prosciutto and the lard would see the ancestors through the hard winters.
These last days of January and the first of February are traditionally known as I Giorni Della Merla, The Days of the Blackbird, and they are reknowned for being the coldest. The General heads out to work dressed like an onion, in layer upon layer, but still comes home with his feet and fingertips chilled. On Saturday – today – he spends an hour bringing up the wood so that we’re right for the full week ahead. Other than misty walks down by the Astico so that Roxy can run wild, these are days for staying inside with the fire burning, and with a pot simmering away on the stove.
This is a gorgeous cold-weather dish, especially as you get two courses for the effort of one. As the stew is cooked entirely with the lid on, and because there are no starches, the stock, meat juices, herbs and lemon all come together as a broth which is wonderfully aromatic and a perfect start to your meal.
Second course, the pork itself, is perfect served with Slow Simmered Cabbage with Apple and Spice, and mashed cauliflour, or boiled cassava. The meat falls apart as your fork enters it. It is soft in your mouth, and so full of flavour. It has you reaching for an extra helping, even though, really, you’re full.
I’ve said in the recipe that it serves two. What I mean is that it serves two with left-overs. Enough left-overs for breakfast, but not really enough to serve four hungry adults at one sitting. We put all the leftovers, including the cabbage and cauliflour and whatever else is left, into a container and store it in the fridge. We skip a day, so as not to overdo it, and then the following morning we just put the lot into a frypan, add some more stock, stir it around and heat it up.
I love our Paleo Lifestyle, but sometimes I become overwhelmed with just how much time I am dedicating to the hunting, gathering and preparation of food. Dishes like this help keep me sane, because they use simple ingredients and can be spread out across two or three different meals, being transformed in the process.
If you don’t love lemon as much as we do, I’d say make it first with just the zest. The next time, be more daring. Remove the zest with a good vegetable peeler (we like this one), and then, using a sharp knife, slice the pith from the fruit. Then chop the fruit, removing the seeds, but catch the juice.
Add the lot to your Dutch Oven or slow cooker, mix it all up, and add enough broth to just come to the surface. Pop on the lid, bring it to the boil, turn down to a simmer, and let it cook for a long time.
While this is simmering away, grab another pot and throw together the Slow Simmered Cabbage with Apple and Spice.
Enjoy your meal – I’m sure you will – and enjoy your wintery days.
Lemon lovers, I do hope you’ll try this, and let me know how you go. Post your images on Instagram with @paleomantic , and be sure to spread the Love on your Social and Pin. Come find Paleomantic on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and I look forward to seeing you there!
Best Wishes, Good Health
- 700 grams boneless pork roast, cut into large pieces
- 1 medium onion, peeled, quartered and sliced (1 cup)
- 1 long celery stalk , chopped (1 cup)
- 20 - 25 fresh sage leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ a lemon
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
- Zest the lemon using a vegetable peeler with a fine blade, and roughly mince.
- Cut the pith away from the lemon, and dice the fruit. Remove the seeds, but save the juice.
- Put all ingredients into a dutch oven, mix well, and check that there is just enough stock to come to the surface.
- Bring to the boil, turn down the heat, and allow to simmer gently for 2 hours.