I won’t lie to you. Most of the time I’d rather have my wraps or burritos blanketed in fluffy tortillas, pita, or anything resembling carbs. But not in this case. These pork wraps are majestically happy and full of flavor just as they are. Whole30-ing or not, I recommend these for a healthful weeknight or weekend meal. The beauty of this 4 hour crock-pot pork is that you could (theoretically) squeeze it in after coming home from work, relax with a glass of wine (or two) while it’s cooking, and a few hours later you can finally partake. I can see those of you with kids laughing at me right now. Sit down with a glass of wine for THREE HOURS? What universe are you living in, Alicia?
WHOLE30: PULLED PORK LETTUCE WRAPS WITH SESAME GINGER SAUCE
pork inspiration from Chowhound
serves 4 as an entrée
3-3.5 pound pork shoulder, bone in*
1 large yellow onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1.5 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon salt
2 medium heads of butter lettuce, for wrapping
1/2 of a small red cabbage, sliced thinly
8 ounces shredded carrots
1 small bunch cilantro
1-2 jalapeños, de-seeded and diced
4 green onions, sliced
3 large shallots + 1/3 cup canola oil for crispy shallots (see directions below)
sesame ginger sauce:
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons coconut aminos
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1-2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Turn your crock-pot on low. Place onions, garlic, and chicken broth in the bottom of the crockpot. Mix together your pork rub spices and rub into the pork well. Place the pork on top of the onions, put the lid on, and set a timer for 3.5 hours. At the 3.5 hour mark, check for doneness (pork should be tender and the center at least 160 degrees F). I used a 3.5lb bone-in pork shoulder which was done at 4 hours.
While the pork is cooking:
Prepare your sauce by blending all the ingredients together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Chop and prep your garnishes. If you are making the crispy shallots, heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Slice the shallots and sauté in the oil for approximately 10 minutes, until brown and starting to crisp. Using a fork or a slotted spoon, place the shallots on a paper towel to cool.
When the pork is cooked:
Remove it from the crock-pot and place onto a large cutting board or in a large baking dish. Shred the pork (I like using two forks, one in each hand), removing any large chunks of fat and discarding the bone.
Assemble your wraps by filling one lettuce leaf with a tablespoon or two of pork, your garnishes of choice, and drizzling with the sesame ginger sauce.
* If you can only find boneless pork shoulder, buy 1/2 pound less than planned. FYI, a 3.5 pound shoulder will likely leave you with leftovers, whereas a 3 pound shoulder is closer to what 4 people can eat as an entrée. After cooking, de-boning, and shredding, a pork shoulder loses a little less than half of its weight, which should leave you, in this case, with 1/3 to 1/2 pound of meat per person.