Slow-cooked Orange Spiced Pork

Hello and brrrrr…!

So, it seems that winter is here in all its glory. Freezing mornings and nights, with chilly yet sunny days and we just had a very, very cold weekend…
I sound a bit like the weather man, don’t I..?

Anyways, it’s that time of year when we crave warm comfort foods, usually in the shape of one-pot-meals or something baked and cheesy and carby… So if you’re trying to stay good and on the Banting or Paleo path, it’s really not that difficult! Ok fine, we all crave those carby things in winter, but you can still indulge in some serious comfort food, while sticking to your eating plan.

I’m totally in love with oranges at the moment, they’re in season and packed with vitamins. Yes, they contain sugar and so strictly speaking not quite an eat-as-much-as-you-can item on the Banting list, but just use them in moderation.
Oranges and spices can transform almost any food into a warm, rich winter staple…

Here is my recipe for slow-cooked orange spiced pork:

You will need:
+- 1kg Pork chops or stew cuts
1 orange {half of it thickly sliced! the other half juiced}
3 cloves
3 star anise
1 tsp honey
2 cups chicken stock
Salt
1 cinnamon quill
1 tbs soy sauce
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly chopped
1 butternut, diced and cooked

{You will need a slow cooker / crock-pot for this recipe, although you could also make it in a large, heavy bottomed pot.}

The thing I love about using a slow cooker, is that you literally just place everything into the pot, switch it on and hours later you have a fab meal. The downside of using a slow cooker is that you don’t get that lovely browned meat flavour into the food, unless you brown the meat before putting it into the cooker. With this recipe, I don’t brown the meat first, I do it at the end by placing everything under the grill. This gives everything a slightly caramelised effect.

Enough babbling…

Start by placing the meat in the bottom of your slow cooker and just pack everything on top and around:
Place the cloves, star anise, cinnamon and ginger around the meat.
Season with salt. Combine the soy sauce, honey and orange juice and pour over the meat. Place the orange slices, as well as the half of squeezed orange on top and around everything.
Add the stock and let it cook on high for about 4 hours.
Once the meat is cooked {the meat will be cooked but the fat not rendered and still bleak-looking}, remove and dish it into an oven dish.
Drizzle some of the juices over the meat and place the orange slices on top, again. Add chunks of the cooked butternut and make sure everything has a drizzle of juices…
Roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, until everything is golden and some bits start to get charred.

Enjoy as is, with a glass of dry red of course! You can also add a few bits of mini lettuce or a micro salad, but let’s face it, who wants salad on a freezing night?!
I think it would also work with cauli-mash…

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