Pork pieces steeped in an aromatic brew of olives, lemon and fresh herbs makes for a noteworthy dish. Quick in the Instant Pot, but just as effortless on the stove, this recipe for braised pork can be thrown together in no time, but the resulting flavors will have you wishing you’d made more. Go ahead and double the quantities!
Pork Braised with Olives, Lemon and Herbs
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Pork pieces, I find, are good to have in the freezer because it’s so easy to cook them up into tender, aromatic morsels. Lemon goes so well with braised pork – something about the tang that spruces up white meats. But in this dish, it’s the olives which make the dish a little special.
Try to find small olives. I love the taggiasca from Liguria, but if you can’t get your hands on those, any small ones will do. Leave them with the stones intact – but remember to warn your guests not to bite down too hard. A broken tooth from chomping hard on an olive pip is never a nice surprise.
As they’re cooking, salt will be released from the olives, so don’t be too generous with the seasoning. Better to have the salt grinder on the table so that you can add a little more if necessary. We found that a 1/4 teaspoon of course sea salt was just right.
And make sure you serve this with something to soak up the lovely, thick liquids. Here in the photos are cooked, cold potatoes for the resistant starch. Other options would be cauliflower rice, or, even better, a mash of whatever you like. Cauliflower, carrot and fennel bulb is a favorite in this house.
When you think about it, this recipe follows the principals of a great marinade. Fat from the meat for succulence, acid from the lemon for tenderness. Salt from the olives to bring out the flavours. Sweet from the carrot, and aromatics from the herbs. No wonder it tastes so good.
On the Side
Succulent Sweet and Sour Lamb – Oh, this is wonderful. Super simple, and a crowd pleaser.
Sticky Pork Ribs with Dissolved Apples and Prunes – Invite your friends. Don’t underestimate the number of ribs required.
Secret Ingredient Beef Stew – You could thicken the liquids. We don’t. We ladel it off and have it as a soup for starters.
Instant Pot Love
The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook – my review of this magnificent collection.
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- ½ lemon
- ¼ cup tightly packed fresh herbs. I use equal amounts thyme and parsley, and a small stick of rosemary
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 650 grams / 1½ pounds pork loin, cut into 5cm / 2 inch cubes
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into coins
- 1 stick celery, sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons small olives (about 20)
- 1 cup bone broth or water
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- Using a good vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemon and slice it into small shards. Then, cut away the pith from the flesh. Discard the seeds and the pith.
- Roughly chop the fresh herbs, and add to the lemon.
- Pour the olive oil into the Instant Pot and press the 'Sautè' function. Add the pork, celery, carrot and salt. Stir and turn so that the pork pieces brown on all sides. Cancel the 'Sautè' function.
- Add the lemon, herbs, olives, bone broth or water. Put on the lid and lock it, turning the valve to the 'Sealing' position. Adjust the 'Meat/Stew' function to 'Less': 20 minutes (or 'Manual' for 20 minutes).
- Go and enjoy your life.
- When the timer sounds, allow the valve to release naturally, then remove the lid. Adjust the 'Sautè' function to 'Less' and bring the braise to a slow slimmer.
- Place the tapioca starch into a small bowl. Add a couple of tablespoons of the braising liquid and add to the starch, stirring to form a slurry. Make sure there are no clumps. Add more liquid, stir to combine, then pour the lot into the braise. Stir for about a minute until the liquids have thickened.
- Serve with something to soak up the juices: cauliflower rice or cooked, cold potatoes. And with steam-sauteèd vegetables, of course.
- Don't have an Instant Pot? Why not? Just follow the recipe as is, but use a heavy based saucepan or, even better, a cast iron dutch oven. Cook for 45 minutes or until tender.
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