Monday, March 18, 2013

Cocoa Coffee Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

Happy Post-St. Patty's Day!  Hope you all had some fun yesterday--I know that the free Guinness the Coach and I got at our local Irish pub ensured we had a great time.  It's been a little while since we've really gone out on March 17th, and the Coach and I rarely go to a bar just the two of us.  It felt nice and date-like, something we don't do often enough :)


After our celebratory festivities yesterday, I was feeling a bit (a lot) sluggish this morning so I decided to just hop on the upright bike for 40 minutes and finish up my InStyle magazine.  Since I've gotten in better shape this past year, I've learned that you can't force a workout.  Some days I get to the gym and I'm just not feeling in to it at all.  If I'm semi-motivated I'll opt for one of the treadmill workouts I print out and stash in my locker (I'm lucky that my gym is so easygoing--I get to keep my precious jump rope and cardio routines under free lock and key).  When I'm truly feeling indifferent, I opt for some bike action, and I keep extra magazines stashed in my locker for those unmotivated moments.  I find that if I make myself do the tougher workout prescribed in the Coach's program when I'm truly not in the mood, I lack good form and the urge to push myself up in weight.  I'm obviously not waking up at 5AM for nothing, so having some easier back up plans mean I never waste my time.


I don't use my crockpot all that often when cooking for the Coach, since he once commented that everything that comes out of my slow cooker tastes the same.  Clearly, he's wrong and has since recanted his statement, but ever since I've been hesitant to use it.  Lately I've been relying on my slow cooker buffalo chicken as my lunch protein, but I decided to mix it up yesterday with the hope that the Coach would sneak a taste and be won over by my crockpot skills.  Result?  Win for the Debs today!  I adapted this cocoa coffee chili rubbed pulled pork from Gabby's Gluten Free, and the result was absolutely delicious!

Cocoa coffee chili rubbed pulled pork
4-5lb pork butt/shoulder
1T ground coffee
2T cocoa powder
1T chili powder
3/4t ground cinnamon
1/4t dried thyme
1/2t salt
1/2t cayenne
chicken stock (enough to go half-way up pork, 1 can for me)
1/4c apple cider vinegar

Mix together all of the dry ingredients and pat on the pork.  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with some cooking fat until very hot, then brown each side of the pork (I left the pork on each side for about 4 minutes to get a nice sear).  Meanwhile, add the stock and apple cider vinegar to the crockpot.  Once properly seared, add the pork to the pot and cook on low for 8 hours.  Enjoy!


 I have a confession to make.  I totally forgot to add the ground coffee to the rub.  I had already browned my pork and submerged it partly in the stock when I realized, so I wasn't sure how to add the coffee at that point.  Enter the Coach's random but consistently correct culinary genius: he recommended added some brewed coffee directly to the stock.  I added probably between 1/4-1/2c coffee and it turned out perfectly.  This pork had such an interesting flavor, with a sweet, savory, and spicy taste that I honestly have never enjoyed before.  Most pulled pork is made with a mountain of sugar, so this is a delicious Whole30-compliant option.  Seriously, if you like pulled pork and are up for something different, give this recipe a try.  I'm pumped to have leftovers in my lunch all week!

Hope everyone's week is off to a good start!  To all those Northeasterner's: drive safely tomorrow!

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