Lechon Asado—Cuban Pulled Pork

Recipes and cookbooks all over the world have this recipe in various forms. I’ve substituted Swerve for the classic brown sugar and swapped lettuce for corn tortillas, or fried cauliflower rice for regular rice. You can either cook it for 80 minutes in a pressure cooker, or 8 hours in a covered Dutch oven over low heat.

Lechon Asado—Cuban Pulled Pork
8—10 servings // At 8 servings: 663 calories, 5 net carbs

16 garlic cloves (really, you can’t have too many!)
Juice of 1 grapefruit (or orange, about 2/3 cup)
Zest and juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Swerve “brown sugar” sweetener
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1-1/2 tablespoon Celtic sea salt
1 4-5-pound boneless heritage pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces
1 bay leaf

For Serving
Butter lettuce
Cilantro, chopped
Avocado slices
Radish slices
Green onions
Lime wedges
Hot sauce
Salsa

NOTE: This recipe uses a 6-quart Instant Pot. If using an 8-quart, add 1/2 cup organic beef bone broth to the cooking liquid before sealing up the pot.

Make the Marinade
Process the garlic, grapefruit or orange juice, lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, Swerve, peppers, herbs, and salt. Transfer the marinade to a large bowl and add the pieces of pork and bay leaf. Turn the pieces over several times. Marinate, covered, at room temperature for an hour, turning every 15 minutes or so. Alternatively, you can marinate overnight, refrigerated.

Brown the Meat
Remove the pieces of meat from the marinade, reserving the marinade—you’ll use it later, in the cooking pot.

You can either brown the pieces—on all sides, one at a time—using the sauté function on the multi-cooker, or you can brown the pieces in a large skillet. If using the skillet, when you’re finished, deglaze with 1 tablespoon of water, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the yummy browned bits stuck to the bottom. Add the deglazing liquid, marinade, and browned pork pieces to the Instant Pot and lock the lid—making sure the steam release knob is in the “sealing” position. Cook at high pressure for 80 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. (No pressure cooker? Cook for 8 hours over low heat in a covered Dutch oven.)

Prepare the Meat
Remove the pork from the cooking liquid. Taste the the liquid, and if it seems bland or too thin, boil it down in the Instant Pot using the sauté setting. Remove the bay leaf and add a bit of salt if needed. Skim the fat off, if desired. Shred the meat. Toss with no more than 1-1/2 to 2 cups of the cooking liquid.

To Serve
Serve shredded pork in lettuce leaves garnished with any of the following—cilantro, lime wedges, avocado slices, sliced radishes, green onions, hot sauce, and salsa.  Cuban Cauliflower Rice is also a wonderful side dish.