BBQ Pulled Pork from The Healing Kitchen {Paleo/AIP}

When creating recipes for The Healing Kitchen, I wanted them to be accessible and budget-friendly but still creative, comforting, and palate-opening. Of course I put my favorite method for roasting a chicken in the book (it’s definitely one of my home cook “insider” tips) because there’s going to be people who grab the book off a shelf who have never heard of the autoimmune protocol and would enjoy seeing some familiar foods. Around these parts, BBQ is a VERY familiar food and one of my favorites growing up. I just love smoked flavor anything (which is why you’ll find a few recipes featuring smoked salmon such as Smoked Salmon Spread, Smoked Salmon Potato Salad, and Crispy Salmon Hash!)

I knew I wanted to create a BBQ Pulled Pork recipe that would be easy enough for anyone even inexperienced in the kitchen to throw together, didn’t require a smoker, and didn’t require any crazy prep techniques or products. There’s a plethora of AIP-friendly BBQ sauces available these days and in most of the AIP cookbook so I didn’t want to recreate a traditional sweet & smokey one. Instead, I wanted to try my hand at a tomato-vinegar based sauce popular in the Carolinas. I didn’t want the sauce to be full of tons of sweeteners or fruits, so I used sweet potato puree as part of the base to thicken the sauce like tomato paste would and also give some of that sweetness. I went pretty heavy on the apple cider vinegar (the strong vinegar taste cooks out) because pork and acid together is seriously delicious – it cuts the fattiness and richness of pork while brightening up all the other flavors. The sauce is thinner than traditional BBQ sauces but that thinness is what makes it so great for tossing with pulled meat! You don’t end up with anything thickly coated or overly flavored!

We have included pressure cooker and slow cooker instructions for all “slow cooked” recipes in the book such as Mojo Pulled Chicken (you guys will love that one!), Hawaiian Pulled Pork (that one too!), and Beef or Pork Carnitas (duh). I used my Instant Pot for every recipe because why would I take 8 hours to make pulled pork if I can do it in 90 minutes!? LOVE my Instant Pot; it’s my secret to having delicious meat in my fridge at all times for meals and snacks! You can get it for almost 50% off on Amazon and it’ll pay for itself over and over again in time-saving awesomeness. 

BBQ PULLED PORK (slow cooker & pressure cooker instructions)
Serves 8 to 10 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes to 8 hours, depending on cooking method |
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes to 8 hours 10 minutes, depending on cooking method


3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, such as Boston butt
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon coconut sugar or maple sugar
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon smoked fine sea salt or fine sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup Bone Broth of choice (pages 108–109)
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onions
3 slices bacon
¾ cup Tangy Carolina BBQ Sauce (below)


Slow cooker instructions
1. Slice 4 slits in the top of the meat and stuff a garlic clove in each slit. Rub the entire surface of the meat with the sugar, ginger, salt, and cinnamon. Put the broth and onions in the slow cooker insert, then lay the meat on top of the onions. Lay the bacon slices on top of the meat.
2. Cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 6 to 7 hours, until the pork can be easily shredded with two forks.
3. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Drain the liquid from the cooking pot, but reserve the onions. Shred the pork and bacon by pulling two forks in opposite directions to pull the meat apart. Transfer the meat back to the pot with the onions and stir in the BBQ sauce, tasting and adding more sauce or salt as desired.


Pressure cooker instructions (see Tip, page 108)
1. Slice 4 slits in the top of the meat and stuff a garlic clove in each slit. Rub the entire surface of the meat with the sugar, ginger, salt, and cinnamon. Put the broth and onions in the pressure cooker insert, then lay the meat on top of the onions. Lay the bacon slices on top of the meat.
2. Seal the lid and set the pressure cooker’s manual timer for 90 minutes. When the timer goes off, release the pressure. If the meat does not shred easily with two forks, use a knife to cut the roast into large chunks and return them to the pressure cooker for an additional 15 minutes of cooking.
3. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Drain the liquid from the cooking pot, but reserve the onions. Shred the pork and bacon by pulling two forks in opposite directions to pull the meat apart. Transfer the meat back to the pot with the onions and stir in the BBQ sauce, tasting and adding more sauce or salt as desired.

TANGY CAROLINA BBQ SAUCE
Makes 2 cups | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 12 minutes | Total Time: 17 minutes


1 cup sweet potato puree (see Tip)
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons bacon fat
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Tip: Buy canned sweet potato puree for quick preparation.


Whisk together all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and whisk continuously while maintaining a low boil for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly thickened. This sauce is thinner than traditional BBQ sauce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>